Nonprofit Network Blog

It's Time To BREATHE

Thursday, April 30, 2020 1:14 PM | Tracey Wilson (Administrator)

Regina Pinney
Executive Director

It’s time to breathe

Some of us have been holding our breath for so long we are at risk of becoming light headed.  Breathe. Because it’s time to get “back” to work.

We all agree we are in uncharted waters.  Never before have we experienced such a seismic shift in our communities, economy, work, life style and habits.  Soon we will be asked to reemerge from our homes and find a new normal, a new way of life and a new way to work. 

What will be the same – if anything – and how much will have changed? And what are things that will continue to change?

Many experts have assessed the landscape, like The Nonprofit Finance Fund, and SeaChange Capital Partners who have conducted a survey which resulted in some hard truths. Sixty percent of nonprofits reported they were experiencing "destabilizing conditions that threaten long-term financial stability."

NFF COVID-19 Survey and COVID-19 could mean extinction for many charities

Many of us will not survive unless we take very aggressive and proactive measures to protect our futures.  And even then, this virus will take very healthy, young and vibrant nonprofits all too soon. 

OK, breathe. So, what are these measures?

We need to ask ourselves some very hard questions:

  • What will our community need from me? How have their needs changed?
  • What is our contingency plan?
  • Do we dramatically conserve our resources and shrink to have something we can regrow? Run your numbers:  Many ED’s are planning on taking reduced pay, permanent layoffs and closing less critical programs.
  • Do we dramatically grow?  Do you merge with others to reduce administrative costs, take on programs to serve those impacted by these economic conditions?
  • Who should we be partnering with? How can I work to improve this relationship and how can I be the best partner I can be? Who are my partners with risky funding streams that might not be able to maintain our agreements? Are we stronger together?
  • What condition are my donors and funders in?  Are these funding sources in jeopardy of shrinking or are there opportunities to strengthen this partnership? If I don’t know – how would I find out?
  • Strategies here: Prepare Now To Rebuild Your Program and 8 Steps To Prepare For The COVID-19 Reboot

You can also find more ideas and strategies here: COVID-19 Coverage: Financial Sustainability and In Times Of Crisis, Don't Create Your Own 

Reach out to your peers and to us, for support.  We can help you brainstorm, strategize and ensure that you have turned over every leaf and rock. We can help you with the heavy lifting.

Now, breathe. 

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