4 simple starting steps to keep your NGO active during COVID-19
Covid19’s effect can be felt in every aspect of life. While physical distancing is the biggest weapon we have to fight this war, it means that a lot of business and social organizations are at a standstill.
Especially organizations whose activities involved going out & working with people like teaching underprivileged kids, cleaning beaches, taking care of old age or disabled people. They have had to halt their activities to ensure protection for themselves, volunteers, and their beneficiaries.
But this does not mean that we need to completely stop operations for your organization. There are still many ways in which you can continue to contribute to society with your NGO during covid19
So if you are a social community or NGO, which has had to stop activities due to the Covid19 pandemic, then these are simple steps you can take to stay active
Stay informed and open your eyes to every opportunity
It is very important for you to stay informed of any guidelines, regulations, programs that are released by WHO, government, private sector, or even other players in the social sector. Not just that, read articles or even your network’s stories and status. But, don’t forget to also filter it wisely.
Reach out to your community or NGO network – the beneficiaries, your team members, volunteers, supporters, social media followers, and donors. Starting from creating engaging social media content, active WhatsApp group, activating your mailing list, sharing or training online sessions, etc.
Why is this important? It helps you understand better their current condition. From there, you will know who and how they have been impacted, and also their needs. Even if they are not greatly impacted, they might understand the situation happening on the ground.
Besides that, in a situation like this, mental health is greatly impacted but doesn’t get enough attention. Listening to them, showing care and empathy, can help you grow as a person and as an organization.
Also, it is a great way to bond! It is the right timing for you to build a more solid team, greater supporters, volunteers that are willing to not just act upon but also advocate your messages, and of course loyal donors.
Look back at your organization
After the first step of doing research about the situation and needs, it’s time for you to take a look back into your community or NGO. List down your previous and future programs. The projects that created an impact, and your strength as an organization. Don’t forget to also give space to your team, volunteers, supporters, or even your donor to pitch in their ideas.
If your strength and programs are not related to health care or disaster relief, that doesn’t mean that you could not contribute. Pandemic Covid19 is not just affecting people’s health, but so many other aspects of lives like
- A lot of people have lost jobs, especially informal workers
- There is a food crisis
- An increase in medical waste or plastic waste in households
- Teachers and students are struggling to adapt to the new method of online classes and it’s affecting the education quality.
For example, if you have been working on environmental conservation, you could start promoting eco-brick for every household to reduce their plastic waste. For those that are working in the agriculture sector, an urban farming webinar will be an interesting new skill for people to sustain their food supplies.
If you have been working with vulnerable groups, such as underprivileged kids, beggars, the elderly, people with disabilities, or refugees, there’s also a lot of ways for you to support them.
Education communities or NGOs could support the underprivileged kids they usually work with by sending booklets, drawing books, or educational games, while also educating them with preventive measures, for example.
Innovate! It is very crucial in this situation. There’s a lot of online resources that can help you to spread awareness and educate your network. Create an Instagram live, webinar, interactive social media content, etc.
Please also don’t forget that not all people are using social media and have the privilege to own a smartphone and a good internet connection. It is crucial to also innovate for those that you could not touch via online activities.
Collaboration is key
We know that not all communities or NGOs have the resources to go on the ground and do offline activities. That is why let’s collaborate! Find good partners that have the same values as you.
You can start with contacting back your previous partners, attending webinars run by other organizations, or join a networking platform, e.g. Semua Murid Semua Guru for education communities, PLUS for social startups.
Working together to create educational content, cross-marketing to increase awareness, joint-fundraising effort, have local partners do on-the-ground distribution of the help you collected, would make your initiative become more impactful.
How to get the support you need from donors?
These 3 simple steps could help you to start your initiative for those in need during Covid19. But, doing initiative or programs, of course, will need money, right? Therefore, planning and diversifying your fundraising approaches is also very important.
Covid19 brings more and more people to be willing to contribute and donate. One of the ways to do that is donating via crowdfunding online platforms, such as Kita Bisa, Benih Baik, Ayo Peduli, and Peduli Sehat. Also, there are a lot more grants open for any initiatives related to Covid19, whether from local or international donors.
With a lot of initiatives happening right now, we know it is not easy to attract donors, especially new potential ones. These are some tips that you could do :
Create a strong narrative
- Reasons behind your initiative, key activities that you will do, who are the people that you are targeting to help and other stakeholders involved, by when and where
Have a clear output, outcome, and impact
- You could build it by using existing theories, e.g. Theory of Change, Results Chain
Put numbers in your target and timeline
Putting measurable goals in advance not just gives more trust to donors but also works to motivate you to strive to achieve them and increases accountability.
Maintain transparency and accountability
It will be very interesting for donors if you could give access for them to track the money they donated. Important information, such as where it goes, for who, by when, and most importantly, what type of impact their donation created.
You could do all of these with the help of available online platforms that aim to help your organization become more impactful. Specifically, to help social organizations like you, Artemis Impact is building features that can help you map out your Theory of Change, track and record your output, outcome, also the impact you created.
These features will allow you to maintain transparency; as well as understand, evaluate, and improve your activities. Most importantly, Artemis allows you to build clear and comprehensive reporting about your organization’s impacts for your stakeholders – the management team, volunteers, the public, and of course donors.
In this time of need, we need everybody to contribute. As a social community or NGO, you have the responsibility, resources, and opportunities to do more for society. This is our time to act as a community, be impactful, and win this battle together.