other businesses, nonprofits have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the challenges, these organizations are still committed to fulfilling
missions, engaging with communities, and caring for employees. In the midst of
a crisis, these steps can help your nonprofit organization survive and continue
your important work.
- Gather a crisis management team. While crisis management may not usually be a major part of a nonprofit organization, it is necessary in certain situations. In the middle of a vulnerable time, it is crucial to gather and prepare a crisis management team. The team may consist of communications, legal, human resources, finance, and operations personnel, depending on the organization. These individuals can be staff members, board members, or volunteers, but will need the skills and experience necessary to maintain operations critical to the organization’s mission.
your risk. During a crisis,
nonprofits are more vulnerable to lawsuits, so this is a good time to ensure
your organization is complying with all necessary regulations. Review your risk
profile and take extra precautions to comply with procedures such as Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines and the Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations to protect your
your organization’s finances. The
financial impact of COVID-19 can’t be ignored, but now is the time to protect
your nonprofit organization’s finances. Identify the immediate impact and cost
of different programs and postpone or stop anything that isn’t critical to your
mission. If possible, have six months of financial reserves available. Take
advantage of any additional financial assistance available and consider
reaching out to current donors for support.
your people. Employees and
volunteers are essential to a nonprofit’s mission, so it is important to
protect them. Make sure teams have tools needed to continue work, including
technology for working remotely and protective gear if needed.
communication open. Quick
and clear communication is essential during a crisis. Be transparent and
communicate more than necessary to make sure all stakeholders stay informed.
Messages should be appropriately tailored for each constituency, including
employees, donors, beneficiaries, and board members.
sure your infrastructure is secure. Nonprofits
must operate strategically to continue to fulfill their missions, and proper
infrastructure is necessary. A crisis provides an opportunity to assess your
organization’s technological resources and cybersecurity efforts, to ensure
private information is protected.
adaptable. During challenging
and uncertain times, organizations must stay adaptable. Pause and stay focused
on the purpose and priorities of the organization. Listen to constituents to
determine what is needed. Make sure your efforts are supporting the
organization’s mission. If you didn’t already have crisis management tools in
place, this is the time to create a contingency plan to help your organization
Nonprofits are uniquely equipped to
solve problems in a way that other organizations aren’t. Staying focused on
mission and applying these best practices can help your organization weather a
Every situation is different, but we are monitoring the most recent developments and will provide updated COVID-19 information as it becomes available. Please contact the professionals at BSB with questions. We are here to help.