The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way that the world operates, and it is unlikely to change significantly in the near-term. How will these changes affect how nonprofits function once the worst of the pandemic has passed? Here are four key issues to watch and consider.
Social distancing measures and regulatory stipulations have drastically reduced the ability of organizations to hold in-person meetings and events. For the near future, this will continue to limit the ability of nonprofits to host fundraisers, hold charitable events and have in-person meetings with staff and volunteers to discuss the organization’s operations.
Going forward, it may be necessary for nonprofits to find ways to implement safety protocols, such as social distancing in the office, coronavirus testing for live events or alternative meeting formats like virtual gatherings.
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a significant shift in how teams work together. Now more than ever, teams are being required to work remotely, which impacts working relationships between the organization’s team members and the people and organizations they serve. Many nonprofits have had reductions in staff or have reduced the number of hours worked by their staff, which has resulted in other team members working more hours.
Nonprofit educational institutions have been especially impacted by the pandemic. Many organizations have moved to virtual learning rather than in-person teaching. This has resulted in necessary technology upgrades for both students and faculty. In some cases, students have been forced to unenroll and may not know when they will be able to return to learning. A lasting effect may be the decision to continue with a hybrid teaching plan—even long after the pandemic has passed.
Team members working for nonprofits will have to learn how to connect with each other in different ways, whether people choose to work remotely or head back to the office once restrictions are relaxed. Going forward, nonprofits may need to upgrade their technology to allow for virtual collaboration. To do so, they will need to determine the impact of these costs on the organization’s ongoing operations.
COVID-19 will change the way that nonprofits fund their operations for the foreseeable future. For example, organizations will likely have increased costs resulting from new technology, insurance, testing and prevention. On the other hand, some of the increased costs may be mitigated by a reduction in travel expenses and the cost of office space, especially if some employees continue to work remotely.
Another challenge facing nonprofits is hiring the right people. Individuals that want to work in the nonprofit sector are usually dedicated to the organization and its mission, but with fewer financial resources, it can be harder to attract those talented people. The organization must provide an engaging work experience for those team members that allows them to focus on the reason they love their work.
Many people have shifted their priorities to focus more on themselves and their families, because they may be feeling afraid, anxious and a bit overwhelmed. As a result, this is a great time to remind people how charitable giving or volunteering at a nonprofit can make them feel good again. Show them how they can help and be part of something that gives back to their communities.
Ability to Fundraise
One of the most significant impacts stemming from the coronavirus pandemic will be the ability of nonprofits to raise funds to support the organization’s mission. A significant number of fundraisers or events have been postponed or canceled. Donors may be more limited in their ability to support the nonprofit’s causes due to reductions in their own personal finances. Even though the organization might not be able to host in-person events, it doesn’t necessarily mean canceling all of the organization’s fundraisers or events. Organizations are adjusting their fundraising methods by using virtual events, such as online auctions, to raise money.
Additionally, nonprofits may now be required to change the way they prioritize their resources and assess their current charitable mission given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Charities are helping people in need during the pandemic, including expanding or creating new specialized services for emergency and key workers.
Nonprofit boards will need to assess their current charitable strategies, budget and fundraising forecasts in light of the changed environment. They may want to (a) consider different ways to provide their services by working with other organizations with similar goals to help to reduce any substantial loss of funding, (b) expand their reach and impact, or (c) use this moment to call for systemic change, all of which may affect the Nonprofit’s mission.
Even though nonprofit organizations are facing a number of challenges, it doesn’t mean you have to halt your efforts altogether. Now is the time to adapt to changing demands and expectations, which can help your organization position itself for continued success in a post-COIVD world.
If you have any questions regarding the impact of the coronavirus on your organization or you would like to learn more about our services, please feel free to contact us for more information.
David Ovesen | Not-for-Profit Niche
214-461-1443 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
LGT's Profit Sense
Financial Tips from Your Trusted Advisor
Keeping you up to date with: