COVID-19: Realizing Long-Term Stability in a Short-Term Climate
Those of us in the nonprofit world are facing the challenge to remain viable in a rapidly changing present and future, due to unprecedencted COVID-19 global challenges. We at CommonWealth GrantWorks have the following pertinent suggestions we would like to share with our readership.
Keeping an Eye on Long-Term Funders
We recommend maintaining a blend of long-term and short-term funding. What this means is continuing relationships with longer-term funders while simultaneously “going for” short-term opportunities. We suggest continuing to cultivate relationships with your long-term supporters by writing to explain the situation your nonprofit is facing, underscoring your continued, or even greater, need for them, given the volatility of present support streams.
COVID-19 Funding Creativity
In the meantime, we recommend getting creative with the COVID-19 funding available, taking a page from the “robbing Peter to pay Paul” playbook. Everyone is presently talking about the SBA Paycheck Protection and Bridge loans; however, these may be hard to come by given that they are offered on a first-come-first-serve basis. We urge your nonprofit to consider other opportunities, such as charitable foundation “rescue” funds, which are available through community foundations in every area. Other opportunities for arts and culture, health and human service, and essential staffing funds are also available in all states. Take, for instance, IT project funding during the COVID-19 period times. You know that IT project you have put on the back burner? Now is the time to dust it off and use the COVID-19 funding to underwrite a longer-term infrastructure project, which you could never seem to get funded previously, or did not have the time to pursue. This leads us to our last point.
Maximizing the “Downtime”
Take the time you have now to plan for your nonprofit’s future. Whether you are working from home or part of a skeleton crew onsite, you are likely left with extra time on your hands. We suggest using it to plan ahead, not necessarily for the possibility of another pandemic, but for your nonprofit’s continued viability. We suggest using this “downtime” to strategize about future expansion, new programming, new clients, new divisions, or creating new development plans. As we say to our friends, “this time is not meant to be a holiday.” Rather, it is a time to take stock in what’s working for your organization’s financial health and what could be improved upon.
Call us today to begin envisioning your nonprofit’s future.