Non-profit Strategy Development and Program Planning – Leading with Less Risk

COVID19 is an unprecedented world event. It has drained out economies, transformed the work culture, and has changed life as we know it.

While much of the global attention is focused on the impact of the pandemic on the health of economies, there is a major crisis brewing in the non-profit sector. While the need for humanitarian programs has never been more acute, the non-profit organizations driving them are facing a severe resource crunch. In such a scenario, to maintain the continuity of operations, they have to plan for the future and design strategies that enable them to thrive in an increasingly uncertain future while minimizing the risks that face them.

Here are the post-COVID19 trends that the non-profits can expect to see and the best way to take advantage of them.

Digital Transformation – From Want to Need

Digital transformation is enveloping businesses at all levels, from sales to operations to marketing.

For non-profits, digital transformation has been traditionally eyed as an expense that diverts funds from the core service delivery. However, in the pandemic era, when the field operations are halted, and the employees are quarantined at home, digital transformation offers the only solution to uphold the organization’s mission.

The management should develop an organization-wide technology and communications strategy to drive its growth during this period. From emails to texts to Zoom calls, and more, there are multiple channels of communication that can be employed. The security of the mode should be ascertained as per the level of sensitivity of the information to be shared. The arguments for digital transformation far outweigh the counterarguments. Digital transformation is a need of the hour.

Diversifying the Source of Revenue

A 2019 report by the National Council of Non-Profits states that 80 cents per dollar of a non-profit’s revenue comes from government grants, as fees for services or via contract payments. In the post-COVID world, the primary focus of the government will be on recharging the economy, which can mean significant cutbacks in spending on such programs.

In order to buffer your organization against a financial shock, there are multiple measures that you may have already taken. However, a strategic shift or at least diversification of revenue sources is critical. Despite its jarring impact on non-profit’s operations, COVID19 has once again put light on the critical nature of their services. The management should focus on riding this wave and expanding the donations from private contributors. It will not just make the organization survive in the short-term, but also help it in improving its reach.

Instilling Faith in Employees

Non-profits hold the distinction of employing the third largest workforce in the US with 12.3 million employees. With limited revenue potential, the first natural step towards cost-cutting seems to be letting people go. However, that does not speak highly of a charitable organization.

There is a cash-flow crunch that can be resolved by deferring payments, proposing reduced salaries, prioritizing salaries of frontline workers over top management, and so on. Instead of firing employees, consider retraining them to work from home. Remote work has yielded good results for companies across industries, and it should work well in the non-profit sector as well.

COVID-19 is a challenging time for non-profit organizations. But right strategies executed at the right time can dramatically change the extent to which COVID19 impacts their present and future. For more professional advice and a FREE consultation, contact Springs of Hope Consulting.

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