Crisis Management: Response to Covid-19 developed in response to student questions in our classes this past spring when our campuses were shutdown and the whole country was figuring out how to respond to the pandemic. It is a book responding to student interest and embraces stories of actual nonprofit organizations and their responses to those they serve, their employees, and the health challenges of Covid-19 and shelter-in-place orders across the country. It shares insight on a range of topics from leadership, fundraising, personnel issues, and risk management, to name a few.
This book is not a manual on risk management but rather is designed to promote critical thinking about dealing with unforeseen occurrences affecting one’s community, one’s organization, and those they serve. In the past, nonprofits have experienced crisis management in response to occurrences of a fixed time period such as fires, vehicle accidents, tornadoes, and hurricanes. What may be unique to the Covid-19 crisis management response is the unknown time of the required response.
Chapter one provides a broad overview of Covid-19 and crisis management by nonprofit organizations. Chapters then shift to a collection of stories about the responses of various types of nonprofit organizations to the health crisis in their communities, the stay-in-shelter orders closing their operations for 8 weeks or more, depending on their location. These are not randomly selected nonprofit stories but rather nonprofits known to the authors and selected because they deal with populations at particular risk of one type or another (mentally challenged individuals, abused women and their children, and homeless persons). The final chapter examines lessons for moving forward and being better prepared for future crises, including the possibility of future rampant Covid-19 outbreaks.
Our hope is that the book will provide instructors an insightful piece for discussing the response of the nonprofit sector to Covid-19. We hope it will stimulate thinking about the importance of leadership by professionals and key volunteers, such as board members during crises confronting organizations. Finally, we hope it will stimulate students to think critically and creatively about how nonprofits respond to their various constituents (clients, funders, personnel, etc.).
We dedicate this book to the many nonprofit professionals and volunteers who have been good stewards to their organizations and strived to serve their constituents, especially those from marginalized constituencies.
Overview of the Sagamore-Venture Nonprofit Series
1 Nonprofits, Crisis Management, and COVID-19
2 Hope Connections
3 Hope Place of Texas: Habilitation Program for Special Needs Adults
4 Unified Vailsburg Services Organization
5 New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education
6 United Way of Central Maryland
7 Jersey Battered Women’s Service
8 Life in AC: After COVID-19