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  • Writer's pictureWallace Consulting

April 2, 2020

Nonprofit Leaders,

Does your Board of Directors feel a sense of urgency to support your organization during the Covid-19 disruption and uncertainty? They almost certainly do. How are you harnessing their compassion and commitment?

Timely Example: I serve on the board of Rise in Hightstown, New Jersey and those folks rock! Last night was our monthly board meeting. Like many nonprofits, Rise had to suspend some important services to our clients, which is painful for both staff and clients. On the other hand, the food pantry is in even greater demand as nearby pantries close and the number of hungry families increases. Donations from restaurants are dwindling because they are emptying their freezers as they struggle.

A daunting situation? Yes, but when the agenda turned to “How the board can help” the folks on the call stepped right up displaying compassion, determination, and creativity to rise to the needs of the crisis. Realizing that now is the time to enlist support from friends, both individuals and corporations, they committed to some amazing strategies to fill the pantry.

How can you help your organization’s Board and “Friends of the Board” step up?

  • Communicate early and often with changes and needs of the organization.

  • If individuals are motivated to start up a new initiative in response to Covid-19, remove roadblocks and communicate their plans and requests for help.

  • Keep your website updated so everyone is aware of the changes and how they can help.


During times of crisis, people want to help. Your job is to help them help. And, if you are moved to help Rise stock the food pantry, visit

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  • Writer's pictureWallace Consulting

As part of your emergency preparedness plans, have you included your Leadership team?

If a key leader becomes unavailable, have you identified individuals to step in? Has this been communicated? Does everyone have the information they need? Here are some tips to keep your leadership team ready to manage your organization through these uncertain times.

Emergency Transition Plan:

  • Identify potential interim step-ins and back-ups for all key positions.

  • Communicate who will do what and other changes with entire staff.

  • Identify key clients, vendors, and other stakeholders and collect their contact info to share with key staff.

  • Share passwords, bank account info, procedures, and calendar of events with key staff.

  • Nonprofits—Convene your Transition Team to review your succession plan and emergency transition plan. Agree upon board member interim responsibilities.

Communication from your Leaders is so important for reducing stress among staff and clients, for motivating your teams, and for preparing for whatever comes next. If your organization has time available, encourage Managers to speak 1-1 with their staff members about any personal challenges they and their families are facing at home, performance check-ins, and career development updates.

Good health to you all!

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