Editor's Note: This is the final part in a five-part industry assessment on the effects of COVID-19 on associations. Make sure you read each part here:
Throughout my conversations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic – and how it has affected the various associations I spoke with – I received some amazing advice, hopes for the future, and ideas that came out of this project. Here is a short roundup of some of my favorites.
“I would hope that people coming out of this, that as a society, we'll actually be far more appreciative of the importance of everybody's role in society, and not just those with the most power and the largest voices.” — Katherine Cowan, Director of Communications, National Association of School Psychologists
“I just can’t encourage business leaders enough to reach out to others that they know are going through this or that if they don’t know who those leaders are, to give them advice, to brainstorm ideas, to reach out to associations, to networks that do have those connections, to have those conversations and draw upon the wisdom of others because in business, as with everything else in this crisis, we’re going to get through this together. That’s the only way we’ll get through this. Don’t feel like you have to do it on your own.” — Alexander McCobin, CEO, Conscious Capitalism
“I hope we remember 2020 as the year we became the best version of ourselves. Our most innovative, adaptive and resilient selves. A community that refuses to back down from the challenges we face.” — Dean West, President, Association Laboratory
“Just look at diversification of all things so that we’re not overly reliant on any one aspect, but also just being much more thoughtful about building those reserves and cash flow management.” — Donna Oser, President and CEO, Michigan Society of Association Executives
“This really strong need for revenue diversification, and the ability and infrastructure in the organization to be able to come up with and implement new products. But I think in our association specifically, the need for new products, the need for us to identify new revenue sources, potential new audiences. If our primary audience is low-income, we're not going to be able to get more funds from them. How do we support meeting their needs, the advocacy work that needs to be done, the training we need to provide them?” — Rhea Steele, Chief of Staff, School Nutrition Association
“This has brought the best out of a lot of people. Some people are saying it’s the best of the worst. I haven’t seen much of the worst. I’ve mostly just seen people be really kind and loving and try to take care of each other.” — John Spence, Author and business coach
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Ashley Neal joined the Sidecar team as Community Coordinator in March of 2020, right as the COVID-19 pandemic began to shut down life as we knew it. Having to adapt, overcome and predict the changes needed to survive in the new normal, Ashley now has the skills needed to juggle any obstacle thrown her way. A soon-to-be graduate from Southeastern Louisiana University in the field of Strategic Communications, Ashley spends her days balancing her work and education with her love of dogs. Taking her three dogs — Scooby, Pipsqueak and Moose — to restaurants, hiking trails, vacations and even participating in dog shows and sports is the highlight of her weekends.