Non profit organizations have as much to lose when business is interrupted as for profit businesses do and in many cases more to lose. Maintaining business continuity involves having the right knowledge base to understand risks and prepare your team to prevent those items that can be avoided as well as prevail in the event that something negative occurs that impacts the operational flow. A non profit can face losing membership, clientele and support, which can include grant dollars, funding sources, leased space, momentum and core team members in the event that business as usual is no longer feasible due to a disaster event such as water or fire damages.
While no entity can be prepared for everything, even in a non profit or mission based organization it is important to spend some administrative time to think through the potential risk exposure for your organization (read more on risk assessment and creative solutions HERE). A non profit may not have profits at stake which would be a critical concern for a traditional business, because of the nature of the work at the organization there may be even more at risk in these types of operations. Business continuity includes mission momentum, funding, community progress and team cohesion. People and organizations often don't have spare time so disaster preparation becomes an item that can be put off, unfortunately until an event happens that forces the parties involved to retroactively wish that they have made it a priority.
Prevention is another agenda item that seems too time intensive to be of value in expending limited resources. Often many disasters could have been prevented by simple exploration of basic functions, risk assessments and changes to process improvements. An organization should leverage their resources to assist them in protecting their operational continuity, as noted in a prior article and presentation for property owners (see HERE on insurance claims education), make your insurance agent work for their money in reviewing your policy and assisting with risk management. If you have resources in your leadership, executive boards and even your volunteer base, include time for input as well as assistance in protecting your organization.
The time and resources spent on education, risk assessment and prevention may not show up on the balance sheet, but when you consider what your organization does on a day to day basis for the benefit of the community, business continuity for your operation means more than just saving dollars. Consider what is at stake if your mission were to lose momentum, especially due to something that may have been preventable, and budget in time to invest in preparation and prevention so that you can continue to prevail. If you would like to discuss further how we can assist, we would love to help boost the knowledge of your team so that we can collaborate in prevention - and should the worst occur, we are here to assist with response. We have had the great privilege of helping churches, non profit organizations, educational facilities and mission based entities protect and restore their businesses following water, fire and other related disasters.
Jon Isaacson. Green belt in the puzzle art of business. Helping people clarify their vision, optimize productivity & follow through w/ creative solutions #MTWSL
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