Giving Compass' Take:

• Maximilian Martin lays out a blueprint for revitalizing an effective, change-oriented social sector post-COVID.

• How can the social sector remain constructive during the pandemic? What can we do to support the social sector post-pandemic?

• Learn about how funders can help nonprofits remain effective post-pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing nonprofits to reinvent their intervention and business models at lightning speed, and many foundations are rising to the challenge and supporting them ad-hoc. But when the dust settles, the social sector will need to take strategic steps to restore its philanthropic vitality and contribute to a post-COVID social contract.

When the sector eventually turns its attention to rebuilding, an important part of the way forward will be revisiting how to create systems change. When foundations review how COVID-19 has affected grantees’ operating models, as well as their ability to deliver impact, liquidity, and solvency, it will become clearer than ever that viewing social change from a single-organization perspective is insufficient. To create change will require that foundations fund a set of organizations that act on different levers, including direct service, research into new solutions, capacity building, and advocacy. Indeed, starting now, funders and nonprofits need to begin thinking about what a vibrant, post-COVID-19 civil society could look like; which actions are conducive to (re)building it; and how to finance its different elements, including research and development, capital investment in nonprofit upgrading, and operating support.

There will be no one-size-fits-all solution, but collectively, philanthropy will be judged not only on the contribution it makes now to solving the COVID-19 crisis, but also on how it rebuilds itself after the emergency and whether it can ultimately create systemic change. By measuring and optimizing the conditions that contribute to philanthropic vitality and by taking advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead, forward-thinking funders and nonprofit leaders can meaningfully improve the sector’s ability to drive change.

Read the full article about the social sector post-COVID by Maximilian Martin at Stanford Social Innovation Review.