HBI Summer Colloquium Series: The Covid-19 Crisis (IV)
August 17 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am CDT
Weak leadership, unprepared staff, and vulnerable beneficiaries: Shedding light on performance concerns of nonprofits during the pandemic
- Erica Ceka, Asst. Professor, Department of Public & Nonprofit Administration
- Douglas Ihrke, Executive Director, Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management
- Alexis Nehmer, MS Candidate, Urban Studies, Department of Public & Nonprofit Administration
Summary: This study analyzes the connection between nonprofit capacity to adapt during uncertain times and significant performance concerns experienced by the nonprofits at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings show that nonprofits’ concerns about their performance at the mission level are subjective to their technical capabilities to transition their services to the virtual space, employees’ competencies, and characteristics of nonprofit beneficiaries. In addition, the results report that nonprofits’ concerns related to their fiscal performance are conditioned by nonprofits ’capacities to generate new revenue streams or services. The findings suggest that even if innovative tactics and competent human resources are critical for nonprofit performance, the development of adaptive capacity begins with visionary and strategic leadership.