OVERARCHING PRINCIPLE: KEEP YOUR LEADERS ENGAGED
If you ever needed your board, you need them now. Keep them engaged virtually.
STEP ONE: HAVE A ONE–PAGE PLAN
☐ Have I created a one-page, easily update-able plan? Not my in-depth version, but a simple document. It states:
What our nonprofit is doing during the crisis,
How we’re handling our money, staff, and programs,
The things we need help with,
What we plan to do next.
Sample: VMJA can provide a sample plan.
☐ Once I’ve created the plan, have I shared it with the board?
☐ In sharing it with the board, did I solicit their ideas? What resources, connections, help can they suggest?
☐ Have I asked them each to do one specific thing to advance the plan?
Example: A real estate attorney can help negotiate reduced rent. One VMJA client got an 80% cut on their rental costs for the next 12 months!
☐ Have I asked them to give if they haven’t yet or to make an extra gift? Or to make monthly pledges for the next six months to a year, to get us through these tough times?
Resource: If you need help setting up a monthly giving plan https://blog.techsoup.org/posts/how-to-build-and-sustain-a-successful-monthly-giving-program
STEP TWO: ENGAGE BOARD IN THANKING/ENGAGING DONORS
☐If I still have front line workers, have I asked the board to call staff to thank them? Staff will appreciate it and board will hear great stories of how my nonprofit is working through the crisis.
☐ Have I asked my board to thank donors?
Script outline: 1. Are you okay? 2. Thank you so much for your past support. 3. Because you’re an insider, we want you know our plan during the crisis (share the basics of the plan). 4. Do you have any suggestions, resources or ideas that might help? 5. Here are some things we need. Suggest a few things they could do or might be able to secure.
Examples: advocacy, social media fundraising, identifying a videographer, etc.
STEP THREE: ENGAGE YOUR VOLUNTEERS
☐Have I asked my board to thank volunteers and share the plan and help with what’s needed? Same script as with donors above.
☐Have I sent my volunteers some love?
Free digital thank you cards: evite is offering its premium greeting cards for free. You can add your logo and personalize the message to each volunteer or send up to 750 for free. https://www.evite.com/covid19
Care packages: From your own supplies, or via free/low-cost shipper. Example: seeds packets for an environmental nonprofit, www.burpee.com or adult coloring books for a visual arts nonprofit, www.staples.com which is delivering free, any $ level.
☐Have I enlisted the right kind of help? C-19 Volunteer hubs are being established. Example: https://www.philafound.org/key-skills-hub-volunteer-portal/ but there are long-term sources of volunteers you can tap now:
Retired & Senior Volunteers Program (RSVP) https://www.rsvpserves.org/
Volunteer Match https://www.volunteermatch.org/
Leadership groups, like www.leadershipphiladelphia.org sometimes affiliated with chambers of commerce
☐Have I figured out how to manage virtual volunteers? If not, check out this article: https://blogs.volunteermatch.org/engagingvolunteers/2020/03/26/how-to-tap-into-the-power-of-virtual-volunteers/
WHAT OPPORTUNITIES DOES THIS PRESENT?
The phrase, “Never let a crisis go to waste,” is often attributed to Winston Churchill.
☐ How might it change how we think about our mission?
Example: Trade school vs. training the people the world depends on, truckers, food workers, electricians and computer technicians.