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‘This is our task. This is our time.’


Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear closed his daily COVID-19 news briefing with those words last Friday, and they resonated with me. It is our task, and it is our time. It is our time to look after each other, to make sure we’re hearing the voices who need us most. It is our time to connect with each other despite the necessary physical distance we must maintain.

Staying in touch during a crisis means communicating regularly, simply, and honestly. It means remembering others who are struggling financially or emotionally and calling them, emailing them, texting them, and generally encouraging them. It means being brave enough to raise your hand and telling others that you yourself could use some encouragement.

Obviously, nonprofits also need to stay in touch with both the public and with stakeholders during these unprecedented times. So today’s featured topic is crisis communications.

Read on for suggestions you may find useful. (As usual, we also have a daily self-care tip.)

Today’s featured topic: Crisis Communications
We are taking advice today from Chad Carlton, of C2 Strategic Communications. His entire article, “Seven Standards to Follow in Crisis Communications,” is definitely worth the read. Here are just the high points:

“During times of crisis, the rush to act too often leads to communications mistakes that cost you credibility and confidence. Based on decades of crisis communications experience, [we recommend] seven standards to follow:

  1. Trust is hard to earn and easy to lose.
  2. Honesty really is the best policy.
  3. Accuracy is more important than immediacy.
  4. Regular communication instills confidence and creates order.
  5. Choose the right spokespeople.
  6. Consistency is crucial.
  7. Show gratitude.”

Chad also suggests the following resources:

COVID-19 Response Fund: A coalition of government and philanthropy has joined together to create the One Louisville: COVID-19 Response Fund that will rapidly deploy resources to households, businesses, and community-based organizations (nonprofit organizations) working at the front lines of the Louisville-area coronavirus outbreak. The Fund was created on March 19; as of today, it has raised $5.6M. For the most current information about the Fund, check cflouisville.org.

COVID-19 CEO Roundtables: We are hosting  virtual CEO Roundtables – an opportunity for nonprofit CEOs and Executive Directors to come together with peers to learn from local subject-matter experts how to navigate during the coronavirus outbreak. These free webinars are open to both CNPE members and non-members.

The first webinar is tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24, and will address COVID-19: HR and Legal Perspective for Nonprofits. You can register here; after registering, you will get a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Future topics will be Fundraising, Crisis Communications, and Self-Care, and we will be using Zoom as the communication platform. We will provide details, including how to register on Zoom, as soon as they are available.

Contact Congress today to secure aid for nonprofits: The Independent Sector is asking nonprofits to tell our legislators that Congress must provide emergency aid to nonprofit organizations and help secure billions of dollars in critical funding for our communities. You can submit letters to your representatives effortlessly here (the site identifies your representatives based on your ZIP code.)

Don’t forget “The List”: The CNPE team continues to curate links to resources that you can use on our COVID-19 Nonprofit Resources List. Keep checking back, because we are adding to it as our environment changes and new resources come on line. If we haven’t covered a topic of interest to you – or if you know of a helpful resource we should add – tell us.

Admiral William McRavenCNPE Tip of the Day: If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. We hope you’ve seen the viral video of Admiral William McRaven’s address in which he urges everyone to do just that (along with other good advice). This may be the best six minutes of video you watch this week. (Here’s a shorter version if you’re pressed for time.)

Hang in there. You may not be able to see us, but we are here to help you through this time.

My best,
Ann's signature
Ann L. Coffey, CEO

The CNPE office is closed temporarily to help ensure everyone’s health. Our staff will be working remotely, though, and remain available to help members. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. CNPE Staff Contacts

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