Seemingly overnight the business and economic landscape has shifted entirely, leaving everyone scrambling, including many small-to-medium-size nonprofit organizations. Up until this point, as long as nonprofits fulfilled a social good and found ways to secure funding, there wasn’t an immediate need to have the resilience of the for-profit sector. But now, having a business continuity plan is essential.
Your organization has probably thought through how to restructure its operations to meet current policies around social distancing, shelter-in-place and work-from-home orders, and has crafted some solutions that will work for the time being. (Check out our previous post on 5 Areas to Build Nonprofit Resilience Now. The biggest question is: What comes next?
Think of the coronavirus crisis as having five distinct phases.
Let’s play with a few scenarios really quick:
Organizations A, B, and C are all small organizations who bring in most of their revenue through a large annual fundraiser, a base of individual donors, and foundation grants. None of them provide critical services like housing, healthcare, or food security, and they all have two month’s worth of operating budgets in the bank.
No one knows the future, but we believe that those nonprofits striving to be more like Organization C have the best opportunity for survival.
That’s where Sangfroid Strategy comes in. This is a scary time, but the most important thing is knowing you’re not alone. How you respond in the warning and survival phases has a direct impact on how your organization arrives at the reinvention phase. Start putting together your continuity business plan now if you haven’t already, and think through the long-term impacts of the decisions you make in the first few phases!