Bridging the Crisis, Organizations Coming Out Stronger

(Jul, 2020)

COVID-19 has affected populations and economies around the globe. There is a palpable sense of unease as circumstances change daily. One thing to consider is that many of the world’s best innovations were conceived during the most challenging times.

By adjusting the way you operate, you may be able to not only bridge the crisis, but actually come out stronger. Here are some ideas to set your organization on the right path.

Dig in: In many organizations, the executive committee discusses financials but doesn’t necessarily dig deep into the organization’s financial position to assess the break-even point, where your costs equal your income.These unprecedented times require that you examine both sides of this equation carefully and create projections that enable timely and informed decisions.

Negotiate: It’s likely that your two largest expenses are payroll and rent. Would your landlord be amenable to making changes to your lease? Would your leadership take a percentage pay cut?

Also, talk to your lenders and vendors. Many are eager to provide more favorable terms and incentives to ensure they have adequate cash flow.

Ask: Reducing costs and expenses needs to be counterbalanced by increasing income and funding. You’ve probably explored the opportunity for certain government funding, and we will continue that discussion as we learn more about payback requirements and deadlines.

Also, consider partnering with a commercial entity that services a complementary market or community. Get all hands on deck to ask for additional funding from current sources.

Communicate: Perhaps the most important part of bridging this crisis is communicating openly and often with your community. And for now, you need to define your community in the broadest terms to include not only your board, employees, volunteers, donors, and partners, but also your suppliers, landlords, and even financial institutions with which you interact.

Your news might not be good, but a lack of or inconsistent information makes things more difficult. Decide who and what are the primary communication sources for your organization. 

Also, update your website regularly, even if there’s nothing particularly newsy to report. Current and updated information shows that you are working daily to address the crisis in whatever ways you can.

Develop: Nonprofit organizations always have a long list of things to get to “if only there were time.” Now is a great time to focus on staff development initiatives that could improve your operations. What certificates, cross training, or other changes could you make to improve operations, connect through social networking, refine your mission, or pivot to a new service or opportunity?

Aspire: Your organization will be different coming out of this crisis than it was going into it. Aim high. Dream big. Be aspirational. Gather your advisors to brainstorm solutions and think ahead. Something good can come from these difficult times.

We are committed to assisting you through the pandemic. Please contact us to discuss how we can help.

 

The information reflected in this article was current at the time of publication.  This article will not be modified or updated for any subsequent tax law changes, if any.