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Management and Leadership in Nonprofits

Management and Leadership in Nonprofits


Time to get back to normal — wait, what is normal?

May 26, 2021
By: Tammy T. Jelinek
Time to get back to normal — wait, what is normal?

It’s interesting when you wish for something and sort of get it. 

In May of 2020, most of us were adjusting to how to live life during a pandemic because it was projecting to be more permanent than we thought. We were longing for normal, the way it was, the way we knew how to be in it.

Now it’s May 2021. 

I walked into a store that stated if you had been fully vaccinated no mask was needed, as the CDC had lifted mask restrictions. Looking around the store, many people left the masks on. Masks had become some people’s normal.

I have been asked to come on-site to a client to facilitate a day of training — something that would have been no questions asked before the pandemic. Now I am thinking, oh I need to book a ticket, get a flight, get a hotel, get my bag ready for travel … go back to normal.

Speaking of going onsite, Wipfli is hosting our annual National Training Conference from July 13-16 in Las Vegas. Restrictions are being lifted in that state and county. We have chosen to only host less than half of the attendees that we have in the past, on purpose, to allow for social distancing. We are so excited to see clients in person. 

We are also offering a Virtual Training Experience online from July 26-30. It allows not only leaders but also teams who do not often get to travel to still get the information they need to move forward. (We encourage you and your team to register for the virtual conference to gain valuable information about how your nonprofit organization can become stronger to serve.) The Virtual Training Experience has more attendees than the on-site conference. Will this be normal in the future?

It’s also time to encourage associates to return to the office. Though as an accounting and consulting firm we have been considered essential workers through the pandemic, the firm has chosen to be very open to allowing people to continue to work from home. Over a year later, working from home feels very normal for some and they like it.

The online dictionary defines normal as an adjective “conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected” or as a noun, “the usual, average, or typical state or condition.”

Normal may look so new for so many people. We may wear masks to travel, but not to shop or eat out. We may shop local more or continue to frequent the stores that were open for the past year. We may work from home or the office or a hybrid model. We might have lunch meetings online and order in take-out. We may watch little league for the laughter of the children versus the number of runs scored. We may play outside more, because now it is normal.

What will be your normal be as leader? 

What are you keeping as lessons learned from 2020?

What are you going back to because it feels so normal and you cannot wait?

Wishing you a great day, and remember: Lead with legacy 

– Tammy

Related content:

How to align finance, tech and talent to battle nonprofits’ top challenges
How to build a wage structure that support your goals
What is a single audit, and do you need one?
Happy anniversary?


Tammy T. Jelinek, MBA
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Management and Leadership in Nonprofits blog
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