Five COVID-19 related policies and procedures your nonprofit should have in place

Crisis management is difficult even under normal circumstances, and with an on-going health crisis, it is even more difficult to predict what policies and procedures your nonprofit should have in place. If we have learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is that preparedness and resiliency against known risks and threats are essential, no matter the context.

Staff Leave Policies

You may want to review your sick time and personal leave policies. If you have not already done so, you will want to adjust this policy to reflect the requirements from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This law provides two weeks of emergency paid sick leave, a subsequent ten weeks of partially paid family leave for childcare, and potential refundable tax credits for employers to cover some of the costs of the mandates.

Remote Workers Policy

Working remotely has become commonplace in today’s work environment. If you have workers working remote, your organization should already have some sort of policy in place. A remote worker’s policy will be helpful in keeping your staff safe and ensure your business operations and services continue. Businesses looking to introduce a remote workers program should create specific guidelines to ensure all employees understand what is required from them when they work remotely.

Programs and Services

A policy like this should address how you will continue to offer the programs and services to those you serve. During COVID-19, this could include how your organization will address safety concerns and basic operational needs, as well as how to ensure you are giving accurate and timely information and instructions for those individuals and communities that need it. Consider how you will keep your employees, members, and clients safe, what this system will look like, and how you will communicate to staff, stakeholders, and your members.

Communication/Social Media Policy

This policy would focus on your internal and external communications, particularly with staff, stakeholders, the board of directors, and the community in which you serve. During this time, you may want to evaluate how you are providing information, including what is happening at your organization during the crisis and whether or not you are sending out external resources to keep your community informed as the situation continues to evolve. For a more detailed look at what this policy can entail, reference the Standards for Excellence Institute guide.

Cyber Security/IT

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a spike in phishing attacks and ransomware attacks, capitalizing on the COVID-19 crisis. Develop an understanding of the cybersecurity risks confronting your organization, including the risks to systems, assets, data, and capabilities. Cybersecurity training should be mandatory for everyone. Every employee must be aware of all types of threats. Individuals using a computer should know about basic password security and safe internal browsing practices. Additionally, this policy should cover what resources you will need to make remote working sustainable.

Hawley & Associates understands that the effects of COVID-19 has altered the risk management profiles of many nonprofits. There has never been a better time to review your insurance program – assessing the types and extent of protection you may have (or not have) for losses and claims related to the virus.

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