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The anti-COVID blog post – nonprofits stepping up

When I first thought about writing a blog post in the midst of a global pandemic, I assumed I would write an article with tips on how nonprofits can best function during a crisis, how to care for yourself or your team when shit is hitting the fan or all about how to effectively work from home (something I’ve been doing for 4 years at this point). But I realized quickly that the time for that has already passed and the space has been saturated. I really can’t imagine what added value I can offer at this point. Then I started to think about the fact that nonprofits, particularly those in the areas of social services and health care already know how to do all of this. Crisis management is in their DNA. Nonprofits know how to get the work done with a lean staff. They are quite familiar with functioning under great stress, wondering how to care for themselves and each other while also providing for vulnerable populations. Nonprofits are no strangers to fewer resources in times of higher demand. Folks working in the public sector have chosen this career path, or vocation really, because at their core they want to serve others, restore justice and fulfill meaningful missions.

Maybe we can all look to these organizations as examples of how to lean into the work and step up when most needed. I’m amazed at what I see right now. Homeless service organizations banning together to demand housing for those who need it and can’t just “stay at home.” Philanthropic powerhouses responding at lightening speed to funding needs of their grantees, and beyond. Mutual aid networks popping up everywhere. Nonprofits are often told to look at their for-profit counterparts for examples of how to run a business, but I think right now, we should all be looking to nonprofits to show us the way.

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