Due to the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the non-profit women’s leadership professional organizations in the US are using online resources, such as virtual events and Facebook groups, for member engagement and communication. More information on the topic has been presented below, along with an outline of the research strategy.
1. Virtual Events (Meetups, Lunch, Webinars)
- Physical events are one of the best ways to boost member engagement in an organization. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has made such events impossible to conduct. Therefore, non-profit women’s leadership professional organizations in the US, such as the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) and National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), have been conducting different types of online events for member engagement and communication.
- For example, NAWBO’s Virtual Programming initiative is targeted towards experiencing sisterhood, connecting members, sharing and supporting each other, and growing their networks during the pandemic. The organization hosts different types of virtual events, such as meetups and virtual lunches with lessons.
- Similarly, another non-profit women’s leadership professional organization in the US called the Business Women’s Network of Howard County also hosts virtual events, such as coffee meetup, luncheon, and happy hour to engage its members.
- The American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) also hosts different virtual meetings and conferences to keep its members connected and engaged during the pandemic. The first Virtual National Women’s Leadership Conference hosted by the ABWA had more than 200 participants.
- These virtual events are being hosted not only by local non-profit women’s leadership professional organizations in the US, such as the Business Women’s Network of Howard County, but also by the larger organizations, such as NAWBO and ABWA. In addition to the non-profit women’s leadership professional organizations, all other types of organizations are also using the same approach for member engagement. Such events are also the safest approach to member interaction and have proven results. Therefore, virtual events have been considered a best practice for member engagement.
2. Facebook Groups
- In addition to the virtual events, sharing and communicating on Facebook groups has also become a best practice for organizations to encourage engagement and communication among the members during the pandemic.
- For example, ABWA’s Facebook group consists of 964 members and sees an average of 10 Facebook posts every day. Similarly, the Business Women’s Network of Howard County’s homepage encourages its members to network with each other on their Facebook group to maintain engagement during the pandemic. The organization uses a tagline that says, “Online is Alright!”
- NAWBO has three different Facebook groups for different segments of the organization. While one group is dedicated to the general members and chatting purposes, the other two groups are dedicated to the chapters and national advocacy.
- Facebook groups are another safer way to boost member engagement during the pandemic. Similarly, many non-profit women’s leadership professional organizations in the U.S. follow this practice. The practice is boosting member interactions in different scales of organizations and has shown effective results. Therefore, sharing and communicating on Facebook groups is considered a best practice.
- In addition to the aforementioned factors, an expert’s opinion also showcases Facebook groups as one of the best practices for building and maintaining member engagement in women’s leadership professional organizations in the US during the pandemic.
- Noni Banks is the founder of a for-profit women’s business and leadership development organization in the US called The Diva Moment. According to her, the organization’s group members were great at posting information and resources related to disaster funding. They have also been supporting each other very well during the pandemic. She believes that using Facebook groups with other social media tools can help in member engagement.