Each nonprofit will face operational challenges depending on a variety of factors, including its service model, staff composition and geographic location. In addition to thinking through operational contingencies, leaders should also identify effective ways to disseminate accurate information to staff, board, donors and populations served by the organization.2 Best practices for operations and communications in a time of uncertainty include:
- Communicate to staff your concern for them and inform them about best health practices.
- Consider and implement operational contingencies such as work-from-home, split operations and shifts if feasible.
- Find and leverage free/low-cost technology platforms for remote access or virtual meetings.
- Review key contracts to understand your risks, rights and obligations.
- Make a checklist of key stakeholders, then communicate how important they are to you, how their well-being is top of mind, and the preparations you’re making.
- Understand how your organization’s programs might respond to reduced staff scenarios, quarantines or other operationally disruptive situations.
- Find adjacent allies in the community and/or within the government and communicate your constituents’ evolving needs.
- Strive to be clear about the communities you reach out to and the languages in which you speak, in order to understand where gaps might exist.3
- Be present on social media with a clear, aligned message.