2021 did not start with fireworks and a bang, but rather a subdued world and country, with strict lockdowns. Public amenities closed during December and January causing much stress amongst us all.
How has this impacted us as Non Profits?
Many children would have been taken for an outing by your organisation, to a park for a Christmas picnic, or a day trip to the beach with a few spoils of cooldrinks, snacks a meal and maybe some clothing/toiletries and a gift?
With lockdown and Covid as a backdrop that could not happen. We as a sector had to reinvent ourselves to entertain the children during the season in a very different way.
Furthermore, much of the funding that would have gone to Non profits providing training, education and the vast array of services offered by you, the donors diverted much of their funding to Covid 19 relief initiatives. This has impacted almost every organisation, and the hardest hit were old age homes, child care centres and skills training.
Again the sector had to re-invent themselves, to come up with a plan so that the work could continue. There are many great stories how so many of you have done this; some with a bit more ease than others. Some with difficulty for a variety of reasons:
- Board members were inactive and were tardy in their
- No funds available to change direction or to fundraise
- Lack of online skills from staff
- Data and connectivity
- Lack of equipment (computers, laptops and tablets)
Covid 19 has had an impact on all of us in society and no one has come unscathed from this. We all thought that this would be over by now, but in reality, we have to think that our futures will be forever changed. With this in mind, it is now time to re-plan, re-budget and most of all, upskill all our staff to understand technology better.
Invest in devices for staff, invest in data so that staff can participate in their work 100%.
Many Zoom and Skype meetings have been attended, instead of meeting the donor
or beneficiaries face to face. Teaching and training has also evolved very quickly to accommodate learners at home using whatsup and messaging and creating support groups to learn and share teaching aids and methods.
Fundraising has also changed dramatically, and now more than ever, it has shown that the survival of the fittest will “outlast and outplay” those that have sat idly waiting for Covid to disappear. The world has changed. Travel has changed. Meetings have changed. Staff training and development must now follow the trend.
Spend time training ALL staff how to use the laptop or computer. Spend time training staff how to Zoom and share documents on various platforms. Include Zoom and Skype etiquette and establish whatsup groups. It does, admittedly take some practice and getting used to this new way of doing business. I have seen elderly people mastering this skill; a generation that was never exposed to this fast paced way of life from a home desk! They are doing it.
The Non Profit sector, for it to be able to survive and grow, must take the leap and invest in proper skills development, not just for their beneficiaries sake, but also for all their staff. Empower all, and not just a select few. This way, when a team meeting must be held, everyone can attend online, and not just those who traditionally were able to use technology.
Our message to the Non Profit sector is: Grab this opportunity. See this as a huge plus factor where development and growth can take place in your organisation. Continue to empower all those around you with Technology, as this is the way forward. We cannot hide behind the old wooden chalk board anymore.
2021 and this decade is going to be different, and the sooner we can adapt, the better we will be to impact those beneficiaries that deserve our help.
Keep warm, winter is upon us. Grow those veggies and eat healthy to stay healthy. Salute to you for making a difference. Never give up.
Know better. Support Better. Do Better