Business Continuity Plans for Nonprofits

Many organizations have found themselves in a “gotcha” moment. Business continuity plans are what nonprofits use to make sure operations are uninterrupted during unexpected circumstances. You knew that a business continuity plan was essential. Yet, you put it off because it didn’t seem urgent. Suddenly you are faced with a pandemic and you had to figure out how to operate when offices closed, people had to work from home, clients still needed services, and the board needed to make decisions. You aren’t alone. Many organizations face the same dilemma. How do you operate if there is a catastrophic situation that disrupts everything you do?

Business continuity plans are crucial to protecting nonprofits from unexpected disruptions in operations. Read tips for these plans here.

Business Continuity Plans Are A Living Thing

Look at the emergency measures you have had to take over the last couple of months. Remember them. Assess their effectiveness. Don’t put it off. Plan. Something like this will happen again. Look at this as an opportunity to make a solid “what if” plan that will guide you through the next crisis.

It may not be a pandemic that causes disruption. It might be a flood, a fire, a weather event, a water main break, or a power outage. There are ways that your operations might be disrupted that you can’t even imagine right now.

What will you do if you lose access to your facility? What will you do if you lose access to your technology? The actions that you have recently taken during the pandemic can form the basis of your business continuity plans. How did you maintain operations? Did your actions work? What would you do differently? What do you need for the future?

Here are some questions to guide your planning.

  • What is your communications plan for staff, board, volunteers and donors in the event of a disruption to your operations? Who are your key contacts that you will get to quickly? Do you frequently update contact information for all those groups?
  • What is your plan for an alternative site or work from home for staff? Is there a place where you can reassemble and still maintain operations, or will staff have to work remotely?
  • What is your plan for technology? Are all files backed up in an off-site location? How will staff have access to technology and files if the facility is not available?

Opportunity in Adversity

The pandemic crisis has provided an opportunity to review an existing business continuity plan or to create a plan. All the ways in which organizations have figured out ways to continue can provide the basis for a plan. Document what you did, how you did it and how well it worked. It’s an excellent start to your plan.

Want to know how your nonprofit board of directors and staff can be more productive and efficient through the use of technology? With Boardable’s board portal, you can centralize board information and communications, where everything (and everyone) is just a couple of clicks away. Click below to get started with Boardable.

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