Professional Mojo discusses crisis management for nonprofits and churches

Professional Mojo discusses crisis management for nonprofits and churches

Professional Mojo hosted a great online workshop today with Larry Smith, President of Institute for Crisis Management. If you missed it, we’ll have that webinar available for you soon.

In the meantime, I wanted to post an overview of what we heard in the online workshop, which was tailored specifically for churches and other nonprofit organizations.

1) Most crises are not natural disaster, but involve people:
Lawsuits, Discrimination, Harassment, Accounting
Practices, Human Resources, Sex Abuse, Gender Issues,
Personality Conflicts

2) Common sources of crises situations for ministries include: Camps, Retreats, Youth Trips/Outings, Day Care, Mission Trips, Church Schools, Use of Volunteers

3) A crisis of any sort can impact these areas of your ministry or nonprofit and you can successfully plan for each one: Financial Support, Operating expenses, Membership/Volunteers, Staff/Member morale, Reputation, Competitive strength, Government intervention, Legal action, Leadership mistrust

4) Some harsh realities of crisis management:

  • Most crises can be predicted and prevented; those that can’t be avoided can be minimized
  • Serious problems don’t become a “crisis” until a key audience finds out
  • The longer a crisis goes on, the more damage it does to membership, fund-raising and reputation
  • Management denial is the biggest obstacle to effective crisis management
  • The primary concern in crisis management is the court of law when it should be the court of public opinion
  • 5) Key points to consider in your plan:

  • What & how will you communicate with staff, vendors, volunteers, members,partners, supporters?
  • How can you ensure communications are culturally and linguistically appropriate
  • Assure employees sooner rather than later that you are preparing for a crisis and that you’ll be ready
  • Develop procedures and methods for communications. Test them.
  • 6) What NOT to say during or immediately following a crisis:

  • Do not speculate
  • Don’t release info about the ill or confirm deaths
  • Do not add to conflict
  • Avoid the blame game
  • In the presentation, Larry provides significant information on crisis and pandemic preparedness and how you can be prepared by acting and planning now. He also offers action items to take back to your leadership or volunteer team so you can be ready when a crisis strikes (whether caused by people, mother nature, or pandemic).

    We encourage everyone to have a plan in place that is reviewed twice a year.