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Welcome to the e-learning lesson on managing crisis. A key donor goes bankrupt. An office is flooded. An employee is caught embezzling. A program space is condemned. There are any number of events that can throw an organization into a state of crisis. For a nonprofit, which is often less resource-rich than its commercial counterparts, the results can be devastating. Preparing for crisis situations and responding appropriately to them to them can make the difference between closure and survival, or even flourishing. After all, crises can be fertile opportunities for learning and change, if an organization is equipped with the right tools to handle them.

There are two sides to managing any crisis: preparation and response.

Organizations that anticipate the possibility of disaster and plan ahead will be far better equipped to manage potentially catastrophic situations or avoid them altogether. In this training module, you will examine potential crises that an organization can be forced to deal with— first from the perspective of preparedness and second in terms of response. This training will begin with a general context and then move into five specific areas in which nonprofits can be particularly vulnerable.

Careful preparation will help cushion the blow of a crisis.

Taking the time to develop a comprehensive crisis management plan can make the difference between going under and getting back on track. While many of the steps towards preparedness included in a crisis management plan are useful for coping with disaster, others are good practices even under normal circumstances for promoting the overall health of your organization.