Contingency Planning

Dave Blankenhorn

Dave Blankenhorn

If your facility burns down do you know how you will continue to serve your clients? If your IT system totally crashes do you know how to proceed?

If you are not sure of what steps to take then you need a contingency plan that will deal with these and other risks in your business. Your plan should address business continuity and disaster recovery. It is essential that your non profit get on its feet as fast as possible.

Each organization is different with its own unique operation. This should be considered in putting you plan together. Here are some items that should be included in any plan.

  1. Contact information on all personnel
  2. Contact information on clients, vendors, and any other key parts of the operation.
  3. Location of data backup/ file storage.
  4. Copies of insurance documents
  5. Copies of materials necessary for the firm’s survival.
  6. Means to set up secondary work site.
  7. Work recovery methods.
  8. Means to establish new systems
  9. Designation of someone to deal with the media and public

Certain key people should be designated as “go to” people with the responsibility of contacting staff. In larger organizations a phone tree can be used.

Once a plan is established it should be periodically reviewed and updated to account for changes in your operation and employees. The Board needs to review and approve your plan when completed.

In addition to setting up a contingency plan you should also consider establishing a risk management plan to address other key risks that could adversely affect your non profit. More on that later.

Author:  Dave Blankenhorn, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org