I recently read an article by Saunj Fyffe on the American Society for Public Administration website that rang true. He stated, “The hardships experienced by state and local governments place huge constraints on nonprofit operations nationwide. Instead of waiting to see what will happen, we need a call to action for nonprofits to think differently, get creative and proactively find new ways to diversify and secure financial resources needed to survive.”
With the heightened demand for services in these difficult times, we must all find innovative and creative ways to deliver the interventions our clients need and, potentially, with less staff and less resources.
At The Fedcap Group we are focusing on this need for innovation every single day. We are asking ourselves: What else can we do? How can we do what we have always done in a different way? How can we connect to the people who need us?
As nonprofit and government leaders—I know you are doing the same.
During the need for social distancing, it is imperative that we all find ways to leveraging every aspect of our technological foundation to connect—with our boards, staff, clients, donors and funders. We need to all find ways to provide as many services as possible via phone and video-conferencing platforms. We need to ensure that our clients receive the vital connection and human “touch”, as well as the critically needed interventions whether it be speech pathology for children in early intervention services, counseling for individuals with behavioral health needs, or educational services for children and adults If we can think of an effective, secure way to engage in the clients we serve—that is what we all must be doing.
We also need to find ways to stay connected to staff. Here are some of what we are doing:
• Sending out frequent updates and encouraging messages via e-mail, intranet and video.
• Providing webinars on topics, such as working effectively and productively at home, providing engaging telehealth services, managing stress during crisis and more.
• Developing newsletters that provide tips and strategies to manage stress, find creative ways to entertain your children, good news from around the world to lift spirits and more.
We need to reach out to board and donors, sharing our specific needs. We have done so and their response has been overwhelming…from significant monetary donations to the purchase of cases of diapers and toiletries for families in need.
We need to work side by side with government to secure as much funding as possible to maintain pre-crisis level services. Our government partners know that we are an imperative link in the service chain. They do not want us to fail.
Blogger Aki Kaltenbach reminds us that “Nonprofits can be some of the most innovative and creative organizations because they often have to make the most of limited resources.”
We know how to find solutions—even in the most challenging of times.