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7 Things Not Asked Back to the Post-COVID-19 Nonprofit World

Hey. I know this time is bananas. Every week feels like a year. We are hovering in fight or flight or freeze mode. (To get out of it, consider dressing up as a monster in your next zoom meeting! Monster Mask Image courtesy of Natasha Kolosowsky, of Shadowtender)

It’s time for a little levity. Let’s say- These things are not asked back when we can all go outside again!

Political disengagement:

If this situation of having to stay home, decimating our economy, losing people we love, makes you mad, then YOU and your friends should make sure everyone has the right and ability to vote. And vote for better leaders that have plans for global pandemics. On a related note, let’s also not ask back…

Voting in person:

Face it, this should have stopped years ago. With such few polling places, gerrymandering, and the arduous process of waiting in line to vote, many voters simply give up. And that’s what gerrymanderers are counting on. How do we fight this? Vote by mail. We do vote by mail in Oregon, now Florida and Idaho are doing vote by mail, California is offering a permanent vote-by-mail option.

If you want to do it, you should request a mail-in ballot. Because your life is endangered by going to the polls right now. If you are a civic engagement nonprofit, this should be one of your top issues right now.

The devaluation of “essential workers”:

That means our social workers! Our food deliveries. Our healthcare workers. Our staff. Give us vacation, pay raises and better healthcare! Our lives literally depend on it. What should be better post-COVID-19 is union movements inside of our healthcare systems, and in our nonprofits.

If we are asked to go out and deliver food, to meet donors, to work in a time that will endanger our health, we need to be compensated and taken care of for that risk. And the truth is, we should always have been paid more. We should always have been getting full healthcare coverage, and as much sick time and family time as we need. If this virus has taught us one thing, it is that we do not know who will get sick, and who will die. We need to prioritize what is truly important, time to enjoy life, and be given the time and space to do that.

Commuting to work:

If you can stay at home, right now, you should. We are nowhere near done with this virus. China’s got their infection rate up again. Even after being shut down for months! It is REALLY not safe for you to go out there! We are seeing how the virus is putting people into renal failure, giving them fatal blood clots, increasing brain encephalitis, and more. And it could come back in the fall or winter!

I’ve already written about how much staying home actually helps the environment. (please link my previous bloomerang blog post here) Not commuting helps you feel happier. There are ways to make your home office feel supportive right now. (please link my previous bloomerang blog post here)

Which means…

Crappy Office Buildings:

I never met an office building that I liked. Why does your nonprofit need an office? If you are working mostly on the computer, and you have internet at home, you could potentially do your job from home. Not having an office building, or having a smaller space, can save your nonprofit so much time and money. And we are going to need a lot more money to get through this. Even giving up your office for a period of months might be a good idea. Use that office budget to get more training for your staff and give them more benefits during this time.

The Olympics:

L.A. I’m looking at you. Seriously, I mean, it’s nice that we can celebrate athleticism, but not at the cost of our most vulnerable. The Olympics are not good for us. Anyone who serves the houseless population knows this. Anyone who serves low-income people knows this too. Olympics come in, and whole neighborhoods are razed to the ground. Houseless people are incarcerated or bussed out so they won’t “litter” the streets with their inconvenient humanity.

On top of that, the Guardian notes what happened in Rio, “a huge security presence that protected rich foreigners at the expense of poor residents, (and) dismal crowds that suggested most locals were uninterested in most sports. All in the service to line the pockets of a few developers who build giant infrastructure for an event that is there for a few months, and then goes away. And you’re left with a ghost town. Look at how nobody wants the Olympics in their city anymore. This is why.

Finally, we need funders and nonprofits to get out of the emergency mindset:

We see funders setting up emergency funds of $500. It’s a nice start, but it’s not going to cut it for anyone. Even the bigger amounts are not going to fix long term underlying problems of depending too much on a big event, and too much on one or two donors. So what can we do instead? Well, let’s get into a 18-24 month mindset for our nonprofits. What does that look like? Let’s agree that we don’t know yet, but we can start to brainstorm together.

Do you have ideas for what is not asked back to post coronavirus world?

Please leave a comment.

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Mazarine