I read a great analogy around COVID-19, which painted a picture of us all being in the same ‘storm’ but in different places within that storm. It rang much truer than the “we’re all in this together” statements. Some are safely sheltering from the storm but perhaps feeling scared, some are in the eye of the storm – dealing with the damage on a daily basis, and others are in different boats moving through it – from tankers to tiny sailing dinghies….
From our viewpoint, we’re seeing an equally varied response from organisations. Some individuals and organisations have ‘leapt into the breach’ and are delivering amazing services which they’ve conjured out of nothing. Others have tweaked their services and are excited about what they are learning and opportunities to deliver things differently in future. Some are struggling to support their clients in any way, with issues like technology, or their clients’ understanding of the situation (eg learning disability or dementia) making this really hard. Some have chosen to protect their staff and the long-term financial situation of their organization through furloughing all (or most) of their staff – meaning they are confident they can be there for their clients when this is all over…
There is a similar mixture of responses from funders. Some jumped up on the first day offering emergency funds. Some are focusing on supporting their existing grantees, some have put all grant making on hold and others are continuing pretty much ‘as normal’.
There are no rights and wrongs – everyone is navigating uncharted waters… but there is a need for great kindness to everyone for the difficult decisions they have and will make.