With the second wave upon us, we thought it was important to highlight the work of 3 exceptional social economy organizations that made the most out of the pandemic. Here is their story.
The pandemic is especially tough on non-profits. The loss of important revenue and the ability to fundraise, combined with the increased demand for social services, has put a lot of pressure on them. Yet, Salle Pauline-Julien, Fonds d’aide de l’Ouest-de-l’Île and L’Équipe entreprise were all able to pull through, , all while standing true to their mission.
Salle Pauline-Julien: Reaching new heights
As most of us now know, our cultural scene is currently hit very hard and, theatre hall, Salle Pauline-Julien, was no exception. They had to come to terms with having to let go technicians, ticketing agents and on-call staff. Accept to cancel shows, accept undo everything that had been imagined and rigorously planned. Fortunately, by benefitting from different programs and subsidies, they were able to keep their permanent team in place. Consequently, they had the manpower and the creative resources to use this time to perfect their digital marketing strategy and virtual presence.
The support brought about by a firm specialized in digital content and communications, experimenting with hybrid presentations thanks to a webcasting platform, the installation of interactive digital terminals and the launch of a new website speaks loads about the how the team adapted to the new reality.
As they are now making these ideas a reality, they are now in a position to become a key player in the industry, have the potential to increase the income base as they have everything in place to reconnect with their clients – in a digital way!
West Island Assistance Fund : There for the community, no matter what
While the majority of businesses and organizations were thinking of how to get though the Spring, West Island Assistance Fund, a non-profit operating a food bank, had to figure out how to deal with the pandemic after losing half of its infrastructure in a major fire in December 2019.
After losing their thrift store, one of their main revenue streams, the organisation had invested time and efforts for the reopening of their thrift store in April. Having to postpone everything because of the pandemic, they were proud to finally open the doors to the new WIAF thrift shop early August.
Since March, a client increase of 40%, emphasized their installations deficiencies, especially those of the food bank. The Board of Directors decided that it was time for a makeover. Today, their food bank facility has been completely renovated, the thrift store is up and running and they also have a new website! They are ready, more than ever, to help the ones who need it the most.
To donate or volunteer, click here.
L’Équipe entreprise: An unwavering focus
The confinement period is very hard on all of us, but especially on those living with mental health problems. Fortunately, L’Équipe entreprise, an organization helping these individuals integrate into the workplace, was able to re-organize their operations to adapt to the situation.
While some organizations had to review their entire business model during the crisis, L’Équipe entreprise focused on delivering the same consistent high-quality service they provided before the pandemic through solid teamwork and a rearrangement of their resources. They kept in touch with their students who could not longer participate in the program through phone and other means to ensure their well-being and their focus became the continuation of the Meals-on -Wheels program. Their permanent kitchen staff and a handful of volunteers kept on serving those in the community who relied on the program. This just proves that sometimes, staying focused and on point when everything around you is changing can be the most effective business strategy of all!
To donate or volunteer, click here.
PME MTL West-Island stimulates the emergence of collective businesses and supports their growth by offering support throughout all phases of development. Our experts are proud to offer a support service adapted to the reality of social economy businesses to ensure their proper development and sustainability. Our expert, Shant Kancachian, is always here to help and answer your questions. To learn more about our program, visit our Social Economy Business page.