An event or an era? Resources for social sector decision-making in the context of COVID-19

four scenarios report cover

This report by The Monitor Institute at Deloitte outlines four potential scenarios for the next 12-18 months, and recommends actions and considerations for nonprofit and funders in each scenario.

Many organizations trying to navigate through this moment may find themselves alternatively paralyzed or swamped by a crushing number of choices, without much scaffolding to guide their decision-making. This is especially true in the social sector, where the economic crisis has put organizations on tenuous financial footing even as demand for their assistance is skyrocketing.

For nonprofits that have managed to weather the initial storm, continued survival and effectiveness will depend on the ability to adapt strategies and operating models to new post-COVID realities, whatever they may look like. And many philanthropic funders, having decided on an initial emergency response, are struggling to figure out what to do next.

To help social sector leaders in the United States confront these challenges, the Monitor Institute by Deloitte- the social impact unit of the global professional studies organization Deloitte LLP- launched a national effort with pro bono investment from Deloitte Consulting LLP to apply the tools of scenario planning to help funders and nonprofits get on their front foot in preparing for the post-COVID-19 landscape.

This guide informed a “futures-thinking” process aimed at helping funders and operating nonprofits: (1) consider the critical uncertainties of the moment, (2) reckon with the difficult, new “truths” emerging from the pandemic, and (3) explore possible future scenarios that may emerge over the next 12-18 months.