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An Event or an Era?: Resources for Social Sector Decision-Making in the Context of COVID-19

Publication date: 
August, 2020

After responding to the initial wave of the COVID-19 crisis, social sector leaders are starting to shift their focus to intermediate- and longer-term priorities. Many find themselves alternately paralyzed or swamped by a crushing number of choices amidst the uncertainty of this time.

To support leaders in decision-making, the Monitor Institute by Deloitte interviewed over 75 social sector leaders during April and May 2020 to understand what the future might hold for philanthropic funders and operating nonprofits. The result is a new scenario planning resource for the social sector titled: An Event or an Era: Resources for Social Sector Decision-Making in the Context of COVID-19.

This report, launched in cooperation with New Profit, the Center for Effective Philanthropy, the Council on Foundations, Independent Sector, the National Center for Family Philanthropy, and United Philanthropy Forum, explores four provocative scenarios of what the future could look like depending on the severity of the crisis and whether we come together as a nation—or come apart. Using these scenarios as a backdrop, the report outlines advice on how organizations can prepare for the future despite significant uncertainty.