From Carol’s Desk

From Carol’s Desk:

I am still catching my breath after the last several weeks. There were tragedies. Lives were lost and significant changes to laws were made, many of which set back rights and regulations that many nonprofits fought decades to win.

There also were triumphs. In response to the Uvalde shooting, President Joe Biden signed a new federal gun law which intends to keep guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous people. The best part of this law: It closes the “boyfriend” loophole, which previously allowed abusers convicted of domestic abuse to continue to own a gun if they no longer were married to, lived with, or had a child with their abuse victim.

Each year, more than 1,000 women die at the hands of their partner or former partner, and more than half of those are killed by unmarried partners ⎼ most with a gun. In fact, abusers with firearms are five times more likely to kill their victims. The NRA fought for years to keep guns in the hands of abusers, but now, regardless of marital status, if you abuse your partner, you lose your guns. Finally.

Regardless of the communities we serve or the work we do, every client and potential client with whom I have spoken openly admits that these current events have impacted them. Some were compelled to change the way they deliver certain services, while others were forced to eliminate some services altogether. One underlying theme rings true to all of them, though. Nonprofits must begin rethinking how we are going to address critical components of our missions in the face of these egregious social changes.

While many of us just adapted to the changes thrust upon nonprofits by the COVID-19 pandemic, we now face another set of environmental changes, and it is time to understand we are operating in a new normal. Whether a global pandemic, political changes, civil unrest, or whatever it might be, if our nonprofits are not positioned to expect the unexpected, then we and the communities we serve will be left behind. Prepare. Plan. Operate. This is our new mantra.