Mitko Grigorov July 15th, 2019
Looking to the Future (BPC turned 5!)
Because the Bulgarian Professionals Club (BPC) is still young, it operates – in case you haven’t noticed – on a school-year basis. Our events begin to proliferate in early September and wind down with the advent of summer. Even our birthday, fittingly, is on June 1, Children’s Day in most countries of the former Eastern Bloc, including Bulgaria. Before we all get to enjoy the summer break, the Executive Team sat down for a goal-setting session (from the shortest and timeliest of projects to the longest in the future we dare dream of) to see what we can do for our members, and do it better, while we are at it.
To say that we wouldn’t exist without our members is, of course, an understatement. The BPC is our members. Thus, the Team decided to concentrate our efforts over several important aspects of our membership engagement. While professional and social events are the Club’s bread and butter, and we will continue to do these in the upcoming year, we are also interested in engaging more with the Bulgarian community in the DC area. We want to help people coming (or who have recently arrived) from Bulgaria integrate in the community and find career and business opportunities. The club can also benefit internally from such engagement as this can lead to more volunteers for our events and causes. And finally, as a result, we will have more success stories to tell. Because we work together, the success stories of our members are the success stories of the BPC.
Our members are our internal core, but we also want to reach out. We already have experience working with several charities, such as Children of Bulgaria, but we are planning to expand in the next year. Stay tuned. We will be reaching out to other professional organizations to find more opportunities for our members and the Bulgarian community. Finally, we are contacting other organizations, not necessarily with professional orientation, to expand the universe in which we operate. As you can see, there’s a lot of work ahead to build on top of the work that’s already going on behind the events we organize.
Finances and Internal Readiness
This takes us to the BPC kitchen. For the past five years, every event you have attended – and there have been many of these – has been organized on volunteer basis. We have worked with our partners – both individuals and institutions, such as the Johns Hopkins University, the World Bank and the Bulgarian Embassy in DC – to find venues for our events. All work performed by our staff and anyone involved, including speakers and participating companies, such as Georgetown Olive Oil, was done for free. Yet to grow, we will need to be able to enlist the help of paid professionals and to rent out spaces for larger events. And this is where BPC’s emerging finances come into place, and this is where every donation (no matter how large) matters to us and to the future of the Club. Another aspect of our growth and future viability is our own internal readiness. This is where we are working hard and leveraging our own internal skills.
Growth Strategy and Online Presence
These goals have the ultimate aim of growing the Club for the benefit of our members. The larger and more connected the Club becomes, the more professional services we can provide. Our growth strategy ultimately involves opening chapters in other cities. Our members don’t stay stationary, we can ill afford to do that either. And because this is a global world, we realize that our external, online presence is of upmost importance. We are working on improving our website, as well as our social media footprint on platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
So these are the goals of a five-year-old (Club) on its birthday. Here is to many more to come.