By Linda B. Haley, CFRE, President & CEO

Hello, Let’s Build Hope Family! It’s hard to believe that two months have passed since we were moved into quarantine mode and forced to be away from family, friends, colleagues, and work. It’s been quite the ride!

I’ve noted some interesting behaviors and concepts recently and thought I’d share a few insights that might help as you navigate our slow, steady, and careful return to whatever the new normal will be.

1. Fear – lots of people are afraid…very afraid. They’re afraid of getting the virus. Afraid of passing it to beloved friends, families, or strangers. They’re afraid we may not ever recover. Afraid to trust that things will be sane again any time soon. Afraid to die…and afraid to live. But we all know that making decisions based on fear rarely results in sound, healthy forward progress. I’d encourage you to take a “fear temperature reading” with yourself and your colleagues as you consider your reopening. Sharing together may help alleviate some of the fears that are likely unfounded or out of proportion.

2. Shame – boy, have I seen a TON of this! Shame for wearing masks. Shame for NOT wearing masks. Shame for even talking about reopening. Shame about NOT reopening. Shame about wanting to go out. Shame for missing friends. Shame for complaining, especially if you’re not on the front lines. Man. It. Is. Everywhere!

​Let’s all agree together to a few basic tenets:

  • We’re all human and this isolation thing just does not feel good.
  • People have good intent, even if they have different opinions about how to proceed.
  • Most of us have grief pushing our behavior (shock, denial, bargaining, anger, sadness).
  • Most of us are doing our best every day, even if our best is not very good some days.

Let’s try not to shame others for their choices…and not to feel or receive shame from others for ours. We’re all in this together…and we will get through!

3. Making decisions for others – as nonprofit leaders, we MUST make global decisions for those we lead. At the same time, individuals will have varying levels of “risk tolerance” and may have personal situations that allow for more freedom than others. Making decisions for everyone globally – in every situation – may not be the best option. Create choices for individuals when you can – with all the necessary safeguards in place – so that together we can succeed in returning to life after COVID-19.

4. Risk tolerance vs. risk aversion – Each person is wired differently for risk. Think about it – some people like to base jump off bridges; some like to stay home and do crossword puzzles! 😊 Nothing wrong with either activity – just a difference in personality and chemistry.

​The same is true when dealing with the COVID reopening. Some are healthy and risk tolerant and ready to “get back at it.” Others are more careful and cautious, thinking the inevitable “spike” in cases will come if we’re not careful…also, true. So how do we manage? Let each person decide based on the larger organizational guidelines you propose. It’s reasonable to assume that folks with lower risk tolerance will perform better from home, feel happier and safer, and be thrilled to be part of your team. Those with higher risk tolerance will be jazzed at the chance to get back to some sense of “normal” and will not be as bothered by the risk. A win-win for all!

If you’d like to discuss your nonprofit reopening after COVID-19, reach out at (314) 716-2496 or LetsBuildHope@lbh-stl.comWe’re here for you!

#LBH #LetsBuildHope #FundraisingHope #COVID19 #TakeCareOfYourself

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