Not For Profit organizations will face a vastly different landscape when the Great Social Distancing ends. What  planning steps should NFPs consider for that eventuality?

  1. Liquidity management will be key.  Many NFPs are perennially underfunded and used to living from “paycheck to paycheck”. The situation will be even more acute as an organization attempts to ramp up operations.  The danger is the desire to resume operations may outstrip funding. Discretionary spending should be kept to a minimum until it becomes apparent a “Second Wave” of Corona Virus is not coming.   NFPs should evaluate drawdowns on any available lines of credit and the status of any receivables outstanding.  If an NFP doesn’t have a line of credit and is financially stable it should consider applying for one when it can. 
  2. Monitor all possible government assistance plans announced in the future.  The first assistance to small business programs enacted by Congress lapsed as of the date of this blog.  The funds provided by the CARES Act  have been completely dispersed.  Management should keep an eye out for future aid programs or announced by the Administration.
  3. Planned capital spending needs to be reevaluated.  Needless to say, any discretionary spending should be delayed while there is a potential liquidity crunch.  Any remaining scarce resources that can be spent should be prioritized with a shift to digital service delivery receiving a higher priority than before.  While many, if most services can’t be pushed into the digital realm, those that can should be done as quickly as possible.  This is even more important if a  “Second Wave” is coming.  The shift to virtual service delivery will also become important because of potential labor issues in the new operating environment.
  4. Labor requirements need to be assessed.  This will be critical because of two new factors:
    • Many employees may have been forced to take jobs elsewhere.  Believe it or not, some companies have been hiring during the pandemic.  Your employees may have been forced to take jobs elsewhere simply as a matter of economic survival.
    • Retraining will be required. Some employees may need refresher courses on their job duties.   Other employees will need training to survive in the digital realm as the organization ventures into the “Brave New World”.
  5. Have a communication plan for stakeholders ready.  The NFP needs to manage the expectations of its stakeholders during the crisis and through the “recovery period”. The organization should be in constant communication with its stakeholders throughout the crisis.  It will become even more important as the organization comes out of the dark into the light.  The NFP needs to tell its client base it is back up and running and when each service will be available.  

This series on the Pandemic Crisis and NFP management will continue in the coming weeks!

One thought on “Coming Into the Light

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