Issue 1: Disaster recovery mode

2 things to keep your not-for-profit going through uncertain times and more...

Issue 1: Disaster recovery mode

2 things to keep your not-for-profit going through uncertain times and more…

The pandemic has affected us all on a personal level – this has also been felt on varying levels across the charity sector, with many finding themselves with a different workload and resources than before. Here’s some food for thought:

2 things you need in uncertain times – Charities Network Magazine
“I think the reason charities have kept going is that they are Vision and Value led first and foremost. I believe these two factors will make all the difference to our work.”
Reviewing your charity insurance in uncertain times – Charities Network Magazine
Charity operations are changing or shifting. These changes in risk should be reflected with adequate insurance.

Build resilience through clear communication

It’s not possible for you to control the pandemic, but it is possible for you to help ease the stress your employees, clients and volunteers may be experiencing.

In these uncertain times, it’s imperative that you clearly communicate your plans as frequently as possible.

  • Be open with stakeholders about management decisions and ask for suggestions to rectify problems.
  • Provide as much information as possible about the pandemic.
  • Communicate the future of the organisation with stakeholders often – in meetings, on the website, in newsletters and in blogs.
  • Be empathetic in your communications.

Additionally, try to give as much notice as possible if your organisation plans to make significant operational changes, including shutting down operations or moving to remote delivery.

Prepare for future and recurring risks

Similar to conducting a risk assessment for planning to reopen following previous lockdowns, your organisation should conduct a risk assessment in preparation for a re-emergence of COVID-19 cases.

While the complexity of risk assessments will differ from charity to charity, they typically involve the following steps:

Identifying the hazards

Consider your own facilities and organisation. When identifying hazards, it’s a good idea to perform a walk-through of premises and consider high-risk areas.

Check any high-risk individuals or vulnerable populations you may work with. Go through your volunteer or client journey step by step to identify risks that stakeholders are exposed to.

Charities need to think critically about their operations to minimise risks to others.

Assessing risks

Once you have identified the risks, you must analyse them to determine their potential consequences. For each risk you’ll want to determine:

  • How likely is this particular risk to occur?
  • What are the ramifications should this risk occur?

When analysing your risks, consider potential financial losses, compliance requirements, people’s safety, disruptions, reputational harm and other consequences.

Controlling risks

With a sense of what the threats to your charity are, you can then consider ways to address them. There are a variety of methods charities can use to manage their risks, including:

  • Risk avoidance is when an organisation eliminates certain hazards, activities and exposures from their operations altogether.
  • Risk control involves preventive action.
  • Risk transfer is when an organisation transfers its exposures to a third party, such as an insurer.

For preparing for a current or future wave of the coronavirus, control measures could include cleaning protocols, flexible working and personal protective equipment (PPE) usage.

Monitoring the results

Risk management is an evolving, continuous process.

Once you’ve implemented a risk management solution, you’ll want to monitor its effectiveness and reassess.

Remember, the COVID-19 pandemic and guidance has changed often.

Your charity should be prepared to take action at short notice.

Charities Network

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