Navigating COVID-19 as a nonprofit

Navigating COVID-19 as a nonprofit

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends


Kristen Binns
The Lung Association of Nova Scotia
Communications Assistant

Non-profit organizations may be seeing a slow return to normal operations, but the services that nonprofits provide are now more important than ever. Non-profit organizations need to be adaptive in the way they serve clients, using new ideas and strategies to deliver programming and services to those that need them most.

At the Lung Association of Nova Scotia, our vital role to help Nova Scotians who are most at risk of COVID-19 drove us to be innovative and open-minded in our approach to supporting those who need us. The following tactics have helped us maintain strength and presence as a nonprofit throughout this pandemic:

Continue to communicate

Transparency is a crucial first step to finding success for nonprofits during this pandemic. There is enough uncertainty and there is no reason to create more. Keep open lines of communication with your board members, employees, volunteers, donors and the people you serve. Even if your organization is unsure about how you will adapt to this new environment, continue to communicate.

If your doors have remained open, or you will be opening at any capacity, share what safety measures you have implemented and why. This communication will allow people to feel safe engaging with your services.

If you can’t meet in person, communicate through video when possible. Consider scheduling meetings on a video calling platform such as Zoom or GoTo Meetings. Video calling can also be beneficial for support groups, who are unable to meet due to health conditions and increased vulnerability. Consider supporting these support groups by organizing meetings on their behalf.

Find new lanes for success

Finding ways to adapt programs and services may seem like a daunting task. The lanes you once used to deliver your programing and services may be closed. But not all lanes for action have been closed, and new ones continue to open.

Having an online presence is no longer just a good idea, it is crucial. People are looking for answers online, and they need ways to connect and be informed without leaving their homes. Using social media platforms, blogs or newsletters are just a few ways to communicate with your stakeholders.

Encouraging online donations is now even more integral, as it reduces barriers to giving while also creating cost savings for the organization. While many Canadians are facing economic uncertainty, there are still many others who have the means and the desire to help. Donor outreach can be a great way to let your supporters know how much their contributions mean to your organization, especially during this pandemic.

Running campaigns and events can be a key source of funding, and running programs are key to achieving missions. These operations will likely need to be adapted to this new environment. As you make plans for updating, consider what you can do differently and better with these operations. Can you host an online seminar, or series of seminars? Host a virtual fundraiser? Look for ways to bring your goals into action by finding new lanes instead of accepting dead ends.


A final way we have been able to adapt while dealing with the impacts of this virus includes keeping the lines of communication open with those we serve. Ask your community and those who are involved with your organization what support you can provide them right now. You may be able to guide them to resources you already have available, or they might inspire you with new ideas.

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends

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