Be Prepared for the Inevitable Storms
This week, I was without power for a while and carefully eyeing some tall pine trees that were swaying way too much for my comfort.
Being without power and having meetings cancelled was a minor inconvenience, especially with the widespread loss of property and even life because of storms during this hurricane season.
I must confess, had I encountered damage or a more prolonged loss of electricity, I probably was not prepared on a number of levels.
How is your nonprofit prepared for the unexpected? Here are a few things to consider:
- Do you have cross-training in critical functions like gift-processing, so that if someone is out of commission donors can still have a good experience and you can get the data you need?
- Is there staff-succession planning, so that if a staff member leaves suddenly, you have a plan to replace them as seamlessly as possible? This would include your CEO, as well as the chief development officer and team.
- Do you have a volunteer structure where there are appropriate officers and committee structure and policies in place, so if there is a board leadership vacancy, you can move quickly? If you have campaign volunteers—campaign chairs for the annual campaign or event chairs for major events—is there a vice chair or chair-elect who is training to take over?
- Do you have lists and control over all passwords for computers, access to files and records and phones?
- Are there detailed calendars for all projects?
Be prepared for the unexpected. With the right systems and plans, your nonprofit can weather the inevitable storms.
Looking for Jeff? You'll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.
Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.
Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.