Going Virtual

Thrivent educational webinars are meeting with success

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By Donna Hein

When COVID-19 hit and the world shifted from in-person gatherings to virtual events almost overnight, Thrivent adapted quickly.

“Each of our 23 Thrivent Member Networks started the year with robust plans to connect with our clients, their neighbors and friends in their communities through financial, educational and social events,” says Lisa Warren, director, Community Engagement at Thrivent. “With COVID, our community engagement teams immediately started changing many events to virtual delivery, rather than postponing or canceling.”

Manager of Community Engagement Dan Macon and his team in the Mid-Atlantic Region of Thrivent (serving clients in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia) were among the first to make the switch and with great success.

“We looked at this as an opportunity to engage Thrivent clients and others in a new way,” Macon says. “People were at home. They wanted to know what to do with their finances. And we could help with that.”

It took just seven days for Erika Colonna and Sara Hull, engagement specialists for the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic Thrivent Member Networks, respectively, to offer the seminar “Your Retirement: How to Take Control Today” with Tom Hegna* virtually instead of in person. From then on, the duo has partnered with their community engagement colleagues, Thrivent leaders and financial professionals, as well as community members to offer one to two virtual events weekly.

The region offered a range of virtual events with topics ranging from financial to generosity. A few examples included: an economic update featuring Thrivent leaders, Cooking with Father Leo, and tips for using Thrivent membership benefits in a virtual world.

“In a normal week, we may see about 100 people in person,” Colonna says. “With virtual events, we can now connect with more than 2,000 people!”

Hull adds that instead of activities being limited to a community or two at a time, “virtual allows us to engage everyone in our area.”

Nationally, Thrivent has offered more than 1,800 virtual events since March. Financial topics have included: Social Security, navigating a volatile market, money and marriage and college planning.

“We’ll continue to survey our clients about their needs and partner with others to help people achieve financial clarity,” Macon says.

*Tom Hegna is not affiliated with or endorsed by Thrivent.