Written by: Ryan Crowe, MA, ACNP
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Nonprofit organizations play a critical role in our communities, providing essential services and resources to those in need. As such, nonprofits need to have a business continuity plan in place to ensure that they can continue to operate in the face of critical incidents or disasters.

A business continuity plan is a document that outlines the steps an organization will take to ensure the continued delivery of its services in the event of a disruption. Various factors, including natural disasters, cyber-attacks, or other unforeseen events, could cause this disruption.

For nonprofits, having a business continuity plan is especially important because they often have limited resources and may rely heavily on volunteers or a small staff. Disruptions to operations could have significant consequences, including reduced service delivery or even the organization’s closure.

A comprehensive business continuity plan for a non-profit should include several key elements, including:

Risk assessment: Nonprofits should identify and assess the potential risks that could impact their operations. This could include natural disasters, cyber-attacks, or other threats.

Business impact analysis: Nonprofits should assess the potential impact of these risks on their operations, including financial, and operations

Continuity strategies: Nonprofits should identify and develop strategies for maintaining service delivery during a disruption. This could include remote work options, alternate service delivery methods, or partnerships with other organizations.

Communications plan: Nonprofits should develop a communication plan to keep stakeholders informed during a disruption. This could include staff, volunteers, clients, and donors.

Testing and training: Nonprofits should regularly test and update their business continuity plan to ensure it remains relevant and practical. Staff and volunteers should also be trained on the plan to ensure they are prepared to implement it during a disruption.

Having a business continuity plan in place can help non-profits minimize the impact of a disruption and ensure that they can continue to provide essential services to their communities. By taking the time to assess potential risks, develop strategies for continuity, and train staff and volunteers, non-profits can be better prepared for the future.

Start planning now!!

About the Author: My name is Ryan Crowe, and I am currently in the process of completing a Doctor of Public Administration program at Walden University. I have over 14 years of Emergency and Disaster Management experience. Throughout my career, I have been a Wildland Firefighter, Emergency Medical Technician, Task Force Leader, Owner and Operator, Social Worker, Emergency Preparedness Educator, Leader, Advocate, and Emergency Management Coordinator. I am well versed in, having excelled in coursework such as emergency exercises, disaster recovery planning, public administration, non-profit management, geographic information systems, and much more.