Crisis Communications: What we can learn from NPR

Does your nonprofit have a plan in place:

  • To screen potential donors
  • Offer media training staff and Board members
  • Social media policies
  • Acceptable conduct policies
  • Non discrimination policies

I bet you think you do,  but now is as good a time as any to review or put them in place.

In the interest of fair writing, I am a NPR junkie. I provide financial support to my local station and will continue to do so. That does not negate the shame and horror I felt from this recent scandal. Fast Company covers it here and follow this link to the Chronicle of Philanthropy articles.

I felt this shame not only as a donor, but as a professional fundraiser. No matter how veteran we are in our experience.  No matter how fabulous or secure we feel working at a high profile, successful nonprofit organization, we must we remember who we serve, what our work is about and first and foremost how our actions reflect on our organization, donors and the public. Complacency is not an attitude we can afford to have. Our personal opinions should always remain our own.  Our donors and staff are as diverse as the population of our Earth. And just because they support a left leaning organization doesn’t mean their political views aren’t toward the right. Our conversation with our constituencies are about them and our organizations, not us.

All that said, as nonprofit professionals and leaders this latest scandal is an opportunity to make sure our organizations have the policies and tools in place to allow for our staff, board and volunteers to work with us and clearly understand not only expected rules of conduct but why these are so important to our work in the public sector.

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Let’s not focus on NPR’s faults because they could be our own if we don’t take proactive action.

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