Non-Profit Sustainability: Four Capacities to Strengthen in COVID-19 Times

people in a protest

Come to think of it, it’s a conundrum of sorts. In the history of America, never has there been a time when people need non-profits the most. All the more now that the number of Americans who have succumbed to the virus has surpassed the 500,000 mark last February 22. It’s definitely a grim milestone that reminds us how the nation considered by many as the “most powerful on the planet” has shot its foot in the process, wrecked by an invisible enemy.

But non-profits aimed to help the neediest Americans find themselves facing a seemingly insurmountable challenge: sustainability. As everyone is affected by the pandemic, the ability to put forward relevant social impact in the long term is dogging non-profits. Support seems down to a trickle, if at all.

And yet, like any and all organizations on the planet, COVID-19 offers a glorious opportunity to streamline one’s processes. As thousands upon thousands of for-profit businesses all over America realized, having a lean and mean the organization is key to surviving the virus. Check out four capacities you need to explore so you can improve your sustainability in the long run.

Leadership Capacity

Indeed, leadership guru Dr. John C. Maxwell was right. Everything rises and falls with the baton of leadership. Leaders make or break their organization. And in these dire straits, leadership is at its most critical.

The example of the great Mahatma Gandhi who led his people in humility, sacrificing food and even his sex life should be timely. The same holds true for Eleanor Roosevelt who championed the cause of women over 90 years ago.

Organizations with strong leadership are better equipped to overcome crisis situations. As such, the ability to arrive at decisions quickly when the need arises is one cornerstone of nimble leadership.

To this end, you should prioritize an executive team that tackles problems head-on. Added to that, ensure that transparent communication flows from your top-level honchos down to each and every staff.

Take note that these are the most challenging of times. Making sure that staff is taken care of against the virus is a top priority. When you lead with the heart, talent is bound to work with you seamlessly.

Technological Capacity

At this juncture in time, not minding technology can be counterintuitive. It can be fatal. Think about it. Internet, for one, has made educational institutions and businesses move forward despite all the movement restrictions put in place. Without online technologies, a business won’t be able to reach out to its consumers. This is reason enough that a recent Salesforce survey detail that 8 % of non-profit organizations point out technology is crucial to their long-term success.

In fact, online has become the next battleground for businesses today. In this regard, you will have to rely on virtual teams, not to mention Zoom videoconferencing.

Recruiting also can get a timely boost with online resources. For instance, job interview scheduling software can go a long way to ensure you don’t waste time and effort in getting the right talent to work with. Plus, it’s hard to beat the better branding and outstanding candidate experience with good software.

If you want to have business continuity, relying on technology is not an option. It’s a must.

people holding hands

Collaborative Capacity

Two heads are always better than one. When organizations come together, miracles could happen. Take note that there are creative ways you can explore to implement social impact at this point in time. Coming together can multiply efforts like no other.

In its bid to combat hunger, The Alliance to End Hunger, for instance, convened anti-hunger organizations of the national level aiming for better coordination of their food assistance programs.

By doing phone calls daily, they were able to coordinate an advocacy campaign that tied up with the CARES Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Explore ways you can collaborate with other organizations. When your heads meet, you can accomplish things that your organization cannot normally do.

Adaptive Capacity

Last but not least, you should look into your non-profit organization’s adaptive capacity. Now, more than ever, the ability to pivot and adapt is of paramount importance.

Consider your client’s needs. You need to look deeper into customer behaviors and possible changes in the landscape as the virus continues to pummel America. Accordingly, your organization must tailor your response to these future needs.

Best of all, you need to find ways to come up with creative approaches to the problem at hand. Think out of the box. Instead of relying on old-school methods, putting your faith in novel approaches could pay huge dividends in the future.

Indeed, these are harsh times. But it doesn’t mean you can’t improvise with meager resources. Improving your organization can help boost your chances of obtaining greater sustainability. And continue the good works, despite the virus.

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