In the past 2+ years, nonprofits have weathered the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences on their organizations’ culture, operations, and funding. Even as we return to some degree of in-person activities, a return-to-normal mindset is not the perspective that will enable nonprofits to succeed going forward.

The likelihood of another severe health and/or economic shock—whether from another pandemic, a climate disaster, a cyber-attack, or some other unfathomable catastrophe—cannot be minimized.

As CEO of the National Academy of Social Insurance for the past six years (and chair of its board of directors before that), I too have had to scramble during an ongoing global catastrophe.

And yet, I have learned several key lessons from the pandemic and its evolution into an endemic. It is my hope that these lessons will help other nonprofit leaders proactively anticipate the next big jolt.

  • Lesson One: Organization agility requires feedback loops.
  • Lesson Two: Finding the right balance between in-person and virtual activities can free up budget for other areas that further your organization’s mission.
  • Lesson Three: Being people oriented is crucial to building a culture of resilience.
  • Lesson Four: Reexamine your impact and inclusivity of diverse voices to make real and lasting change.
  • Lesson Five: Reevaluate your fundraising and don’t be afraid to be ambitious by taking a dramatically different approach from what you were doing before the pandemic.

Read the full article about lessons for nonprofits by William J. Arnone at Blue Avocado.