Scenario Planning: Resilience and Response in Times of Change

March 2, 2017

CRE receives strong response and attendance to its nonprofit workshop, Scenario Planning: Resilience and Response in Times of Change.

New York, NY – With changes taking place across our nation, state, and city, many in the nonprofit sector are wondering if and how to start pivoting their organization’s programs or operations in response.

To help nonprofits prepare for potential funding, legislative, and structural shifts, and to respond to emerging community needs, CRE held a half-day risk assessment and planning workshop on February 28 that was attended by 35 nonprofit leaders.

“The workshop hit capacity in a matter of hours, so we were delighted that we were able to secure a larger space and expand our capacity for attendees,” said Katie Leonberger, President and CEO of CRE.

“We designed the workshop in response to the specific and real needs of our social sector clients. In addition to discussions with CRE staff and one-to-one conversations with nonprofits, we solicited input through a post-election survey and discussions with nonprofit leaders participating in this year’s CRE Leadership Caucus.”

Through the multiple inputs, CRE consultants learned that the most urgent concerns of New York City nonprofits included how to prepare for changes in funding, what changes in funding could mean for programs, immigration and deportation fears, and changes to the ACA.

Social sector organizations were also interested in the best way to support their teams delivering services on the ground who may be fielding questions about what comes next, partnering with other organizations for a coordinated response, and facilitating conversations with staff and teams during this uncertain time.

Ali Toxtli, a public anthropologist focused on migration, race, class and gender in the United States and Latin America said a trusted colleague of his from the Tribeca Film Institute shared the event with him.

“I was really interested in getting a taste of a CRE session as I’ve heard a lot about them but not had the chance to work in detail with them,” Ali said.

“I’m an anthropologist and in my experience working in government and the nonprofit and funding worlds, social theory is something that is lacking – therefore, I came to the session a bit on the fence about what to expect. But it was good! The training led me to other forms of critical thought and I love that. CRE’s facilitation, and their work during my in-table discussion, made the day really worthwhile for me personally and for my organizational work.”

Fellow attendee Andrew Rubinson from Grace Outreach said the workshop provided concrete solutions for his organization to put into practice right away.

“I found the Resiliency workshop to be helpful on a practical level. My organization recently went through an improving-our-marketing-and-communications exercise with CRE, and it was great to see the CRE team utilizing the same innovation frameworks to map out additional organizational areas for improvement,” he said.

Ms. Leonberger said the CRE team had planned the workshop to ultimately help organizations plan for a wide variety of scenarios, including building resiliency in the face of risks and turning risks into opportunities to advance their missions.

“The workshop was designed to provide relevant frameworks and real-time application to support affected organizations and communities in developing rapid and sustained responses to these urgent concerns. We leveraged expertise and methods from CRE’s Risk Management and Innovation practices to share approaches for tackling issues that are relevant to nonprofits today, while ensuring that participants left the session with concrete skills and tools that they can use in their organizations,” Ms. Leonberger said.

The workshop was attended by nonprofit leaders whose organizations serve a wide variety of issue areas including immigration, healthcare, children and youth services, homelessness, and education, as well as government agencies.

About CRE

CRE is a nonprofit consulting firm that provides the strategies and tools needed to build sustainable, high-performing organizations that improve people’s lives and drive social change. In 2016, we were privileged to work with nearly 300 nonprofits, with budgets ranging from less than $100,000 to $200 million, from near start-ups to those with more than 100 years of service.


For interview inquiries, including interviews with workshop participants, please contact:

Hannah Collins
CRE Marketing and Communications Manager
212 894 3383

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