During this time of crisis, one should expect the worst to come as everyone is vulnerable to this new strain of coronavirus. Although you may have no cases of infection in your nonprofit at the moment, you should be vigilant at all times. Expect far-reaching impacts of the virus to the nonprofit sector as potential donors get hit by the loss of businesses and jobs. The damage that the pandemic brings is different than what most nonprofits have experienced before since the effects cut across all sectors, unlike natural disasters, that are mainly bound by geography.
Understand your situation
Before you begin anything, understand the situation of your organization by getting all the information about cash flow. Nonprofits can make the best decisions when there is clear and accurate information about money circulation and cash flow projection in a time of crisis. If your organization has not made cash flow projections, now is the best time. An accurate cash flow projection lets the management and board see if and when the organization may experience shortages of cash so that members of the board can start deciding what to do to solve the problem beforehand.
Establish and monitor your options
As soon as you have understood the current cash flow situation in your organization, plan for different scenarios and gauge what needs to be done for you to continue offering services. Build realistic scenarios of “what ifs” to help in responding to different management and leadership during unpredictable events that may come up. If an organization is faced with a loss of revenue that may affect the payment of employees, there is a need to anticipate how programs and service delivery will be affected and prepare strategies to respond.
Be honest with your donors
If your nonprofit is struggling financially or operationally, it is always important to be honest with your donors about the challenges you are experiencing and what you require to remain afloat. Although this can be difficult, explain how the unforeseen circumstances have affected your operations and a plan that you are working on to ensure things work. In a time like this, when many people are facing countless challenges, it can be challenging to get all the help you need. However, some people are ready to listen and provide grants that can help cover the financial burden that your organization is carrying.
Communication is key to everything. Bring staff, funders, and board up to speed on the current situation in the organization and what you require to do to respond to the needs. Communicating ensures that everyone plays their part to achieve goals and keep going. You may need to persuade them to work extra hard to achieve more during extraordinary circumstances and motivate them to be time conscious.
Keep reminding them that the organization is at a unique territory and how their help is needed to steer things even when the situation does not permit.