Meals on Wheels staff go to national training

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Sandy Combs, program director, and Cindy Fink, executive director, represented Meals on Wheels Rowan recently at the 2019 national Meals on Wheels Conference in Dallas.

Earlier this year, Fink was selected to present “Event Trends: The Pressure to Innovate” with two colleagues.

Rebecca Linder, CEO of Linder Global Events, introduced the drivers of innovation, including business growth, survival, personalization, convenience and adapting to change. She said pressure on staff and resources spawns creativity. Shrinking budgets, event fatigue and competition are causing nonprofit agencies to review their fundraising. Donor diversity, stakeholder engagement and technology are inspiring changes in fundraising.

Fink, along with Meals on Wheels colleagues Jennifer Covert of North Area Meals on Wheels and Arthur Crawford of Silver Sage Community Center, offered case studies at the conference.

Fink presented an overview of the Valentine’s Day Non-Event fundraiser started in 2018 by Johanna Lovvorn, who was a Rowan board member. She said that with any fundraiser, it is important to know the capacity of both your staff and volunteers.

“As a small agency with only two full-time and seven part-time staff, we knew that we needed to consider the number of work hours to pull off a fundraiser. And we knew the competition in the Salisbury-Rowan community from over 30 worthy nonprofit organizations made it important to do something very different,” Fink said.

The training session participants asked the panel of Meals on Wheels executive directors about the details of their case studies as well as additional considerations, including cost, guest lists and community profiles.

Combs and Fink also participated in “A Roadmap for Succession Planning; The Secret to Successful Health Care Partnerships”; “The 3 Rs of Volunteer Engagement: Recruitment, Recognition and Retention”; “Advances in Addressing Malnutrition”; and more.

Keynote speakers included Ellie Hollander, president and CEO of Meals on Wheel America, and Bechara Choucair, senior vice president and chief community health officer of Kaiser Permanente.

During the Meals on Wheels expo, Combs and Fink visited more than 60 vendors who offer services to support home-delivered meals, congregate meals and nonprofit organizations.