News & Updates

 

Wise Giving Wednesday: Potential Impact of Coronavirus on Charities

Mar 4, 2020

As people in North America begin to prepare and worry about the spread of coronavirus, the impact is already being felt by the charitable community. On Monday, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that two charity trade organizations that are convening large conferences this month in Baltimore are being questioned about whether events will still be held. Both groups are going forward with their plans while advising attendees to take practical steps such as refraining from handshaking and washing hands thoroughly.

Since it is predicted that health conditions may take a turn for the worse, charities would be wise to develop contingency plans now for other planned meeting events and conferences taking place later in the year. This doesn’t necessarily mean complete cancellation but it might involve considering alternative video discussions, if necessary, so that participants can meet remotely and interact while still listening to planned lecturers and panel discussions.

Common sense advice also appeared in Fast Company magazine which included advice for businesses that can be just as applicable to charities. For example:

  • Restricting or reducing employee travel to just those situations that must be handled in person
  • Encouraging employees to stay home if they feel ill
  • Developing alternative program delivery plans should staff be significantly reduced due to sick leave
  • Approving more remote work alternatives for employees so they can work from home

In terms of a formal coronavirus contingency plan for charities, that will probably need to be individually tailored for a charity’s facts and circumstances. But some potential points might include identifying how the charity’s programs may need to be modified to address changing demands particularly if the charity is already addressing issues such as health, education or helping vulnerable individuals. In addition, private foundations may consider funding to help encourage charities to fill anticipated gaps not addressed by government agencies.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance also welcomes charities to send us copies of contingency plans as they develop them (send to rnisbet@give.org) so that we can learn and share helpful approaches.


Video of the Week

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to provide a video of Laurel Lyle, Vice President, Development, Operations and Fundraising Programs at Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (a BBB Accredited Charity) that seeks to accelerate research and focus exclusively on finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The majority of projects funded pursue a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of action of the genes and variants with the biggest impact on risk and timing of Alzheimer's disease.


Recent Reports

We are always working with charities to publish or update reports for donors. Visit Give.org or local BBBs to check out any charity before giving. Our recently evaluated charities include:

Finally, remember to let us know by going to www.give.org/charity-inquiry/ if you are interested in seeing a report on a charity not on the list and we will do our best to produce one.

H. Art Taylor, President & CEO
BBB Wise Giving Alliance