Giving Compass' Take:

• A new report launched by the collaborative effort of philanthropic institutions will include scenario planning and resources for the social sector within the context of COVID-19. 

• How do you think COVID-19 is impacting charitable giving and social change organizations? 

• Read about the effects of COVID-19 on nonprofits' revenues, digitization, and mergers. 

Uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic has been paralyzing for many organizations in the social sector. For nonprofits that have managed to weather the initial storm, continued survival and effectiveness will depend on the ability to adapt strategies and operating models to new post-COVID realities, whatever they may look like. And many philanthropic funders, having decided on an initial emergency response, are struggling to figure out what to do next. ​

So over the course of April and May 2020, our team at the Monitor Institute by Deloitte talked with more than 75 social sector leaders about how they were managing in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. We found that different organizations are preparing for wildly different futures.

Other social sector leaders, however, are anticipating an entirely different future. They see a Great Depression-level of economic dislocation that could last for many years, alongside a major health crisis that will spark deep changes in how society functions. They see the crises creating huge levels of need in communities while also causing drastic, multi-year budget shortfalls for states, municipalities, and operating nonprofits alike. And the COVID-19 crisis isn’t occurring in isolation. The activism for racial justice taking place across the nation is intersecting with the health and economic disparities laid bare by the virus. To some leaders, COVID-19 may mark the beginning of a fundamentally new era.

We’re excited to launch a new scenario planning resource for social sector leaders in cooperation with Independent Sector, along with New Profit, the Center for Effective Philanthropy, the Council on Foundations, the National Center for Family Philanthropy, and United Philanthropy Forum entitled: An Event or an Era? Resources for social sector decision-making in the context of COVID-19.

In the report, we explore:

  • Prudent Assumptions: Baseline realities that organizations will need to come to terms with—and hold onto—in order to begin moving forward in the midst of great uncertainty.
  • Critical Uncertainties: Factors that are not only volatile in terms of how they play out, but also have a high impact on how the future may unfold.
  • Scenarios for the Social Sector: Four provocative pictures of what the future could look like depending on the severity of the crisis and whether we come together as a nation—or come apart.
  • What to do Next: Advice about how your organization can use the scenarios to build resilience and prepare for whatever the future holds.
  • Takeaways for the Sector: Informed by our interviews with social sector leaders, reflections on what the crisis may mean for the social sector as a whole.

Read the full article about COVID-19 crisis threatens civil society  by Kristina Gawrgy Campbell at Independent Sector.