While the Coronavirus pandemic is challenging us all, the impact on the NfP and charitable sector has been pronounced. Events, benefits delivery, culture and bottom lines are threatened across organisations. The UK professional membership sub-sector is particularly challenged. While in- person events are no longer possible, adoption of online community and member engagement platforms lag in comparison to other territories, such as North America.
From 15th March 2020, online facilitation of broad member sharing and access to programmes has been an urgent priority for many UK membership bodies. The impact of the coronavirus crisis on professions served by individual membership bodies has been significant, with committee work, special interest group (SIG) participation, online learning and similar functions being urgently transitioned to virtual environments.
CIWM, the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, is the voice of the sector representing over 5,500 individuals in the UK and overseas, reacted to these challenges. Expedited launch of a robust online community platform for its members was initiated in late March. Adoption of a fully CRM-integrated community solution was achieved in partnership with Cantarus, a leading provider of online community and comprehensive digital services to the UK membership sector. The community launch occurred in 17 business days following the initial project meeting. Member adoption and engagement were immediate and substantial.