FPLG COVID-19 RESPONSE
[UPDATE: June 24, 2020]
“Nonprofit leaders need to keep reminding themselves,” advises expert Alan Cantor, “that this is an unprecedented time.” And “more than one person has joked,” he explains, about “returning to a time … that’s precedented.”
The pre-COVID-19 body of crisis-management literature continues to grow during these strange and unsettling times. But it seems that there are more and more questions, and few satisfying or definitive answers.
Just as we had begun to acknowledge the stark reality that our new “normal” of quarantine and lock-down could last many months, there was an abrupt shift in May. Suddenly – and against the advice of health experts – all 50 states moved into multi-stage “reopenings.”
There were warnings that premature action might spur new infection hot spots resulting in the need to rollback reopening permissions. We’re already seeing the validity of these predictions with disturbing disease trends and statistics in many states and some key turnabouts by political leaders in those jurisdictions.
These fluid and unfamiliar circumstances present even more of a challenge for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021 than would have been the case under a steady, albeit grim, reality of a long-term, shut-down nation.
While there’s been an extraordinary financial response from the government, it’s not nearly enough to meet the needs of the nonprofit community and of its constituents and beneficiaries in the near term. Bureaucratic obstacles and challenges have marred the delivery of this important aid and lawmakers continue to fight over the contours of additional assistance packages.
Nevertheless, in this enormous global crisis, there are already success stories and lessons learned that can be shared.
This section includes more detail in sub-parts: Directors’ Duties Now; Crisis Communications; Crisis Planning; and (the newly added) Reopenings.
[March 31, 2020]
From time to time, individual nonprofits – or all of them in a particular locale – face challenges from natural or man-made disasters, economic turmoil or political instability. And some organizations face emergencies that may have been prevented through proper planning.
There is a body of information known as “crisis management” that collects and analyzes how leaders – governmental, business, or nonprofit – have navigated through uncharted waters.
While the global pandemic is deeper and broader than many of these earlier crises, they provide important lessons for us. The philanthropy sector has been generous in rapidly publishing articles, blog posts, and other advice as well as scheduling free webinars. This knowledge bank can help us, collectively, make our way through the difficult days, weeks, and months ahead.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
In the Tsunami of Reopening Guidelines, Do Any Actually Help? (June 22, 2020) Rob Meiksins, The Nonprofit Quarterly
The Six Biggest Post-Lockdown Challenges for Organisations (June 17, 2020) Lee Seok Hwai, INSEAD Knowledge
Nonprofit Leaders, Get Used to the Uncertainty and Focus on the Big Picture (June 15, 2020) Alan M. Cantor, The Chronicle of Philanthropy
5 Things That Nonprofit Orgs Wish They Knew Three Months Ago (May 29, 2020) Stephanie Kanak, Donor Perfect Blog
Are Nonprofits Ready to Reopen? What Do We Need? (May 14, 2020) Martin Levine, The Nonprofit Quarterly
Nonprofits Produce Unusual Adaptation during the Pandemic—Do You Do This? (May 13, 2020) Ruth McCambridge, The Nonprofit Quarterly
- 15 Leadership Lessons For Nonprofits Navigating A Crisis (May 11, 2020) Forbes Nonprofit Council, Forbes
When to “Return”: Questions Nonprofit Executives Need to Think About (May 5, 2020) Lindsay Tallman, BoardSource Blog
Three Things Nonprofits Should Prioritize in the Wake of COVID-19 (April 30 2020) Amy Celep, Megan Coolidge & Lori Bartczak, Stanford Social Innovation Review
A Compass for the Crisis: Nonprofit Decision Making in the COVID-19 Pandemic (April 29, 2020) Lindsey Waldron & Preeta Nayak, The Bridgespan Group
Are You Responding or Reacting? (April 20, 2020) Lindsay Tallman, BoardSource Blog
Leading Through Crisis: A Conversation with the Man Who Led Limited Brands’ Response to 9/11 (April 14, 2020) Len Schlesinger for The Bridgespan Group
7 Steps for Nonprofits to Manage a Crisis (April 9, 2020) Laurie de Armond & Andrea Wilson, BDO Blog
Nonprofit Crisis Management: A Checklist (April 9, 2020) Frederick S. Lane, The Chronicle of Philanthropy
- Leading An Organization Through the COVID-19 Crisis (March 26, 2020) Phil Buchanan, Center for Effective Philanthropy, BoardSource blog
- COVID-19 and Planning For What Comes Next (March 26, 2020) Jeff Wahlstrom, Starboard Leadership Consulting, Maine Association of Nonprofits Blog
- Eight Steps for Managing Through Tough Times (updated March 2020) The Bridgespan Group
- What Nonprofit Board Members Should Be Doing Right Now to Address the COVID-19 Situation (March 16, 2020) Joy Folkedal & Lindsay Tallman, BoardSource Blog