What You Should Do and/or Avoid Now (Part 2 of 6)

During times of crisis, it helps to have access to Best Practices and objective input from industry professionals and practitioners. The Global Center for Nonprofit Excellence has assembled a team of nonprofit experts to provide the following recommendations. 

The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.

-Winston Churchill

Contributors include Co-Founder Marc Stein of The Global Center for Nonprofit Excellence®, MBA Steve Maegdlin, Executive Consultant Jason Malec and others. 

Take Immediate Action

Prioritize your programs, products and services in order of importance in response to COVID-19, relative to mission and budget.

  • By focusing exclusively on high-value programs, products, and services, better internal morale and greater external confidence follows quickly.
  • Reallocate funding to your high-value programs, products, and services at the expense of lesser value offerings.
  • Improved performance will follow resulting in greater impact and mission achievement.

Create a plan, including required modifications and new objectives, to provide for your high-value programs, products, and services at the expense of the others.  

  • Revising plans provides greater probability for producing results and mission achievement.
  • Integrated planning gets the entire team on board with where the organization is going.
  • Donors and constituents need to know there’s a strategy behind actions taken.

Execute on your new plan, making adjustments as necessary, with regular communications and reporting to all stakeholders.

  • Holding people accountable for performance helps the organization grow and perform.
  • Accountability and transparency build trust and helps build strong teams.
  • Holding ourselves accountable drives constituent and donor trust.

What to Avoid

Continuing to support all existing programs, products, and services, without revisiting plan and objectives, as defined by before COVID-19 (unless your revenues have increased since).

  • Lack of proactive response leads to lower levels of performance.
  • Without a defined new plan, program leaders are free to act as they please.
  • Lack of an integrated strategic plan almost ensures uncertainty of mission achievement.

Following existing 2020 projects and programs without consideration for impact of COVID-19.

  • Goals that don’t align create chaos.
  • Lesser value programs, products, and services will detract from higher value ones and likely produce comparatively lesser results.
  • Non-mission-aligned goals frustrate donors and constituents.

Business as usual. 

  • Lack of accountability leads to wasted time and poor results.
  • Lack of transparency drives mistrust inside the organization, with donors, and constituents.
  • Pause on any new initiative unless they specifically address COVID-19 related needs.

Closing Thoughts

Every organization should consider developing several contingency plans. What would you do in these scenarios?

  • 1. Minimal revenue reduction.
  • 2. Significant revenue reduction.
  • 3. Catastrophic revenue reduction.

How are your programs, staff, and structure impacted in each?

If you need help, or want to discuss, any of the above, please contact The Global Center for Nonprofit Excellence Co-Founder, Marc Stein for a private conversation.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article does not constitute advice and should not be relied upon in making or refraining from making, any decision. Independent research is recommended.

Nonprofits want more funding. Funders want more confidence. More confidence comes from demonstrated operational competence. Funders will more confidence give more. Operational competence can be measured and improved with OpX360®

For thought leadership on nonprofit Best Practices, measurement and how to achieve operational excellence, please visit The Global Center for Nonprofit Excellence® where Nonprofits, Funders and Recognized Experts work together for the greatest impact. We make nonprofits better. We can help yours.


Marc is Co-Founder and Principal Advisor of The Global Center for Nonprofit Excellence. For the previous 12 years, Marc served full-time as executive and practitioner in three significant yet very different Nonprofits overseeing extensive domestic and international operations.