A big challenge for many of us will be figuring out what can carry on, perhaps through remote work, and what must be postponed or outright cancelled. When this is coupled with project obligations to funders, you are probably worried. The good news is we are all in this pandemic together – funders included.
Think about areas of projects that will be difficult to advance, especially face-to-face programs or events. Can staff brainstorm a mitigation strategy? If not, can a project reasonably be recast or reorganized to delay that face-to-face part? Also, are you dependent on any external suppliers for your project – good time to have a chat with them about their business continuity plan.
It would be prudent to get a jump on things by putting some questions to your funder. Warning, they will likely be unable to answer. But at least you can get the conversation started. Just how much flexibility will there be due to the impact of COVID-19 on Canada and your organization and families? If some project pieces must be delayed, will the funder allow you/help you to reorganize project timelines and perhaps deliverables? What about reporting which is tied to quarterly fund release? What about potential lapse of funds at the end of the next fiscal year due to COVID-19 in the first quarter? Can the project be extended to allow for completion of the objectives or specific activities? In the background, don’t forget those project desk books: be sure that someone can keep the project trains running to some degree if the primary staff member is sick.