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Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester, was preparing to host their biggest fundraising event of the year, but they were up against social distancing guidelines that made the normal setup impossible. Frontier stepped in to lend a hand, providing a solution that delivered robust connectivity and call routing to keep volunteers safely distanced while manning the phones. Frontier’s nimble response and ability to design a solution around COVID guidelines helped protect 85 percent of the organization’s operating budget, giving more animals the chance to find their forever homes.
The Challenge: Telethon Impossible?
Lollypop Farm’s annual Tails of Hope Telethon is a critical source of funding to power their mission of bettering the lives of animals through justice, prevention, and life-saving care. A three-month, donation-focused campaign culminates in a 6-hour telethon, which is a vital source of the donations that make up 85 percent of the organization’s annual operating budget—so canceling the telethon was out of the question.
But during a pandemic, the usual setup in a single location with dozens of people in close proximity simply wasn’t feasible. Lollypop Farm needed a solution to enable compliance with strict social distancing requirements. Thankfully, Lollypop Farm was able to lean on Frontier for creative solutions, just as the organization has done for the past decade.
The Solution: Powering Safely Distanced Telethon Operations
Frontier quickly went to work developing a COVID-compliant solution catered to Lollypop Farm’s COVID-19 telethon needs. The Frontier team helped Lollypop Farm divide its telethon operations between two separate locations, designing, implementing and supporting a robust connectivity solution that enabled quick call routing and supported the expected telethon call volume. This two-location network design enabled telephone operators to take calls at tables safely distanced six feet from each other, without too many people in a single room.
“These efforts saved the telethon,” says Tracy Dinan, Lollypop Farm’s Associate Director of Communications. “Without Frontier, there was no telethon.”
The Outcome: Telethon Full Steam Ahead
With the right infrastructure in place, Lollypop Farm was fully prepared for the 2021 Tails of Hope Telethon. The team was able to move full steam ahead with final event preparations knowing that their volunteers and staff would be safe during the event.
Though Frontier is a long-time partner and sponsor of Tails of Hope, the 2021 telethon called for a creative and unconventional approach from previous years. “Frontier is the telethon team. Every year, you’re critical to us having the event. This year, not only did you help us have the event, but you helped us do so while keeping our staff and volunteers safe,” said Ashley Zeh, Lollypop Farm’s Director of Communications.
Dinan added, “Two words I would use to describe the partnership are ‘teamwork’ and ‘flexibility.' After years of supporting the telethon a certain way, it shows such resilience from Frontier to be committed and flexible to doing it an entirely different way.”
All the hard work paid off, as the telethon raised a record $535,902 in its 2021 campaign.
We Do Different, Together… Even in Unusual Circumstances
The events of 2020 have taught us unequivocally that challenges arise, situations change and sometimes customers need new and innovative ways of serving their communities. Under these circumstances, organizations need networks—and more importantly, network partners—that evolve with them. From the largest corporation to the smallest non-profit, Frontier is committed to giving back, delivering incredible outcomes for customers and, no matter what, striving to do different, together.
Visit Lollypop Farm’s website to learn more about Tails of Hope and contribute to the 2021 campaign.