NFP Success during Extended COVID-19

Illumeo Customer Success's Profile

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc for most businesses and organizations, it is imperative that not-for-profit entities (NFP) keep watch over certain areas of their organizations.  This post will address some areas that organizations should watch to make sure they are minimally affected by the pandemic. 

Cash Management

NFPs should carefully manage their cash and cash reserves.  It is important that operating reserves are built up and maintained, cash forecasts are prepared and updated frequently, and billing and collections procedures are reviewed and tightened.  If the organization does not have an operating reserve policy, it is advisable to create one.  An operating reserve helps a NFP respond to temporary changes in circumstances or in its environment.  Building and maintaining an operating reserve helps an organization better manage its cash flows on a day-to-day basis.

Financial Planning

A financial plan links the NFP’s mission with its available resources to ensure that it can fulfill its mission.  A financial plan looks at the past, current and future.  A strong financial plan will include at least three years - actual/current year, the following/budget/planning year, and the forecasting/future year(s):

  1. Current year: the current year numbers provide timely information about what is working and what is not working for the organization.

  2. Budget year: developing a budget for the following year will help provide focus for future activities.

  3. Forecasting years: planning and preparing for growth will support the NFP’s sustainability.‚Äč

Remote Working Challenges

Organizations need to assess its current challenges with respect to remote working.  Many businesses have had remote employees for over a year now.  While most companies considered remote working to be a temporary solution to the pandemic problem, many have now decided to make remote working a permanent policy for their organization.  To address the change from temporary to permanent, NFPs should consider developing or creating policies addressing the remote work environment. 

Investing in Information Technology

Investing in the proper technology for remote working can ensure that employees are working efficiently.  Investing in technology can require a lot of time and money, so it is imperative that a NFP evaluates each employee’s needs, their experience with technology and the organization’s information technology gaps and opportunities.  A third-party vendor may be the best resource for ensuring a NFP is up-to-date on its information technology needs.  Information technology operational processes should be reviewed periodically to ensure both the organization and the remote employees’ needs are being met.

Similar to a financial plan, an information technology roadmap can be key to a NFP’s success.  A well-thought-out roadmap should align with an organization’s strategic plan as well as its capital and operating budgets.  The roadmap should be evaluated regularly for effectiveness.  In addition to establishing an information technology roadmap, there are some other key steps to ensure success over information technology.  Some of these steps are:

  • All insurance policies are updated and reviewed to ensure coverage includes all equipment

  • Adequate training is provided to employees

  • Data is cleaned and maintained

  • Governing information technology policies are established

  • Information technology solutions are only purchased after reviewing a NFP’s functional requirements

  • Third-party vendors are monitored