A Beautiful Day
I had every intention of sending out a Friday communication on May 1, but I just could not seem to find a spare minute in my day to write it. I think this is a common thing for all of us in the nonprofit sector, but particularly now as we’re balancing multiple priorities: regular work, COVID-19 related tasks, staff working remotely, kids who are still at home, and so much more. I always try to be transparent, so this is me telling you Friday was a bit overwhelming.
Friday was also an amazing day for many reasons: we exceeded $2 million in funds raised for Idaho Gives and our great state of Idaho has entered into stage 1 of the Rebound Idaho recovery plan. In Boise, it was beautiful outside with warmth and sunshine wrapping us up in a delightful hug that felt special since we’re unable to offer one to each other.
I am hopeful for continued recovery both in our community members’ health and well-being and in economic prosperity. This is a marathon, not a sprint. All of this will take time and patience – something I find myself running out of sometimes. Yet, I am committed to doing everything I can to keep my family, my employees, and those that we serve home, healthy, and safe.
Guidance and Support
The focus of my message today is simply to provide some guidance and support as you navigate some big decisions in the coming weeks. Like all small businesses, nonprofits are faced with big decisions both internally and externally.
At the Idaho Nonprofit Center we chose to tackle our internal policies and procedures first. I was fortunate enough to receive a template from our building owner laying out their strategy not only for their employees but for our building. I did not have to reinvent the wheel which was incredibly helpful. I can get overwhelmed with a project like that when I don’t know where to start.
If it could help you, I’ve made our return to work policy DRAFT available to you via shared Google Docs. As it is a working document and our staged approach from the Governor’s office is fluid, dates and guidance are subject to change.
We are being as conservative as possible in bringing our team back to the office. In fact, our office will remain 100% remote until we enter into stage 4. However, 100% of my staff will have the option to remain working remotely. Our office will be closed to all walk-in traffic unless pre-arranged. In addition, we’re imposing a 14 day self-quarantine requirement if staff have work or personal travel outside of the local area.
From an external standpoint, all of our programs and services will continue to be remote, and that includes our annual conference at the end of August. Like you, we are awaiting guidance from state and local leadership regarding large gatherings. I don’t have to tell our nonprofit friends how expensive it is to cancel events at the last minute, or even a month out.
With this in mind, we made the decision to continue to host all our events remotely through the end of Quarter Three - September 30. We will continue to monitor the situation and decide how to handle Quarter Four events in the next couple of months. These changes could potentially have a devastating consequence on our income for the fall and winter. I know you understand these challenges but we are choosing to base our decisions with the people we serve in mind.
Positive Thinking but Proceed with Caution
I am always as positive as I can possibly be in my communications, but I also sometimes feel obligated to be as frank as possible with you too. The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on all of us. Emotionally, physically, and financially. How all of us fulfill our missions in the immediate and distant future is irrevocably altered. There may not be a temporary new norm. The new norm might be for the indefinite future.
To that end, we’re trying to lead through challenging decisions and will be as transparent as possible. During our toughest decisions about finances and Center income, the minute we thought about how to best protect and serve our employees, their families, our nonprofits, partners, and board members our decisions became clear. Putting people first has always been our mantra and when we do that, the choices are much easier to come by. Though they aren’t always the easiest decisions to make.
No One Size Fits All Approach
We know all of you face similar and yet pretty divergent decisions about how to fulfill your mission in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re here to provide the most up-to-date information and resources that we possibly can for you. We know there is no one size fits all approach to moving forward but we’ll do our best, as we always do, to help.
NEW Additional Resources
Truly, Thank You!
I always like to close by expressing my gratitude to those of you who work in the nonprofit sector in our communities every day. You are MORE than your missions. You are an economic engine, you are our #1 provider of our quality of life and you are our safety net for our most vulnerable populations. I shudder to think of what our lives would be like without every single member of this incredible nonprofit community.
I also am totally humbled and filled with immense gratitude for the incredible donor response to our extended two week Idaho Gives campaign. I have always known that Idahoans are generous almost to a fault (though it is impossible to over-do generosity). However, for us to have absolutely crushed our 2019 fundraising total and continue to climb in funds raised is almost a mind-blowing experience for me.
We are breaking records almost every day: topping out over $10 million raised since the program started in 2013, registering a record number of nonprofits, cruising past $2 million in our 2020 campaign, and over 621 nonprofits have raised funds to date through our event.
For those of you who cannot give this year, please know this: we love you, we care about you, and we are here for you. As our economic situation improves we’ll welcome you back, but in the meantime, it is our collective pleasure to be able to help the helpers, so that they can help you.
Thank you to all who have been able to give whether it’s one gift or a dozen. Your donations are making an immediate impact on our nonprofits and those we serve and we can never say thank you enough.
We hope you find these resources beneficial. We welcome suggestions on how we can improve this section. Contact us at