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How COVID-19 is changing strategic planning

Fresh thinking for nonprofit leaders

Nonprofit and foundation leaders are looking for philanthropy tools to help them plan for the future on the other side of our current crises. We believe that scenario planning is a critical tool; it uses stories about the future to push thinking and challenge assumptions.

An event or an era? Scenarios Addendum

Many social sector organizations are now at a critical moment. They’ve responded to the initial wave of the COVID-19 crisis, providing emergency relief, adapting to new working environments, and making tough decisions on near-term priorities. As leaders begin to pressure test and potentially change their intermediate- and longer- term strategies, many find themselves swamped by having to make organization-defining choices during a time of such intense uncertainty.

To help add some scaffolding to those choices, the Monitor Institute by Deloitte published An Event or an Era?, a scenario planning guide for the social sector. Now, six months later, this updated addendum aims to help nonprofit, philanthropy and social sector leaders consider the new realities of today’s rapidly evolving context.

In this scenarios addendum, we explore:

  • The evolving context that leaders are adapting to in real time
  • Updated scenarios that provide provocative pictures of what the future could look like depending on the severity of the crisis and whether we come together as a nation—or come apart
  • Suggestions on integrating scenario thinking into how your organization can prepare for whatever the future unfolds
An event or an era? Scenarios Addendum

By Jennifer Holk, Gabriel Kasper, and Justin Marcoux

April 2021

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