Each nonprofit needs to assess its unique operational challenges on a number of factors that include service model, staff composition and geographic location. In addition to thinking through operational contingencies, leaders should identify effective ways to disseminate accurate information to staff, board, donors and populations served by the organization.1 Best practices for operations and communications in uncertain times include:
- Remain in close communication with all staff members to express concern for them and inform them as new information emerges.
- Implement long-term operational contingencies such as ongoing remote work options, split operations and shifts where feasible.
- Find and leverage 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 what 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 exist2
- Be present on social media with a clear, aligned message.