We are starting to hear a lot about business continuity plans (BCPs). These are an essential part of an overall risk management strategy and can provide a roadmap for remaining operational during a crisis. While many might think this is closing the barn door after the horses have escaped, it still might be prudent to take stock if you have 90 seconds to think about it. According to the Nonprofit Risk Management Center the four building blocks of a BCP are:
- A communications plan that identifies all your constituents, what you need to tell them, how to deliver the message and how frequently you should update them.
- A list of “Must Do’s” — what your organization needs to keep doing so you can provide vital services or just keep things afloat (these can be as simple as processing payroll or moving to a remote workers policy; or an all-out effort to safely engage volunteers).
- Which programs and services must continue and which should you suspend. Within the context of COVID-19, what programs are vital for the welfare of your clients (i.e., food, transportation, healthcare) and which ones could put your community or your staff needlessly at risk. Then consider how will you provide those vital services safely over a period of time?
- Finally, how will you resume business once things have stabilized? Yes, this will be over at some point and you should have a plan on how you will resume services and continue your mission going forward.