Nonprofit Resources of Relevance – Issue 6

As workplaces begin planning to reopen, leaders are grappling with how best to keep staff safe. Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts Erin Bromage’s recent blog post, “The Risks – Know Them – Avoid Them” explains how people become infected and transmit the coronavirus in various settings like public bathrooms, offices, houses of worship, funerals, and at home via sharing a take-out meal. It’s an important read for decision makers as they consider how best to return to work safely.

Welcome to this week’s edition of Resources of Relevance
(COVID-19-related Resources to Help You Sustain Your Nonprofit through the Pandemic.

In addition to my experience in nonprofit management, I have a history of developing and implementing natural and human-caused disaster preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation programming to support nonprofit organizations. My ultimate goal of this work is to minimize interruptions in service provision while supporting staff well-being and their ability to sustain services. I have worked with nonprofits immediately following Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy, and countless domestic violence homicides. Although each tragedy was different in its magnitude, breadth and impact, there were similarities among them all, especially regarding the impact on survivors’ mental health. On May 20th, in partnership with Rotary Charities, I’ll be hosting a virtual learning workshop on my lessons learned as well as strategies to support staff mental health and well-being during the pandemic. 

Please join me! Details on how to register are included in the Leadership section below

Also, I want to let you know that I’m taking a brief break next week to focus on a writing project, the upcoming virtual training I just told you about and, most importantly, to practice a full day of self-care. I’ve decided to take my birthday off with hopes of spending as much time outside as possible, pending Mother Nature’s influence. So, next week you will not receive a Resources of Relevance. I will be back the following with links to new and useful information to help you navigate the deluge of tools out there.

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!

– Julie Ann



I love collecting data to help me tailor training and technical assistance. Surveying folks before I show up helps me individualize the support I provide and gives me a current snapshot of where people stand around whatever issue I’m asked to help with. Data certainly has it’s limitations, that’s for certain, but another way to put it to good use is to guide fundraising strategies. TechSoup put together a few practical tips to leverage data to drive fundraising results. “Tips for Using Data to Drive Fundraising Strategies TechSoup” may be found here:

Nonprofit Hub has compiled on-demand webinars and other resources on fund development during crisis. I recommend listening to “Fundraising through Fear and Uncertainty” hosted by fundraising consultant and founder of Girlstart Rachel Muir. She shares ways to help fundraise “bravely in turbulent waters.”  One of the things she said stuck with me. Her current mantra for all nonprofits is “My mission didn’t stop…neither should my fundraising.” So true, but sometimes easier said than done. Click here to listen to her recommendations:

If you are considering engaging your donors and supporters in an emergency e-appeal, but don’t have experience in designing one, this 15- minute video offers some options and considerations.  In this introductory video, Steven Screen shares his suggestions on how to write an emergency e-appeal in eight simple steps using a real life example he recently created.



Here are the details of next week’s “Phases of Disaster Management & Essential Considerations for Today’s Leaders” virtual workshop I mentioned in my introduction. In this interactive virtual learning experience, we will explore: impacts and opportunities during each phase of disaster management, individual, collective and historical trauma, specific ways to support staff mental health and well-being during the pandemic, caring for yourself while supporting your staff, and a summary of available supports.

Please join me on May 20 from 1-2:30pm. Register for this free workshop here:

Erin Bromage has a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology and is an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts. Although he claims not to be an expert in coronaviruses, I have found his blog posts on COVID-19 to be fascinating and extremely informational. I chose to add one in particular to this week’s issue because he offers important considerations for employers as offices begin to reopen. For example, in the most recent post, “The Risks – Know Them – Avoid Them” he explains how people become infected and transmit the virus in various settings like public bathrooms, offices, houses of worship, funerals, and at home via sharing a take-out meal. He even provides detailed seating charts to illustrate how people working at a call center transferred the virus to each other.

The intensity of decision-making during unpredictable times may seem debilitating and the stakes are often high, but many decisions during a crisis must be made swiftly despite the stress we’re facing. According to this Fast Company article, stress affects our ability to make the best decisions, but there are some strategies to help you overcome its impact.” “7 Tricks for Making Good Decisions in Times of Crisis” offers ideas people may take to help bolster their decision-making ability.



When writing this, the United States had documented 1.3 million+ cases of coronavirus and 83, 282 deaths. Astounding. Over 30 million people have lost their jobs. Staggering. Preliminary federal mortality data indicate that people of color are dying in disproportionate numbers. Unacceptable.

Nonprofit Quarterly is hosting a conversation on how nonprofits and movement activists are advancing strategies to address the economic and social inequalities of our time. They will discuss COVID-19, nonprofits and the economy to shed light on how nonprofits and social movements are navigating this moment in time to build the foundation for lasting economic systems change. “System Change: COVID, Nonprofits & the Economy: A Roundtable Discussion” will be held on May 21st at 2pm ET.

Register here:

The fact that black Americans are being disproportionately impacted with higher infection rates, more deaths and greater job loss is not a surprise; however, many white Americans are expressing shock. This should come as no surprise. According to a piece from The Conversation titled, “Black Americans Are Bearing the Brunt of Coronavirus Recession” written by a former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor under the Clinton administration, this inequity is not new news. In fact, the same dynamic has been going on at times of crisis for decades AND generations. History has shown that black Americans consistently bear the brunt of recessions and natural disasters. Learn more here:



I found this excerpt from an article written by medical educators from Michigan State University (MSU) interesting and worth my attention, “As millions across the U.S. prepare to return to work – and maybe, a level of normalcy – the phrase, ‘We’re all in this together,’ heard constantly in the media, turns out to be both true and untrue. Yes, the pandemic is a global experience. But it’s also very much an individual enterprise.”

Everyone responds to disasters differently. Many will experience an increase in depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health challenges. Thankfully there are things individuals can do to help themselves, and things organizations can do to help others. This article outlines strategies for individuals as well as ways organizations can help staff and the people they serve. I agree with their advice and will share similar strategies during next week’s virtual training. Here’s a great take-away the MSU educators offered in their article, “Make sure employees are psychologically safe. Listen to the people who work for you. Don’t dismiss their thoughts, concerns, feelings or experiences; ask them what they need. You may not be able to do everything they ask, but do what you can. Be trustworthy, transparent and do what you say you’re going to do.

Another way to support staff is to orient them on how to provide basic emotional and practical support such learning how to provide Psychological First Aid (PFA). PFA is a humane, supportive, and practical evidence-informed approach to helping people affected by a disastrous event such as a pandemic. It offers a framework for supporting people in ways that respect their dignity, culture and abilities. To learn more about PFA, check out the following resources: Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Public Health Preparedness is offering free online PFA training. Click here for details:
The World Health Organization offers a PFA field guide here:;jsessionid=83D0EB668E0D204CC2C542F120A63B6D?sequence=1



TechSoup has created a free  (normally $110) track of courses to provide information and tools to help continue your transition to working remotely. Even though offices may be opening soon, some employees, such as those that share their compromised immunity with their employers, may need to continue working from home, so this set of courses is still relevant. The track will teach you how to: tech tools, how to boost collaboration and how to ensure information security.

Since we’re on the subject of returning to the office, the New York Times begged the question, What if You Don’t Want to Go Back to the Office? A Gallup poll found a majority of American adults working from home would prefer to continue doing so “as much as possible” after the pandemic. In this piece the tagline reads, “Millions of Americans are taking part in an unprecedented experiment in working from home. Many are happier, more efficient and want to hang on to the benefits when the pandemic ends.” Yikes! I’ve been working from home since moving to the Traverse City area in 2016. I can tell you the positive AND negative aspects of doing so. Read on for some of the benefits as well as first-person accounts of the reasons why many Americans are loving it.

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