The myth is that organizations in the not-for-profit sector are not ‘professional’. In the sense that many, many people involved in the sector are not paid for their efforts and are volunteers rather that paid workers is certainly true. It is also true that we are not as ‘slick’ as other sectors – rarely having a budget to have advertising, new equipment, plush offices. I fervently, however, refute the contention that we don’t get things done and done properly – my particular view of what professional means – despite the constraints that the public and private sectors don’t have (see https://bluekeycic.org.uk/2017/11/24/being-charitable-is-a-royal-pain/).
Through my other job (I need to keep the wolf from the door) I visited Walsall Society For The Blind and was able to witness first hand how it is done. Throughout Covid they have kept working – supporting those with sight loss. They have had to change their way of working in some circumstances but you can see that they talked to their stakeholders, researched and taken advice and worked out what to do.
To illustrate the above point I would like to list some of their processes to protect against Covid.
- Upon entering the building you are met and politely asked to use a machine to take your temperature. This is a screen that you frame your face in and it scans in some miraculous way. It is non invasive and quick. There is another hand-held device to hand should this not work.
- You are asked to use the hand gel and there are masks and gloves available if you do not have one.
- There are shields in place where necessary.
- Visitors and staff are requested to use their masks when moving from room to room.
- Rooms are clearly marked with a number which states the maximum number of people in a room allowed for safety.
Behind the scenes there have been risk assessments for each activity to determine if safe interaction is possible. To précis: I was impressed. So much so that I have written this to shout about how ‘professional’ the not-for-profit sector is: we get stuff done, and done well.
For more information about the work of Walsall Society For the Blind see their website – https://www.walsallblind.org/. Their CEO has said that she is happy to talk to any not-for-profit groups about how they manage their Covid response.