As we write this, both Federal and State Governments are creating plans to open up the cities and, in turn, the economy. The decisions made by our government in the coming weeks will impact everything about our lives in the future. From our ability to remain healthy to the health of our economy, as Americans and global citizens, we are at a precarious point. Scientific experts warn that relaxing social distancing measures too quickly could lead to disaster, while financial experts warn that the working class can only hold out a few more weeks financially.
At this perilous point, we want to explore with you what this could mean for nonprofit organizations in the coming months and highlight a few steps you can take now to prepare.
Apply for Aid
In the past month, Area and Community Foundations have been rushing to develop COVID-19 emergency funds. These funds offer different levels of assistance and require different qualifications from applying organizations. Additionally, some of these emergency funds are planning difference phases throughout the year, to disseminate grants to assist with recovery.
Aside from applying for granting funds, there are loan opportunities that offer funds, some of which are forgivable. Take a better look at your options on our COVID-19 resource page and don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help with grant or loan applications.
One of the most difficult issues many organizations face is continuing to raise funds after the initial influx of donations, in response to this disaster, subside. This is further compounded by the economic recession. We are all realizing that gatherings are not on the table for now, and potentially for the rest of the calendar year. If fundraising events are a major component of your development plan, it is likely time to pivot and begin to brainstorm ways to create meaningful virtual fundraisers. As with all fundraising events, it is crucial to show donors the impact that their dollars have on your organization's mission. When going virtual, this becomes even more crucial. You will need testimonials and strong messaging to stand out from the crowd. It’s never too soon to start crafting your narrative.
Check out our piece on Virtual Fundraising for additional tips.
Adapt Your Policies
While right now may not be the most ideal time to do intensive work, an important review of your paid time off (PTO) and sick time policies is necessary. With COVID-19 remaining a continuous threat in the foreseeable future, is your organization and your staff protected with your current policies? Flexibility will be key in the coming days and it is vital to encourage planning across departments in the event that an employee may need extended sick leave. This sort of future planning can keep your organization running smoothly, while enabling employees to feel supported.
When shaping new policies review the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which will remain in effect through the end of 2020.
Plan for Future Stay-at-Home Orders
Taking a whole team virtual very quickly, like many organizations and businesses did last month, can really take a toll on productivity and morale. With so many potential unknowns in the future, now might be a good time to enhance your ability to work as a virtual team. There are some helpful products that enable any team to work seamlessly together virtually. Project Management software, such as Asana and Trello, helps keep everyone on task, even when hours have become irregular. Zoom is everyone’s go-to right now for virtual conferencing, but there are other options, including Whereby, Microsoft Teams, and others.
Planning for the future might seem like a daunting task, but it is necessary. Planning helps operations run smoothly and provide security to your team. If we can help with your grant writing or loan applications to lighten your load, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Right now, through July 31, 2020, we are offering flexible pricing on our hourly rate to help organizations like yours. Give us a call or shoot us an email to set up your free consultation.