In the past month, nonprofits and ministries have fast-tracked efforts to digitize their operations to support remote working, while having to rethink how they can somehow fill the immediate gaps of mission delivery, revenue and the needs of their people.
While organizations will likely be impacted by this economic downturn for quite some time, we want to talk about how to be a resilient organization so you can continue making an impact through your mission.
Let’s review 4 major focus areas on developing a strategy for success in times of major challenge:
- Your People
Internal (your staff): You need to keep your people connected during this time of remote working. Find ways to ensure your teams feel like they are still part of something that matters, while continuing to enforce your organizational culture digitally. This will help tremendously when it’s finally time to come back to the office ensuring your teams don’t miss a beat.
External (your donors and beneficiaries): Make sure you’re still communicating with your donors about what you’re doing amidst this crisis. Maybe you’re finding creative ways to continue your mission, or maybe instead you’re finding ways to solve issues of the pandemic. Don’t assume your donors know what you’re doing. Communicate and remain top of mind, even though you may not be doing what you expected prior to this trying time.
- Your Funding
Now, more than ever, you’re likely seeing the benefit of having a diverse donor-base. If your nonprofit relies solely on major gifts or grants for its funding, during times of crisis many major givers press pause due to uncertainty. You need to have many revenue streams to tap into during times like these, inviting a large pool of donors into your campaign efforts. Even if you think your major gifts will never dry up, it’s wise to expand your donor development efforts.
- Mission and Expenses
Mission: Don’t stop. Your nonprofit exists for a reason, right? There is a need that you are helping to fill, and it’s very likely that this need did not disappear amidst the pandemic. The world needs you to continue doing everything you can to continue your work.
Expenses: During a time of crisis, such as the Covid-19 Pandemic, it’s time to review and assess all of your expenses. Look at which expenses are vital and which ones can likely pause until further notice. Adjusting to remote work and virtual operations has likely eliminated certain needs (while also adding some others).
- Your Data
Data is king. While many organizations are tempted to cut efforts and expenses surrounding data capture and continuing good data hygiene, keep those efforts up to your best ability. You want to make sure your data is current and effective, especially when it comes time to tap into your list segments, targeting particular donors or participants in your mission. When your communication methods and fundraising strategies shift to accommodate crisis, you’ll be ready.
While “business as usual” looks very different right now, it’s important that you continue to focus on the above areas to have a solid foundation for when times like these happen. Whether the crisis is internal or external, you’ll be set and ready to take on the challenge with gusto. We’re here for you. We still believe in you. Keep doing what you do to make the world a better place.