Resilience at Work: How Nonprofits Adapt to Disruption. How Funders Can Help.
The decision to spend down all the assets of the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation was made in 2008, creating significant opportunities as well as some real challenges. The practical effect of putting the entire endowment to work (along with substantial new gifts from Mr. Bechtel annually) was a climb in the size of Foundation grants and number of grantees. Over the course of the following year, programs were consolidated and several large strategic initiatives became the focus for the Foundation and its growing professional staff.
This study publishes in the spring of 2020 – a time when the COVID-19 pandemic rages, causing untold human suffering and threatening the viability of nonprofits whose work is vital to society today and tomorrow. Resilience is a watchword of the day, and we hope that the insights captured in this report can help point the way for nonprofits and funders working tirelessly to respond and adapt to the new realities caused by the pandemic. In the coming months, we are certain there will be much more to learn about what it takes to respond and adapt to a global disruption of this magnitude.
This report in no way replaces the excellent research and high-quality tools already available on the topic of nonprofit capacity. It does seek to shine a light on a subset of resilience fueling capabilities that deserve special attention. This research and the companion Resiliency Guide highlight aspects of organizational health that can be hard to define or are easily overlooked, such as frames of mind, organizational culture, and network connections.
Source: S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation