It doesn’t matter how small your nonprofit, you are never too small for a crisis. While your nonprofit may not appear in the national newspaper due to scandal, your crisis can certainly garner local news attention and hurt your reputation among supporters.
That being said, how many nonprofits do you know of who have a crisis communication plan in place? Few, I’ll bet.
The long-term detrimental impact on an organization is often caused by the how an organization responds to the crisis, not by the event, and the negative media attention and communications after the fact.
Crises can include:
- Board of director issues
- Legal actions/malpractice
- Illegal activities (i.e. embezzlement, abuse, etc.)
- Accidents and fires
- Adverse events at your workplace
- Political changes or activities
- Employee issues and workplace violence
- Labor relations
- Major announcements
Plan on a crisis affecting your organization at some point, and make a plan to address the crises you are most likely to face. This may include developing new policies to protect the organization in the future, developing a reporting structure to help stop crises before they happen and training staff to speak to the media.
Once your plan is in place, educate all staff and board members on your crisis plan. Be ready. Be prepared. Crisis communications do not have to be scary.
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