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  • Interactivites
    to hear the overview and pause at any time by pressing the Pause button on the bottom left of the player The buttons at the bottom right of the player allow you to control the volume and shift the video to full screen On Screen Text Below the player you will find on screen text This includes the detailed information you will need to know in order to meet learning

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/managingcrisis/Help.aspx?chp=99 (2016-02-12)
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  • Overview - Managing Crisis
    learning lesson on managing crisis A key donor goes bankrupt An office is flooded An employee is caught embezzling A program space is condemned There are any number of events that can throw an organization into a state of crisis For a nonprofit which is often less resource rich than its commercial counterparts the results can be devastating Preparing for crisis situations and responding appropriately to them to them can make the difference between closure and survival or even flourishing After all crises can be fertile opportunities for learning and change if an organization is equipped with the right tools to handle them There are two sides to managing any crisis preparation and response Organizations that anticipate the possibility of disaster and plan ahead will be far better equipped to manage potentially catastrophic situations or avoid them altogether In this training module you will examine potential crises that an organization can be forced to deal with first from the perspective of preparedness and second in terms of response This training will begin with a general context and then move into five specific areas in which nonprofits can be particularly vulnerable Careful preparation will help cushion the blow of a crisis

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/managingcrisis/default.aspx?chp=0 (2016-02-12)
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  • 1 - Preparing for Crisis - Managing Crisis
    the organization Not all crises will have this level of public visibility but for those that would think carefully about who is best suited to portray your organization in the best light Internal communications manager Someone with a good sense of who will be affected by the crisis should be accountable for ensuring that the internal communication component of the crisis management plan is executed and that staff volunteers and other key players with any information they may need For example if a natural disaster has forced a nonprofit to evacuate its facilities how will clients know if services are still available or where to go to find them How will regular donors be informed if the organization needs emergency funds How will staff know where to report to work The internal communications manager should ensure that an updated contact list is copied and stored somewhere off site Uploading it to a website can be a useful option though a physical copy should also be made available The plan should clearly state who will be responsible for accessing this list and what methods they will use to see that necessary information is delivered Assemble the crisis management team and put the plan into action Depending on the exact nature of the crisis the crisis management team should determine how much detail is appropriate for different stakeholder groups to know from board members to staff volunteers media clients or funders The team should determine what methods of communication will be used for each group whether a personal phone call or a notice on the organization s website If bad news needs to be delivered to any of these parties it is best done all at once rather than doled out over time The team should also anticipate that in any crisis there is likely to be a proliferation of rumors and exaggerations Steps should be taken to correct these as quickly and effectively as possible It is important to remind staff that all media inquiries should be routed to the official spokesperson Emphasize this by informing them that there could be serious consequences for failing to adhere to the policy When dealing with the media the spokesperson should always be honest and proactive It is helpful for the spokesperson to make a summary of the known facts of the situation on a regular basis and continue to update media contacts as it evolves In the event of a crisis having a crisis management plan can ease the rigors Click here to download a sample crisis communication plan provided by the Colorado Nonprofit Association You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site It is vitally important that leaders and decision makers remain as calm as possible One of the most challenging aspects of any stressful situation is handling one s own emotions which can include fear of disaster avoidance over optimism or defeat Even in a time crunch it is vitally important that leaders take moments to self

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/managingcrisis/default.aspx?chp=1 (2016-02-12)
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  • 2 - Economic Downturn - Managing Crisis
    offers consulting services workshops and clinics that can help an organization make sure it is managing its finances in a sound stable way Prepare for a loss of revenue and or spike in demand for services Consider partnering with a complementary organization to share space or other resources If your nonprofit offers services that are particularly applicable to times of economic depression be more aggressive in approaching government sources for funds It may also be possible to renegotiate debt or leases for better terms In times of economic hardship low tenancy rates and a depressed real estate market may make it possible for some donors to give free space to nonprofits which can lead to a significant cut in expenses Above all a nonprofit is most likely to survive such a crisis by being proactive Budgets should be written with both best and worst case scenarios in mind and revenue projections should be made regularly It is important to develop a response plan to a worst case scenario revenue shortfall ahead of time Organizations should also make a particular effort to thank donors and reach out to them personally Avoid common financial pitfalls that put the organization at risk during economic downturns The best way for a nonprofit to prepare for the possibility of a recession is to make sure that the organization is financially healthy from the start There are a number of practices that many nonprofits make use of which can actually weaken their overall fiscal health including Excessive borrowing Organizations that borrow at attractively low rates against their endowments or based on high revenue estimates can be left holding the bag when the economy slows Owning space Many organizations try to take advantage of real estate booms by overbuilding gambling that the market value of property will continue to increase or that excess space can be leased to produce more revenue When real estate markets collapse these organizations may have difficulty securing tenants and be faced with high fixed costs Building an endowment This is often considered the holy grail of nonprofit finance but endowments can be very unreliable sources of revenue particularly when they would most be needed i e in times of wide scale economic distress Unnecessary spending In good times organizations might expand operations assuming that the organizations itself can take on all the risk of carrying the organization Developing partnerships forming relationships with potential champions and advocates and ensuring that the work of the organization is work that is most necessary puts organizations in a better position to whether a downturn In addition to these practices nonprofits are handicapped by a lack of flexibility when it comes to their workforce Where for profit businesses can often downsize during hard times to cut costs this isn t always an option for nonprofits A hospital for example can rarely afford to cut nurses nor can an orchestra trim back on violin players When responding to a recession it is important to maintain your nonprofit s

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/managingcrisis/default.aspx?chp=2 (2016-02-12)
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  • 3 - Loss of a Major Funding Source - Managing Crisis
    team to significantly increase the level of effort going toward fundraising and revenue development Members of the team should be prepared to spend seven to ten hours per month strategizing and fundraising in addition to their usual responsibilities The team should begin by assembling a list of potential revenue sources The list should be made as diverse as possible and it should combine larger sources that may take a longer amount of time to pay off with smaller sources that can be realized more immediately A few ideas for potential sources are Hold a membership drive Charge for subscriptions to a newsletter Canvass Run a gifts campaign Charge fees for services using a sliding scale Sell products such as T shirts and stationery Speak at professional organizations and service clubs Apply for grants from local corporations service clubs churches or unions Apply for a line of credit from the bank Hold special events such as concerts or parties Sell booklets or manuals with useful information Approach corporations for sponsorship After identifying potential revenue sources conduct a cost benefit analysis Once the recovery team has assembled a list of potential revenue sources it should evaluate each using the following criteria Estimated potential revenue Appropriateness of the activity in relation to your mission Research required Time needed to implement is this a short or long term approach Number of staff and volunteers required Cost Risks Liklihood of success Appropriateness of revenue source With this information identify activities that will yield the most revenue with the amount of time and resources the organization can afford to deveote When making cuts leaders of nonprofits can think creatively and take care of people as much as possible First and foremost organizations are made of people and in the case of nonprofits these people are typically

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/managingcrisis/default.aspx?chp=3 (2016-02-12)
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  • 4 - Loss of or Damage to Physical Assets - Managing Crisis
    agents banks and creditors Maintain an up to date list of all equipment including serial numbers and cost This should also be duplicated and backed up as it will prove very useful if it becomes necessary to make an insurance claim While data and documents can be copied and backed up it is harder to replace office space The crisis plan should include a list of potential recovery locations should office or program space become unavailable These could include a staff member s home or locations that can be temporarily rented such as hotels or conference space Consider forming mutual support agreements with other nonprofits in the area These agreements can allow for space sharing which will enable both groups to continue at least limited operations until a permanent solution can be found Think about this before you need to minimize disruption in the event of a severe crisis Electronic data plays a vital role in crisis management You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site The loss or damage of a physical asset requires immediate response It is far more likely that your organization will face fraud or theft than a natural disaster so it s perhaps more critical to take steps to minimize the risk of fraud and theft Consider the following steps Limit access to valuable resources Only necessary staff members should have access to supplies and merchandise Limit authority to sign the organization s checks or access bank accounts Protect confidential donor information such as credit card numbers The theft of this information can have devastating consequences as donor confidence will be greatly undermined and the organization s reputation may be irreparably damaged Sensitive information like this should always be stored on a secure server and be password protected No matter how well you have prepared for the possibility coping with the loss or damage of a major physical asset such as office space or computer systems will require quick focused swift action to minimize impact Be prepared to do the following Contact the police Inform your insurance agent let him her know as soon as you have discovered the loss Make sure you know what information needs to be provided before making a claim Communicate clearly and repeatedly to staff volunteers donors and stakeholders about how the loss will affect them If the theft was of data rather than equipment any clients donors or staff whose information may have been compromised must be informed immediately If your office space is unavailable consult your list of recovery sites In a situation where an organization s office or program space becomes unavailable the organization should consult its list of potential recovery sites and establish which one is the most appropriate In the case of a large scale disaster not all sites will be available The crisis team should examine factors such as accessibility to clients available space cost and time involved in making arrangements to use the location Consider whether you will be

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/managingcrisis/default.aspx?chp=4 (2016-02-12)
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  • 5 - Loss of Human Assets - Managing Crisis
    background Are all employees aware of what the organization will do to accommodate disabilities Are training and promotions seen as fair May employees take off their own religious holildays and work on Christmas in return Retaining executive directors and other high level leaders presents a different set of challenges The average tenure of nonprofit executive directors is surprisingly short Inspiring leaders are often core to the ability of the organization to fundraise and attract top talent and organizations that have had this kind of leader can face crisis when this type of leader leaves In retaining high level directors and managers consider the following Has the organization gone through a high stress or crisis period Executive directors often leave after surviving a crisis to prevent burn out and get a fresh start The board should take measures to take care of the executive director during and after these times of crisis Are the leaders getting bored Look for signs of passion waning and stay in tune with the current passions of talented leaders Is there anyway to re inspire and re engage talented leaders Speak openly about this and explore ways to shift responsibilities or incorporate some of the leader s new ideas into the work Good leaders aren t easy to replace Keeping open conversations about the aspirations of leaders of the organization will ensure that you are not surprised when that leader decides it is time to move on Abrupt terminations due to inappropriate or illegal activities happen The impact of sudden departures can be minimized through careful planning Minimize the effects of a lost employee by having a succession plan The loss of someone who plays such a key role can make it very difficult for an organization to maintain even basic operations never mind muster the resources and clear thinking needed to plan for an orderly succession An organized transition can sustain morale and ensure the continuity of services To ensure an organized transition even in the case of an abrupt departure ensure a succession plan is part of your crisis management plan A succession plan is a set of activities policies and instructions for making the search for replacement leaders as smooth as possible The plan should include Develop working relationships with consultants volunteers and temp agencies who can help you fill the gap while the search for a permanent replacement is underway Develop procedures for handling the contacts projects and files of departing staff members so that nothing gets lost in the shuffle A pre set developed policy that lays out the expected approach for searching for and hiring an executive director Ensure that at least one person within the organization or a board member or retired director continues to shadow the executive director and understands that s he is the designated interim leader in the case of an abrupt departure Groom talented staff for leadership positions consider creating a management development program however small or informal Have an emergency fund available or know

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/managingcrisis/default.aspx?chp=5 (2016-02-12)
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  • 6 - Employee Lawsuit - Managing Crisis
    third party witness present for this type of warning If behavior performance does not improve have a final meeting to inform the individual that he she is being dismissed Have detailed documentation available for review to demonstrate that you have taken all appropriate steps and that the process as been fair and transparent If the decision is set in stone start off the meeting by informing the individual that they are being let go that the decision is final and that you are happy to discuss the reasons for the dismissal but that the decision will not change This helps set the stage for a productive conversation Again ensure a third party is present If appropriate offer severance pay This may soften the blow of dismissal and make a lawsuit less likely Assess potential fallout from letting an employee go and address it For example in most cases employees have friends and allies who will become demoralized or angry when they hear the news Lettign someone go also typically means that other employees have to pick up the slack temporarily left by the vacanchy and this could cause anxiety and tension People may also wonder if they may be at risk of termination Be very intentional about how the change is communicated and be mindful that there may be emotional reactions that require attention and care Though the majority of employment related lawsuits involve terminations lawsuits about harassment are also common In legal terms an organization involved in such a lawsuit will need to show that they took substantial steps to prevent or mitigate such harassment and that the employee unreasonably failed to avail him or herself of these measures The employment interview is a vital component in the hiring process Click here to download a sample interviewing model to help you with your employee recruitment You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site Your organization should establish firm policies against harassment The beginning of any effort to prevent harassment should begin with establishing policies which make it clear that harassment will not be tolerated Employees should be informed of what constitutes harassment and told that disciplinary actions may be taken if harassment is found to have occurred The policies should be written down and included in a staff handbook and or posted in a highly visible location such as a break room In addition the policies should be discussed at training sessions and staff meetings on a regular basis The policies should also include a confidential private and accessible complaint procedure of which all employees are regularly made aware Additionally the policies should include language ensuring that any accusation of harassment be reported to the executive director or another top manager who will be held responsible by the board for thoroughly investigating the report In a case where it is determined that harassment has taken place the organization can take the following steps For the harasser Demotion Wage cut Suspension Oral or written warnings Transfer

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/managingcrisis/default.aspx?chp=6 (2016-02-12)
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