Thinking Forward: Developing a Plan to Reopen in a Changing World
As always, we hope that everyone continues to stay safe and healthy during these difficult times. As the weeks go on, non-profit organizations across the country continue to adapt to the always-changing conditions of the world. Now more than ever, planning for the future is so important. It is essential to establish a thorough reopening plan that will help your team re-acclimate themselves to the circumstances of the world once it’s time to reopen.
This Won’t Last Forever
Before we talk about the future, let’s briefly talk about our present situation. These are hard times, to say the least. But it’s important to remember this piece of encouragement: this won’t last forever! Once we get through this, we will all come out stronger and more prepared than ever to handle difficult situations in the future. Sometimes, it helps to take a second to think of the positives that result from less than ideal situations. These positives may be few and far in between, but they do exist!
Planning for a New Normal
It’s no secret that non-profits depend on the financial support of their fundraising events to continue doing the great work of their worthy causes. It’s also safe to say that no one knows exactly what the future will look like once the Coronavirus is under control. As we think about how this pandemic will affect the behavior and habits of people moving forward, it’s crucial to apply these thoughts to your reopening plans.
Take a look at some of these key features to include in your reopening plan:
Reconsider your Support Model. Take a look at how your organization functioned before the virus. You may need to apply changes that will make your model for support more viable. Consider how you carried out certain tasks in the past. For example, think about how you communicated with your target audience. Consider your target audience as both those who rely on your support as well as the donors who support your mission. All in-person marketing initiatives will likely be halted for a while (even when you reopen). How you offer support will more than likely need to be altered going forward. You will likely need to adjust your support model in a way that changes how you carry out many tasks to maintain the safety and health of your team and clients.
Evaluate your Vendors. Unfortunately, the pandemic caused the shutdown of many businesses. Some of these businesses may not be able to reopen again. Communicate with your vendors to see who is open and at what capacities. You may need to search for new vendors to achieve your particular goals.
Cut Costs if Needed. Realistically, most businesses are coming out of this pandemic with serious losses. As we get back on our feet, there may need to be some cost cuts. However, it’s important to make these cuts wisely. Run your numbers carefully with financial projections. Ensure that your cuts do not hinder your revenue opportunities for the future.
Maintain your Loyal Staff. Keep your staff informed and up-to-date on as much as possible. Life during a pandemic is a unique (and often scary) situation that causes unease amongst many people. Layout your reopening plan to your employee so that they understand the changes that are happening around them. Open communication will help you maintain loyalty amongst your team.
Go Virtual if Needed. For non-profits, the return to normal may not feel very normal for a long time. If events are legally able to occur within your state, you still may notice some hesitation early on in regards to people coming out to large gatherings and events. For this reason, have a plan in place to maintain any virtual fundraising events if possible. If you need help developing your online event, our AmFund VIP is an easy to launch virtual silent auction that can certainly help your organization raise much-needed funds.
We know that things are tough right now; however, creating a comprehensive reopening plan will help keep your sights on the light at the end of the tunnel. Stay positive, and stay focused on your organization’s mission. If you run into any challenges as you develop your reopening plan, reach out to us at AmFund. Our staff is ready to help you in any way that we can. We will ALL get through this TOGETHER!