Top 10 Nonprofit Coronavirus Check List

Times of uncertainty cause routines to change for safety and security. Nonprofits should create action steps to prepare and respond during emergencies.

1. Follow Your Crisis Communications Plan. If you do not have a plan, it is critical that your organization create one to detail your strategy for communicating with your clients, stakeholders, staff, donors, volunteers, and other key constituencies. It is important that you are prepared to respond promptly, accurately and confidently in case of a crisis.

2. Your Executive Director / CEO Needs to Be the “Chief Communicator” Internally. It is important for the leader of your nonprofit to establish routine communications with employees and frontline workers, especially if they are working remotely. This will ensure all messaging is consistent and from the top. Staff should be able to count on specific times each day to receive updates.

3. Identify One Media Spokesperson. It is important to have one individual talking with the media. Be prepared to inform the media about the procedures your organization is implementing, and how the public can support your efforts.

4. Boost Donor Communications. Ramp up your calls and emails to donors. Stay in contact. Leverage your team, divide your donor list and use this opportunity to make additional connections. Keep your nonprofit’s mission at the forefront.

5. Do Not Cancel Board Meetings. Instead, leverage video conference call capabilities such as Zoom or Skype. Use the virtual conference room to continue moving forward remotely.

Download the Top 10 Nonprofit Coronavirus Checklist and make sure you have checks next to these boxes.

6. Do Not Cancel Events. Instead, leverage technology to reinvent them. Strategize with your event committee to use Livestream, Facebook Live, webinars, and online fundraising platforms. Promote your sponsors in unique ways and make all promotional materials available online.

7. Start an Emergency Operations Fund. You might need to purchase new technology or premium subscriptions to services such as Zoom or Skype. Your staff might be working longer hours to combat lower volunteer engagement. This fund will enable donors to jump in and help in a unique way.

8. Support Employees Working from Home. Provide staff with the tools needed to be productive and efficient while working from home. Transfer calls to cell phones and set up Skype for your staff to chat during the day. Begin to integrate technology into everyday practices so when a crisis hits, your team is not faced with a learning curve.

9. Continue to Connect with Donors & Prospects. When your chief fundraiser is unable to meet face-to-face with a donor or prospect, be creative and find ways to connect and communicate. Use video conference calls, hand-written notes, phone calls, social media, and emails.

10. Keep the Office Clean. Stock your office with supplies such as hand sanitizer, tissues and disinfecting wipes. Make sure that surfaces are constantly wiped down, especially desks, keyboards, phones, tablets, and computer screens.

About Cramer: Cramer & Associates is a strategic fundraising and communications consulting firm serving nonprofits, foundations & corporations. If you have questions, contact Michelle Cramer, CFRE, President & CEO, Cramer & Associates, Inc. michelle@cramerphilanthropy.com or (614) 766-4483.

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