This blog post looks at the impact of coronavirus on social enterprises and how to respond in the wake of the current pandemic. Social enterprises have been impacted and are struggling to cope. Social-distancing has likely hindered the way in which you can approach the people or causes that need attention. Perhaps you feel limited by how you can directly connect with people and engage with certain issues. Here are some ways you can adjust to the current crisis and implement changes to your current course of action:
Your organisation’s first concern should be to respect all the rules and regulations set-forth by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, you much ensure that all employees are taken care of and have the resources to continue working, whilst staying safe at home. This could mean ensuring that they have an electronic device to work with and checking-in personally to make sure that everyone is in good health.
The next step is to keep everyone busy and on-track by working remotely. Using online resources is crucial to maintaining communication with employees and your community. This is also an opportunity to move towards establishing an online presence. Social Media outlets are here to make communicating easier. Whether the goal is promoting events through visual platforms such as Instagram or Facebook, directly connecting with people through email or Twitter or having virtual conferences and events through Zoom or Skype. ‘Going digital’ is not just a means of getting through the challenges of social distancing but also can help develop your organisation in the long-run, allowing it to become more accessible to a wider range of people.
If you’d like specific applications that help with workplace communication and collaboration check out the link: https://www.techradar.com/best/best-online-collaboration-tools
Seek aid and volunteers
In response to the challenges that this pandemic may present, it would be wise to ask for help where needed. You can request government funding, charity donations, as well as emergency funding from groups such as The Birmingham City Council offering a COVID-19 Community Grant, AMHP Mental Health Response Fund, Youth Music Emergency Fund and PCC Community Initiatives Fund, who are offering grants ranging from £5,000 to £50,000.
Additionally, as is often said, crisis creates opportunity, therefore subscribe to volunteer websites or request part-time employees through social media to assist with areas such as establishing an online presence, developing alternative projects to ones that cannot take place due to social restrictions, and possibly help with Coronavirus-related issues or projects. Check out Do-it.org to register your interest for volunteers.
Listen to your community
With the aforementioned advice in mind, the most important thing to do during this time is to keep working. Make sure that resources are still available and if not, work with your community to create alternatives. This could mean developing online courses, virtual events through Zoom or other social applications, and perhaps even sending people out to help when necessary, as long as you are respecting government regulations and claiming support to permit these actions. Remember that even amidst a period where life seems to have been put on pause, people still need your organisation to get by and that adopting a ‘keep calm and carry on’ mentality within your organisation will reflect onto your community.
Contact us if you would like specific assistance or advice and we can refer you to additional resources.
For now, be sure to seek help from the following COVID-19 response groups:
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For Aspire4U CIC,
The Mindset Lead Organisation
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