While it may not feel like it now, the pandemic will eventually come to an end and business operations will return to normal. Now that we have all adjusted to working from home, wearing masks, social distancing and hosting online events, the return to normal will likely be jarring and nerve-wracking for many.
To combat this inevitable transition, we compiled a list of tips to bring your nonprofit into the post-pandemic world safely and successfully.
- Re-think your work-from-home policy. Some members of your staff may not be comfortable coming back to the office, and some may still have kiddos at home doing their schooling online. If you did not have a work-from-home policy prior to the pandemic, it may be time to establish one. And if you did have one, it’s a good time to update it. The pandemic has proven many things, including that businesses and organizations can continue to run successfully even in the midst of a crisis when employees are forced to work remotely. If your employees were able to effectively work from home, there’s no reason to eliminate that option entirely. Additionally, the transition period from pandemic to post-pandemic will likely be drawn out, so adjusting and providing flexible work environments for your staff is key.
- Set new fundraising goals and establish new timelines. We know that once the pandemic is over you are going to want to get right back into the swing of things. However, immediately post-pandemic is not going to be the time to launch a massive capital campaign. Instead, you’ll want to take a look at your fundraising goals and timelines and make adjustments. It may take some time for your entire team to be back in the office. Not only that, but it will take even longer for many Americans to get back on their feet after the pandemic, and many still may not have the funds to donate. Start small and slow and adjust as you go.
- Update your communications strategy. Your constituents will want to be up to date on your organization’s transition. Take to social media, email and even the phone to communicate with your donors about the status of your organization and any fundraisers and campaigns that you have been working on.
- Re-visit and hone your ask. Even when your team is back in the office, many others will still be trying to recover from the pandemic, both emotionally and financially. This means that you will want to consider toning down your ask. You do not know the situation of each and every one of your constituents, so reach out to them first to check in and see how they are, then hone your ask according to the information you are able to gather. Personalizing your ask will help your donors feel respected and heard.
- Make sure your staff feels supported. The pandemic was a strange, overwhelming time for everyone, and post-pandemic will be, too. Talk with your staff, find out what they need, what their fears are, and what you can do to help them feel supported. This will help avoid burnout and bring a sense of teamwork and care to your team.
Yes, we are all looking forward to the day that the world can go back to normal. But what many of us have not considered is how difficult that transition may be. We hope that these tips will help your nonprofit get back to regular operations while allowing your staff to feel supported and cared for.