In Aug. 2020, the Rawlins Chamber of Commerce welcomed new Executive Director Magen Donivan. In a year of tumult and change, Donivan was a much-needed anchor for the Chamber of Commerce and the business community of Rawlins.
While Donivan’s business background is largely in real estate, she is no stranger to the Rawlins Chamber of Commerce. She served as a member and on the board in 2014.
“It was the light of the community,” she said, reminiscing. Over the years, the Chamber lost significant funding, but Donivan wants to brighten that light again.
With that mission in mind, Donivan went to work. One of the most pronounced changes she implemented is a new structure to membership plans.
“In the past, all members got the exact same benefits, no matter if they paid $85 or $3,000 per year,” she said. To Donivan, that didn’t seem fair or sustainable. Now, instead of having a sliding scale fee dependent on the size and revenue of a business or individual, businesses can now choose what they want to pay for their membership based on the level of services they would like to receive.
Donivan also brings experience in event planning and fundraising, both of which are crucial skills in raising money and resources. She explained that the Chamber was facing a precarious financial situation when she started. Now things are looking up: they are ending the year with nearly $21,000 in the bank.
The more resources the Chamber has, the more resources they can provide to local businesses. Through the pandemic, Donivan tried making the Chamber a beacon for businesses. She noted that the Chamber has made job searching and posting free for the past few months; a critical need during a time where unemployment is high and business forecasts are uncertain at best.
Willie Jefferson, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, has full faith in Donivan’s abilities to uplift the mission of the Chamber. He explained that she has sat through many of their past challenges, and was able to envelope everything they were thinking into a strategic plan.
“We want to be more transparent, and we want to see what businesses need from us,” said Jefferson. He also wanted the trust of the community, and to grow the chamber. Donivan, he feels, has the vision and business savvy to fulfill those goals.
“I encourage the community to stop in and ask questions, and take a look at what the Chamber of Commerce is doing,” he said.
Donivan has very specific and targeted goals for the future of the Chamber of Commerce.
“My immediate goal is to get membership numbers up. I want to add 50-70 members by next year, and I want to improve our financial stability,” she said.