Giving Compass’ Take:
• Kris Putnam-Walkerly explains how philanthropists can start to think about the best ways to work remotely in the wake of the COVID-19.
• How are your charitable giving plans changing because of coronavirus?
• Read about how philanthropy can help address coronavirus.
In the past week, I’ve heard a dozen examples of philanthropists who dramatically slowed or halted their work because of cancelled trips or the need to work remotely. Assuming loved ones and colleagues are not ill, there is no reason philanthropic efforts must come to a grinding halt because of COVID-19. While face-to-face interaction is great, there are many ways to work remotely.
If something is strategically important, develop and implement it using the tools at your disposal as quickly as possible. And if it’s not that important, don’t do it. Working remotely means just that. Working. From a different location.
It’s wise to seek community input before launching a new grants program. Seeking feedback from trusted colleagues before dramatically changing strategy is also smart. But there are myriad ways to seek input and advice that don’t require in-person communication. You can talk to people on the phone, hold video conference calls, conduct phone interviews, conduct online focus groups, and do email surveys. You can do all of this for free (or minimal cost) using easily available technology such as your smart phone, Zoom, Skype, SurveyMonkey and more.
You can do this starting today. You don’t need to wait five to seven months!
Similarly, these tools are available to the remote worker. Twenty years ago, working remotely required a computer, printer, internet access, a table, chair, and a fax machine. Not much has changed (except perhaps the fax machine!). Today you can remotely access just about anything you need from computers and smart phones – including grants management systems, constituent engagement systems, email, voicemail, and of course your grantees and colleagues.
Once you pull through any initial feelings of shock and disorientation, and adjust to your temporary “new normal,” you can put simple practices in place to ensure you and your colleagues are productive while not in the office.
Read the full article about how not to let COVID-19 slow your progress by Kris Putnam-Walkerly at Forbes.
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