Today marks one entire month since our Idaho Nonprofit Center staff were together in our office. I made the decision to close our office and move to remote work on St. Patrick’s Day. It is hard to imagine that it has been a full month. As my favorite meme says, this week has been the longest year of my life.
We are in such a strange time right now, where the days fly by so quickly as we all rapidly respond to the crisis at hand in our own mission-centric way. And yet it seems like years since life was even close to “normal.” Perhaps that’s because of the added difficulty of adjusting to working in my sweatpants with teenagers and a husband all working and attending school from home at the same time.
I feel as drained as our internet bandwidth on any given day. Yet I still hold a sense of optimism of what is to come. It is who I am, and how I am wired.
We don’t yet know what is next, but I do know that we are starting to think about the decisions we are facing as our COVID case count is beginning to flatten out. Because I’m an eternal optimist I’m thinking about bringing my team back together in the future.
What is Next?
Governor Little has extended the stay home order through April 30, with some concessions for non-essential businesses to begin to reopen. In his statement and since the announcement, more information has come to light as to how we can think about “what is next.”
We are hosting a panel webinar Thursday, April 23 discussing how and when to return to routine operations and what we should consider. As it turns out, there’s a lot.
In my office, we are thinking about creating a safe environment for staff and visitors. We’re asking ourselves whether we even need to move back into the office in early May.
NOTE: I’ve already determined that the answer to that question is no. We’re working and I personally feel an enormous responsibility to keep my team and their loved ones healthy. We will remain as a remote team until we determine the community and health indicators inspire confidence that our staff is once again safe in the same space.
I miss them very much but my choice is to remain apart indefinitely. They are doing a great job and with the blessing of technology, staff/program conference calls and a weekly all-staff happy hour (work and COVID issues are rarely discussed), I still feel connected.
We will also explore what we need to know about creating a safe and healthy space once we decide to move back in together. What do we need to have on hand? Masks? Hand sanitizer? Clorox wipes? What other safeguards can we implement that can help us all stay safe? Do we limit visitors? Can we and should we check temperatures? What can we and should we disclose about potential exposure?
What if some or all of your staff has been unemployed? What do you need to know about bringing them back to work? If you applied for payroll protection plan funds, how does that impact your organization? Do you need to make any changes to your remote work policies or leave policies?
We hope to address these questions and more for next week and help us all start building a plan to “return to normal” once we are fully able to do so.
SBA Loan Updates
I was disappointed to learn that the SBA has put a hold on accepting additional PPP applications at this time, but it also brought to light that there might be multiple applications for a single entity at several different financial institutions. If you know you will receive funding, or already have, contact your other lenders so they can cancel pending applications.
Please know that we will continue to advocate for an expansion of funding for this program as our elected officials return to work next week and begin drafting phase four of the COVID relief legislation. We take our role as the voice of the nonprofit sector very seriously and will continue to share what we learn as it unfolds.
Idaho Gives Now Two Weeks
Idaho Gives will open for a two week campaign on April 23. We have a record number of nonprofits registered and we look forward to having two full weeks to share the ways in which our nonprofit sector enhances our quality of life in Idaho.
The campaign is built on highlighting our work and asking “What can you give Idaho?” There is no better time for us to illuminate and champion our friends in the nonprofit world. We did the math this year and noted that there are 1.2 million adults in Idaho. If each of us could give just $10, we could support our nonprofits with $12 million.
I know not everyone has $10 to give, but I do know that sometimes those of us with the least tend to give the most, even when things are tough. I believe that this will be a great year for Idaho Gives, regardless of what we raise.
This year it’s about ensuring that our fellow Idahoans know how much you do for your community, and in turn, bring critically needed funding in a short period of time.
Before I sign off this week I want to give a shout out to our health and human service organizations and all those on the front lines caring for our sick and for those impacted in other ways by COVID-19. You are heroes. Plain and simple. Thank you for all you do.
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