Common Impact Blog

COVID-19: Now is the Time for Businesses and Nonprofits to Plan and Adapt, Not Pull Back

By Danielle Holly | Mar 20, 2020

I’ve been trying to find the right words to describe this past week, but nothing seems to perfectly describe the combination of the pace and anxiety surrounding COVID-19 and the resulting impact it has had on the economy and each of our lives.

It would be very easy in this time of uncertainty for our corporate partners to pull back from their service commitments – but instead, they’re asking how they can be of additional support virtually from the safety of their employees’ homes. It would be very easy for our nonprofit partners to turn down pro bono support as they fight new fires – but instead, they’re reshaping their needs related to financial scenario planning, risk management and crisis communication. It would be very easy for each of us in this moment of social distancing to pull back from one another, but what I’ve seen is the opposite.

It’s these moments that change our way of life, even if temporarily, that give us the opportunity to connect more deeply with each other as people, without titles, sectors or affiliations to divide us. While in many ways events like COVID-19 are considered “great equalizers,” this public health crisis is going to disproportionately impact the populations that are already facing discrimination, lack of access to services and economic hardship. These are the populations that nonprofits serve and will need to serve more and more quickly than they had to last month.

Starting this week, like so many others, the Common Impact team has begun working remotely and all of our skills-based volunteer programs are moving forward virtually. We’ll be sharing more about the virtual skilled volunteer models that are working well and how our incredible partners have forged ahead in their commitment to service, as well as asking you to come together, virtually, to evolve our work and partnership in this new environment.

Now is the time to plan and adapt, not pull back. I’m deeply grateful to you – our Common Impact community, our remarkable staff, board, partners and friends – who have demonstrated a humbling level of humanity and determination to continue to roll up your sleeves on behalf of this community we are all part of.

- Danielle Holly, CEO