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CNPE eNews: Connecting while maintaining ‘social distance’ (March 20, 2020)

Hill of daffodils

It’s hard to imagine anywhere more beautiful than Kentucky in spring. So, whether you are busily working from home or struggling to provide needed services or watching kids on a long, unscheduled break, I hope you can take some time to get outside (between storms) and enjoy nature’s display. Right now, you are likely to see hosts of golden daffodils.

Today’s featured topic is virtual tools for connecting. Our own team has been connecting daily on Zoom for the first time, and we find it comforting to get some body language to go with the audio conversations. We are not virtual virtuosos yet – but if we can do it, you can do it!

Read on for suggestions you may find useful during this isolating time. (Farther down, we have a daily self-care tip.)

Today’s featured topic: Connecting virtually

Now that social distance is mandated everywhere, nonprofits’ concerns tend to fall into two clusters: (a) how to stay in contact with your own internal teams, volunteers, board members, those we serve, and other stakeholders; and (b) how to re-cast “in real life” events as virtual ones.

Many smaller groups find that Zoom has the easiest access – and it comes in both free and fee-paid version. (The free version is limited to 40 minutes of access at a time. The “Pro” version, with no time limits, costs $14.99 per month. Both versions allow up to 100 participants.) Everyone connects to the same Zoom link and can use a phone or their computer to hear what’s going on. Participants using video cameras on their laptops, desktops, or smart phones can see each other, but participants can also connect by phone only. Screen sharing is simple. Only the host needs a Zoom account.

Large-scale events are, obviously, more of a challenge, but plenty of providers have tools for you to consider for meetings that can include hundreds – or thousands – of participants. You will find a helpful analysis of the many tools available in an Eventmanagerblog.com article, “Virtual Meetings: 82 (Best) Tools, Ideas and Tips.”

Here are three helpful virtual-meeting resources, but please see our Resources List for more:

Don’t forget “The List”: The CNPE team is curating links to resources that you can use on our COVID-19 Nonprofit Resources List. You will want to check back regularly, because we are adding to it as our environment changes and new resources come on line. If we haven’t covered a topic of interest to you – or if you know of a helpful resource we should add – tell us.

CNPE Self-Care Tip of the Day: In keeping with our “virtual” theme, you can now easily participate in exercise or yoga classes virtually – though you do have to get out of your chair! Today’s Courier-Journal had a good article about what Greater Louisville exercise facilities are doing to stay connected with their members and give them opportunities to keep fit while keeping their distance. You can also find many free resources by just searching for “body weight exercise” if you don’t have any equipment at home.

Hang in there. Your team at CNPE is here for you. And don’t forget to look for the daffodils this weekend.

My best,

Ann L. Coffey, CEO

The CNPE office is closed temporarily to help ensure everyone’s health. Our staff will be working remotely, though, and remain available to help members. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. CNPE Staff Contacts

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