[UPDATE: October 21, 2020]

With the pandemic crisis moving into the winter months, nonprofits are adjusting to the reality that some or all remote operations may be necessary into 2021. Surveys show that many organizations are considering continuing with some virtual activities (including having certain employees off-site) even after the COVID-19 danger lessens. Recent high-profile computer breaches, though, have underscored the importance of strengthening cyber security protections especially since the technology and data management functions have been largely decentralized.


[UPDATE: May 26, 2020]

Nonprofits are generally adapting to the use of telecommunications for their business operations as well as for meetings, programs, and events. It’s an open question if organizations will choose to continue remote operations will continue, in whole or in part, when the pandemic subsides.


[April 6, 2020]

While moving towards a remote workforce may have been an option a month ago, many nonprofits that don’t conduct “essential services” have now been required to move entirely offsite and online.

This sudden shift raises enormous operational and technological challenges. Happily, many service providers and consultants are offering temporary free information, advice, and platforms to get hooked up virtually.

There are other new challenges: first, creating or adapting telecommuting policies to fit these extraordinary circumstances, and second, defending against cyber attacks and other breaches of data privacy and security, as well as the threat of internal wrongdoing like embezzlement.


Contact FPLG (619) 780.3839

The sudden move to remote operations was just one aspect of this enormous pandemic calamity. Initially, the focus was on the daunting details of hooking up and configuring electronic and communications hardware and software in millions of private homes….The matter of security, though, was – in many instances – forgotten entirely, underestimated or misunderstood, or brushed aside until later; … a big problem.

— Linda J. Rosenthal, J.D., FPLG Blog (10/21/20)

Virtual work can easily zap our energy and drain our emotions bringing on a type of malaise called “Virtual or Zoom Fatigue.”

— Beth Kantor (4/30/20)

Emergencies can create scenarios where it is tempting to disregard fundamental internal controls …. If anything, crisis scenarios require more care with respect to internal controls ….

— Wagenmaker & Oberly (3/20)

Malicious cyber actors could take advantage of public concern surrounding COVID-19 by conducting phishing attacks ….

— DHS, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency



Remote-Work Costs: Must Nonprofit Reimburse?

[June 5, 2020] Among the many adjustments that employers - including nonprofits - have had to make during the COVID-19 pandemic is the abrupt switch to remote work for some or all of their employees. That includes making sure that everyone in the workforce has needed hardware, software, and internet and phone connectivity.  California is among the jurisdictions that initiated early and mandatory stay-at-home orders for a large portion of the population and economy. There [...]

Filing Deadlines Extended for Nonprofit Organizations

[April 24, 2020] By the third week of March 2020, governments at all levels had begun to respond to the many questions and issues raised by the COVID-19 emergency, including - most notably - the curtailment or suspension of operations and activities by individuals and entities on account of new stay-at-home orders  and recommendations.  The necessary federal emergency declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Act was made in mid-March. The [...]

UPDATE: The CARES Act and Nonprofits

[March 27, 2020] The third prong of the Congressional response to the COVID-19 pandemic - the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (S. 747) - is now before the House of Representatives, having passed the Senate on Wednesday. The House is expected to approve it today with overwhelming support; voting is expected to begin shortly.  It could be signed at the White House and in effect before the end of this weekend. [...]

Some Good News: Funders are Stepping Up

Ten days ago, we posted Funders Must Step Up - Right Now! (March 16, 2020).   That same morning, influential blogger Vu Le had posted Funders, this is the rainy day you have been saving up for. Mr. Le has long been a vocal critic of many foundations’ viewing the five percent payout figure in the tax code as a ceiling instead of what it is: a floor.  During that week, as most of us were [...]

Nonprofit Board Meetings in an Emergency

The devastating pandemic has brought sudden and profound challenges for all of us.  In What Nonprofit Board Members Should Be Doing Right Now to Address the COVID-19 Situation, (March 16, 2020), the experts from BoardSource write:  “As the world responds to the threats of COVID-19, many nonprofits and their boards are wrestling with difficult questions and decisions.”  A rewrite of that sentence may be in order; every nonprofit and its board is flying blind in [...]

The Charitable Sector: COVID-19 Relief and Economic Stimulus Package

America's charities request $60 billion infusion of support to help the most vulnerable March 18, 2020 The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic facing the country is having a profound impact on the economy and has greatly expanded the need for charitable organizations to provide additional services in an unprecedented manner. At the same time, the economic downturn will undoubtedly result in a contraction in contributions and other sources of revenue which are the lifeblood of many charitable [...]

Coronavirus and Nonprofits: Challenges & Resources

What a difference a week makes. Last week, the news media focused on the minutiae of the primary-election horse race. This week, Americans have been forced to confront the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For the nonprofit sector, the emergency becomes a double-barreled crisis: we are both victims and saviors. This is not an unfamiliar conundrum; there are frequent natural disasters that devastate one area or another. This nation’s charitable organizations - and, in particular, the social [...]

Funders Must Step Up – Right Now!

“Funders,” writes nonprofit blogger Vu Le, “this is the rainy day you have been saving up for.”  Recently, we wrote about Mr. Le’s earlier plea for America’s foundations to step up their payouts beyond the “five percent rule” in the federal tax code. In an article last summer, he characterized it as a moral imperative: The ethical argument for foundations to increase their annual payout rate beyond 5% (August 4, 2019). This morning, it’s a [...]

Small Business Association Disaster Loan Guidance and Resources

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has an existing program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, that extends disaster relief loans to small businesses, including nonprofits, to help alleviate economic injury caused by disasters.  On Thursday, March 12, 2020, the SBA announced that the program will be available to claims arising from COVID-19.  The SBA will work with state officials to offer loans of up to $2 million.  “These loans may be used to pay [...]

Go to Top