Management and Leadership in Nonprofits


What If…

Apr 24, 2020
By: Brian R. Gaumont
What If…

Do we continue the strategies that we have built, or do we throw them out the window? In the current environment, both seem like reasonable options. And in fact, both should be considered. Times of crisis often bring a plethora of uncertainty, and nothing could be truer in the current circumstance. How can we plan with such a high degree of uncertainty? Right now, most of us are in a reactive state, as international and national health and policy responses are changing at a once unfathomable pace. However, some nonprofit leaders take current information and think through potential outcomes, scenarios and futures. We can’t know what will happen. But we can look at what might happen. Asking “what if” allows us to build action plans for each potential scenario, which organizations can then quickly implement once additional clarity and information is available to inform a decision. Nonprofit organizations around the country are predicting the shape of the future by looking at multiple scenarios. This is not a formal process. This is not a quantitative process. This is not a strategic planning process. This is a process of inclusion, using available information and the insights of your organizational leaders, community partners, funders and other stakeholders to address the “what ifs.” Unfortunately, we are not able to wait for clarity and best practices. We are also not able to panic; our communities need us more than ever. They are looking to us for stability, for service, for reassurance. Let’s work together to consider the possible futures. Let’s continue to share our insights. Let’s continue to use our state and national associations and trusted partners. Let’s be ready for whatever is up next.


Brian R. Gaumont
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