An Open Letter to Nonprofit Professionals during the COVID-19 Pandemic


Dear Friends,

The world needs our leadership now more than ever before.

As the novel coronavirus COVID-19 spreads across the world, fear spreads with it. Even in places where few have gotten sick, there are businesses closing and economies grinding to a halt — and people’s lives are being disrupted in very real and significant ways.

For those working in healthcare and related nonprofits, the need for your leadership is obvious. You provide vital resources and services to help those who are sick or at risk. Depending on your area of expertise, you may also be able to provide advice for how others can successfully navigate this crisis.

If your organization’s work is seemingly unrelated to this pandemic, you can still play a much needed leadership role.

When people are frightened, they look to others for how they should behave. As nonprofit professionals and leaders in our respective communities, we have the opportunity to model a peaceful and measured response to the uncertainty and chaos many of us are confronting in our lives right now.

You’ve spent years building meaningful relationships with your supporters. They know and trust you to be responsible and caring, or else they wouldn’t support you. Your leadership at this time can provide comfort to many who are desperate for guidance.

We are not asking you to provide answers that you can’t. None of us can predict the ultimate toll this pandemic will take. We lack data to make accurate forecasts. There is still so much we don’t know.

However, even if we don’t know exactly what tomorrow will bring, the choices we make today will determine how well we as a society respond to this crisis. Going forward, nonprofits will play a pivotal role in rebuilding the world and helping to define a new normal after this crisis has passed.

With all this in mind, we encourage you to take a leadership position with your messaging in the coming weeks and months as the world learns how to navigate the changes caused by this pandemic.

Nonprofits have a proud history of serving their communities in times of need. We deeply appreciate your efforts, we thank you in advance for helping people make healthier and more responsible choices, and we are here to support you in your work.

With gratitude,

The IPM Advancement Team


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