#1. Expand Service Capacity and Reach
How to assist many more clients in need, with fewer resources
50 million Americans are out of work, an unprecedented number. So many people to help with so fewer dollars and face-to-face access! Where to begin?
While most individuals report that they don’t plan to decrease or shift their donations, the majority of states project steep budgetary shortfalls in 2010-2021 and drastic revisions in projected spending in all areas, including HHS.
Plus, more than 80% of donors surveyed said they are most concerned about the way that COVID-19 could impact the ability of health-and human services-related nonprofits to do their work. That concern runs high regarding all charitable sectors, not just for front line health workers. Across all health and human service, the arts, environmental activism and animal welfare, donors want to better understand how nonprofits can do more with less.
With today's latest technology, you can remotely serve your clients and increase the numbers of families and individuals you can serve, while maintaining high quality mission delivery and positive outcomes. Private, mobile-enabled, communication, collaboration and connection virtual platforms can exponentially increase the engagement between service providers and service recipients. The achievable goal of utilizing password-protected, remotely-accessed digital technology: involve clients in all aspects of their care planning, support building, goals development, resource access, education and outcomes success.
#2. Better Collaborate Across All Service Providers
Achieve higher impact with fewer resources - Use collaboration to build capacity with minimal (or no) expense
One way to build nonprofit capacity, especially for smaller charities, is to collaborate with other organizations. Building nonprofit coalitions based on similar missions or geographical proximity can increase efficiencies, raise more nonprofit funding and promote information sharing, building capacity without incurring significant cost.
In the words of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, "Working together beats working alone."
#3. Make Social Justice and Equity a Priority
Stay relevant by educating your stakeholders with information on the issues
Nonprofits connect with a wide variety of different types of people as a matter of course. Staff, volunteers, consumers, major donors-all of these individuals can learn from the nonprofit on topics such as how to address social injustice and disparities in economic opportunity , education and healthcare access (to name but a few).
A nonprofits central role in their community makes it incumbent upon them to create opportunities for educating and disseminating correct information on how to create the social change needed to bring equity to individuals and groups within the larger community.
This is an opportunity to intentionally provide content to stakeholders with the goal of educating them on the issue. Private, mobile enabled platforms that promote interactive communication, collaboration and connection are an excellent avenue for helping constituents to understand how and when to get involved and an impact toward equity for all.
#4. Expand Access To Education, Resources and Support for Clients and Caregivers
A holistic approach to client care yields better outcomes.
-Support Interactive Goal Setting
Empowering client participation in case and goal planning, from intake to post-discharge, used to be time-consuming and challenging for service providers.
Password protected, interactive communication, collaboration and connection online education, videos, instructions, forms, videos, goal planning templates and other aids make it easy for clients to remotely engage in their own service process and to share their goals with you and your organization, along the entire continuum of care.
-Build a Safe Online Support Community
With public social media channels becoming increasingly unsafe and data-mined, only choose technology that offers safe and secure community-building tools, such as shared conversations/forums, private chats, introductions and connections. Password protected communications are the right choice for your clients and their right to privacy, while lessening segregation and loneliness. Facebook and Twitter private groups are not private - these groups are frequently hacked and the data is routinely mined. This problem is so pervasive that there are countries, such as the UK, that have banned to use of such platforms for service providers organizations.
-Continuously Provide Updated Resources
Ensure that you can quickly and easily include customized resource content that are tagged and searchable for ease of access or that can link your existing resource database or 211 within your client’s platform.
#5. Don't Use Unsafe Social Media Platforms as Work Platforms
When it comes to using social media for client communications, what you don't know can hurt everyone.
A nonprofit tech expert recently was quoted as saying: "we have our communications with our patients covered. We created a 'private' Facebook group so they can all share their stories and offer each other support." What? Has this guy never heard of GDPR or HIPAA compliance? Does he realize that he is putting vulnerable individuals and/or their families at risk for exploitation, etc? No, I am sure he doesn't. He is trying to assist these service recipients.
He feels very comfortable using social media for conversations and communications. Surely, he thinks he is providing the best and most accessible ways for his clients and their caregivers to do the same. It is important to keep in mind, however, that social media channels like Twitter and Facebook were NEVER designed to protect at-risk client and patient data, even in so-called private groups. They were built to promote recreational connections and to exploit user data for advertising and other lucrative purposes.
There are password protected, mobile-enabled, client friendly virtual collaboration, communication and engagement platforms that will provide a safe haven for clients and caregivers to share information and support. Check out Engagement Communities for one excellent resource.
#6. Better Engage and Retain Existing Major Donors and Volunteers
Already scarce volunteers are going to become even harder to attract and retain.
Volunteer activity is likely to dramatically decrease due to the pandemic. Sans a vaccine, it's estimated that pandemic precautions will need to be prolonged into late 2021.
State and local governments are now urging residents to stay home to prevent the spread of the virus—which creates challenges for many nonprofits who rely on volunteers to deliver critical services. Nearly half (47 percent) of recent volunteers believe the amount of time they volunteer will decrease or stop entirely in the near future. Older donors are more likely to say that their volunteering will decrease, as well (61 percent of Silent Generation and 57 percent of Baby Boomers). What happens with volunteering after 2021 is anyone's guess, but we can assume it will take a while for people to resume all of their former volunteer activities.
Keeping donors engaged will be critical to retaining their interest and contributions during and after the pandemic.
On a recent DonorPerfect blog, experts spoke about how our relationships with donors, during the pandemic, have changed dramatically and discussed some new ways to draw donors in and make them feel connected. Consider adding some or all of those methods to your existing stewardship plan to thank donors for helping to fulfill your mission.
Also consider establishing a 100% secure, virtual engagement hub or platform for donors to better communicate, collaborate and connect with your organization Then, instead of you chasing donors with emails and reports (which largely go unread, unfortunately), they have ONE PLACE to go, whenever it is convenient, to access the most recent and important information on your mission success. As you engage with your donors, be honest about obstacles to success. Is your nonprofit struggling to meet the demand for your services in the community? Do you have an impossibly long waiting list? Is there a crisis in your community that you could address if you had the financial support? Your supporters already appreciate your work and want to help. So be real with them about your needs. They will appreciate your transparency.
#7. Quickly, Effectively and Affordably Work Remotely
Work efficiently, effectively and engage your most precious resource: your staff.
Whether working remotely or in-office, access the best communication, collaboration and connection tools on your own, private EC Essentials virtual platform.
-Encouraging staff to make the most of development opportunities
Many small nonprofits struggle to provide staff engagement, communication and development opportunities due to time and budget constraints, even pre-pandemic. Investing in your staff, however, doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming. There are technology solutions that will launch your best practice support and training for your nonprofit staff members. Here's how to get started.
-Technology can make all the difference in supporting your nonprofit staff
An exciting new option is the utilization of online community engagement platforms, such as MissionBox Engagement Communities, has emerged that will provide all the components of best practice staff development: safely, effectively and affordably, whether working remotely or in an office environment.
Nonprofit turnover is twice that of for-profit companies and it is NOT because of comparative salary inequities! In several national research surveys, nonprofit staff reported that they left their organization because they felt a lack of engagement with the broader goals, culture and processes of the nonprofit for which they worked.
The most cost effective training opportunities include utilizing a secure, affordable, mobile-enabled staff nonprofit engagement platform, where you can publish your staff webinars, online training courses and streaming discussions for nonprofit professionals: all in one virtual center.
Ask staff members what type of training is needed most and then search for opportunities focused on those areas.