The Leadership and Policy section of this week’s RoR is full of vital advice for any nonprofit decision maker. For example, the Harvard Business Review’s “How to Talk to Your Team When the Future is Uncertain” answers questions such as, “What information — and how much of it — should you share with your reports about the health of your organization?” Read on for excellent advice.
Welcome to this week’s edition of Resources of Relevance
(COVID-19-related Resources to Help You Sustain Your Nonprofit through the Pandemic.)
In the third edition of Resources of Relevance, you will find a curated selection of articles and blog posts I think you’ll find helpful while you navigate the challenges the pandemic has created for our nonprofit sector. One of my goals of this weekly compilation is to reduce the amount of time it takes to sift through your overflowing inbox for resources that are truly valuable and worth your time. The last thing you have time to do is be distracted by a link that offers you no new or beneficial information.
Thank you for taking a look and please share with your colleagues.
May you remain healthy and know you are greatly appreciated.
We will get through this together!
FUND DEVELOPMENT, MARKETING & FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY
In this recent post, Classy stresses the importance of figuring out a nonprofit’s strategy to maintain email marketing during the pandemic. They’ve assembled “7 Emails Your Nonprofit Can Send During the COVID-19 Outbreak” so your supporters remain well-informed. I appreciated the real-time examples from nonprofits throughout the U.S. https://www.classy.org/blog/email-marketing-during-a-pandemic-coronavirus/
If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further, this piece by We Forum, hosted by the World Economic Forum, shares worldwide examples of creative and successful fundraising strategies nonprofits have fashioned the past few weeks. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/coronavirus-covid19-charity-lockdown-fundraising/
Financial management expert Hilda Polanco suggests key considerations for nonprofits in the blogpost, “Managing Nonprofit Finances During the Coronavirus Crisis” by the Wallace Foundation‘s Wallace Blog. The article examines key financial considerations for nonprofits. What I like most about it are the many links to a wide range of fiscal management tools. https://www.wallacefoundation.org/news-and-media/blog/pages/managing-nonprofit-finances-during-the-coronavirus-crisis.aspx
The Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) conducted a brief survey of nonprofit leaders to help inform funders and investors of what they can do to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and recover and build resilience afterward. The survey data includes “stories from the frontlines that may be used to advocate for actions that will ensure nonprofits can continue to provide vital services that enrich the wellbeing, health, and safety of people across the United States.” Find the survey results here: https://nff.org/covid-19-survey-results
If you are a nonprofit that serves older adults, check out the National Council on Aging’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund. The fund was created to “raise and distribute grants to qualified local nonprofits that are meeting the critical needs of older adults, allowing them to stay safe, secure, and healthy in their own homes during the crisis as well as help hard-hit community-based organizations that directly serve older adults during the pandemic.” An application process with formal instructions on how to apply will be forthcoming. If you have questions, please email: ResponseFund@ncoa.org. For more details, go here: https://www.ncoa.org/covid-19/covid-19-community-response-fund/
LEADERSHIP & POLICY
The Chronicle of Philanthropy offers critical considerations for nonprofits as they endure financial stress during and beyond COVID-19. Examples include, “Board members can be key advisers as groups grapple with uncertainty in this fast-moving, disruptive crisis” and, “If groups must lay off employees, they should consider many factors when choosing whom to let go.” The article also explores ways to reduce payroll costs. “Facing Financial Stress, Nonprofits Lay Off Workers” can be found here: https://www.philanthropy.com/article/Facing-Financial-Stress/248500?utm_source=Iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=campaign_1156697&cid=pw&source=ams&sourceId=5221913
As someone that has led crisis response teams in the field post-human-made and natural disasters, I know good disaster-related leadership advice vs. bad — much of which I learned from my own mistakes! This article is one of the best I’ve seen on the topic in some time. The Harvard Business Review’s “How to Talk to Your Team When the Future is Uncertain” answers questions such as, “What information — and how much of it — should you share with your reports about the health of your organization?” Read on for some solid advice: https://hbr.org/2020/04/how-to-talk-to-your-team-when-the-future-is-uncertain
The Chronicle of Philanthropy posted a guest piece by authors from SeaChange Capital, a nonprofit lender, grant maker, and consultancy that has worked with many nonprofits in crisis. They have compiled advice into a new report, “8 Steps Nonprofits Should Take Now to Survive the Pandemic Fallout.” Check out their recommendations by clicking:
And, for more details about each of the eight steps outlined in the Chronicle’s piece above, check out SeaChange Capital’s report, “Tough Times Call for Tough Action.” Prepare yourself, this is a sobering report with clearcut and intense calls to action that summarizes the advice SeaChange has been offering to nonprofits as well as best practices they have witnessed in the field in response to COVID-19. http://gd7xi2tioeh408c7o34706rc-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/COVID-19-Nonprofit-Decision-Framework.pdf?utm_source=First+Read+Newsletters&utm_campaign=53c26797ba-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_04_01_11_56&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_252d
In an upcoming free webinar, “Scenario Planning During Moments of Crisis, The Bridgespan Group will share strategies and tactics to help nonprofit leaders be effective financial and organizational stewards during this moment of uncertainty. You’ll find the link to register for the May 7th webinar as well as other resources on The Bridgespan Group’s website: https://www.bridgespan.org/?gclid=CjwKCAjw1v_0BRAkEiwALFkj5iy-PIvhKNHIput0SyuLUf4s0vmtsy-Wd–AIHV9UYiU6lZ4m7QnihoCvSAQAvD_BwE
EQUITY, INCLUSION, & SOCIAL JUSTICE
This WIRED post written by Assistant Professor at Brown University, C. Brandon Ogbunu, explores “How Social Distancing Became Social Justice.” Here’s an excerpt to spark your interest in this critical examination of the impact the coronavirus has on vulnerable individuals. “While the contagiousness estimates and predictions for worldwide spread may have been humbling, the notion that the virus driving Covid-19 manifests as mild symptoms in most people infected (~80 percent) created a sense of social comfort in many. And while the average case fatality rate for Covid-19 sits near 1 percent, it is far higher for individuals above the age of 70, for those with pre-existing medical conditions, or in poor health. That is, the worst of the disease has been (and will be) experienced by vulnerable populations.” https://www.wired.com/story/opinion-how-social-distancing-became-social-justice/
Touted by critics has having evolved from high fashion to socially conscious reporting, Teen Vogue released a notable piece worth reading and sharing on your socials. “Distance Learning During Coronavirus Worsens Race, Class Inequality in Education: A lack of reliable internet access is only the tip of the iceberg” is an important read that explains the impact of abruptly shifting the U.S. education system online and how resulting challenges on students of color are far more acute. “The lack of reliable internet access and technology is only the tip of the iceberg.” https://www.teenvogue.com/story/distance-learning-low-income-students?fbclid=IwAR1U_EWS4PNeAIQWYapYhXoWVEY1NpcFjDJv6WscRQZbAk0Tw-gZ03nfcIc
I’ve been a fan of Teaching Tolerance for years. I’ve used a countless number of their lesson plans and activities during trainings and when developing curricula. The site is designed for educators; however, their thoughtful pieces are relevant for all. (Possibly even parents that find themselves in the additional role of homeschooler.) If you haven’t checked them out before, please do. Here’s a new installment titled, “How to Respond to Coronavirus Racism.” https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/how-to-respond-to-coronavirus-racism
The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), is dedicated to filling the need for trusted information on national health issues. Their latest brief, “The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use” explores mental health and substance use in light of the spread of coronavirus. Specifically, it discusses the “implications of social distancing practices and the current financial crisis on mental health, as well as challenges to accessing mental health or substance use services.” They draw on data on mental health prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and, where possible, include recent KFF polling data on the mental health effects of the pandemic. https://www.kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/the-implications-of-covid-19-for-mental-health-and-substance-use/
In “Post-pandemic PTSD? Lessons from a marathon bombing survivor,” the Associated Press interviewed marathoner Bobby O’Donnell who, in 2013, was nearing the finish line of the Boston Marathon when the terrorist bombing killed three people. In this short piece, O’Donnell shares his experience with PTSD and offers advice for people navigating the stress and trauma around COVID-19. https://apnews.com/a27b7efe6ce1be3f0d665db812f5061a
If you haven’t already heard, last week Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a new website that will provide mental health resources for Michiganders to access for free during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you missed the UpNorthLive article, click here:
https://upnorthlive.com/news/coronavirus/state-launches-new-website-to-help-michiganders-with-mental-health-during-covid-19 Use this link to utilize the “Stay Home, Stay Mindful” website, created in partnership with Headspace: https://www.headspace.com/mi
Child & Family Services of Northwest Michigan responded quickly to the increased need for mental health services in the NW MI region by offering new, affordable telehealth counseling sessions with compassionate, licensed therapists. Most insurance plans are accepted and services are provided on a sliding scale to ensure affordability. If you or someone you know would benefit from this new service, call (231) 946-8975 ext. 1060 to schedule an appointment or learn more
WORKING FROM HOME
Social isolation is a real threat to the wellbeing and performance of remote workers, but according to the following article, it’s fortunately preventable! Check out the following link to read Zarvana‘s advice on “How to Overcome the Social Isolation of Remote Work.” https://www.zarvana.com/how-to-overcome-the-social-isolation-of-remote-work/?utm_source=Zarvana+Time-Saving+Newsletter&utm_campaign=25c9657106-Newsletter_2020-04-16_VPC_Re-send&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b1f5e07f44-25c9657106-112459799
Some of the best personal and professional advice I’ve ever received was to never compare suffering. Harvard Business Review’s “Ascend” applies this concept to co-workers during the time of COVID-19. Here’s an excerpt that I’ve been thinking about nonstop since I first read the article, “One of the recurring comments I’ve seen on social media when people complain about what they’re going through is something along the lines of: ‘At least you’re not working in healthcare right now’…that kind of comparison can be ‘brutally diminishing.’ People mistakenly think they are giving some much-needed perspective. But it doesn’t alleviate the distress, it just adds a level of judgment and guilt, and exacerbates the pain…there are myriad forms of hardship and ‘compassion doesn’t involve judging the relevance of another’s suffering.’” If you are interested in hearing more, here’s the link to: “What Your Coworkers Need Right Now is Compassion”: https://hbrascend.org/topics/what-your-coworkers-need-right-now-is-compassion/?display=popup&utm_source=Facebook_website&medium=website_share&fbclid=IwAR2DxAiUhd2kOF5Wtblq77UlQ-8kxrM9y_s_S5-ABYUzXf4ysazJRuaiMKg