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COVID-19 Response

Re-Envisioning Readiness in Response to COVID-19

Our Collaborative Offerings

If you want to solve a problem, you have to be systematic about it, and know whom to turn to and how to listen and amass evidence.

– Jeffrey Sachs, The New Yorker, 4/21/20

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present unfathomable challenges, leaders of all stripes are offering a wealth of ideas and approaches about how to respond. At this uncertain time, there is only one thing of which we can be totally sure: We have no magic bullet, and any effective response will need to be iterative, multi-faceted, and ongoing. This perspective has informed TCC’s four decades of work, starting with our origins in answer to the energy crisis of the early 1980s, to our work with groups facing the recessions of the early 1990s and 2008, to our support for a full spectrum of social sector actors in the aftermath of 9/11. At each time and place, we and our social sector colleagues have been forced to re-envision our readiness to face a “new normal”—to accommodate a new set of relationships and forge solutions together in mutually-beneficial, interdependent ways. First steps in this journey are solidly anchored in our imperative to ask the right questions—only then can strategic vision, pragmatism, and environmental adaptiveness drive our response.

Consistent with our mission to collaborate with leaders to solve complex social problems, we are eager to contribute to addressing today’s epic challenges. We will share the strategic tools and customized services we have evolved over time free of charge to those who need them most:

For the immediate crisis

Respond/React is a state of constant sense-making and adaptation. In response to a shifting reality, social sector leaders may need to ramp up their offerings, pivot or evolve their services, and/or take a step back to mitigate further damage or their complete demise. Some salient questions include:

  • How is our changed world/community forcing us to reconsider the ways we achieve our long-term goals?
  • How do we effectively address the longstanding inequities diverse communities across the nation and globe face—laid bare at this time by our current crisis?
  • Are there new partners (within or outside our sector) with whom we must align to get through this crisis?
  • What data are required to inform the decisions we need to make and how do we expeditiously collect that information?
  • What can we distinctively contribute to our stakeholders that will matter most?
  • How can we strategically leverage the unintended opportunities Covid-19 has brought (e.g. new connections, collaborations, community-fueled solutions) to inform and imagine an enlightened future?

Sounding Board Sessions with Senior Leadership: TCC Group senior leadership will be immediately available as a sounding board for up to one-hour conversations to address relevant challenges and opportunities nonprofits, foundations, and corporate funders face. We will be offering 50 of these sessions and are poised to work with diverse organizations tackling a broad array of issues. If interested, please complete the form below to register for a sounding-board conversation.

Instructions for how to use this form:

  1. Select the question you would like to discuss with a TCC Group team member.
  2. Click on the team member you would like to meet with (Note that certain questions have multiple team members available for meetings; other questions have only one team available – in which case you will be taken straight to that team member’s booking page).
  3. Select three (3) available times on your team member’s booking page to submit your request. Note that space is limited, and meeting requests are not guaranteed.
  4. Fill out the confirmation page with your contact and organization details.
  5. Look out for two (2) confirmation emails – one stating that your request has been submitted and a second on whether it was approved. If you experience technical issues at any time or couldn’t find availability in your topic area and would like to be added to our priority list, please email

For the short-term (Available starting July 2020)

Reset/Recover/Reenter is a chance to re-consider whether a funder’s and/or nonprofit’s standing practices and offerings remain relevant as the acute crisis begins to wane. Re-emerging with clearly prioritized goals and relationships will be front-of-mind. At that time, organizations may benefit from frameworks and diagnostics that help assess Covid-19’s damage/impact, identify where to focus, where to lead, and where to support others.

Diagnostic Tools and Complementary Interpretation Support: Once social restrictions start to ease, signaling a shift from the acute crisis toward recovery, we will make four TCC Group diagnostic tools with interpretation support available at no charge to our social sector colleagues:

  • Program relevance diagnostic: Coming out of the chaos, funders and nonprofits will want to assess whether the programmatic strategies they relied on prior to Covid-19 will still lead to desired impact. This tool will assist organizations in tying previous plans to reconsidered, newly prioritized goals. Details of the pre-conditions framework will become available when shelter in place requirements are lifted. Full information will be available by June 15. 
  • Convening pre-conditions diagnostic: As organizations consider how to come back together after a period of social distancing, this tool will guide users through various convening-readiness elements. Details of the pre-conditions framework will become available when shelter-in-place requirements are lifted.
  • Communications effectiveness diagnostic: In times of crisis and recovery—when fear, confusion, and disconnection abound—organizations must rethink and redefine their communications practices. Internal and external messages as well as campaigns are critical to engaging stakeholders and advancing an organization’s social mission. This tool identifies the viability of existing internal and external communications plans and practices, guiding the effective development and deployment of essential communications. Diagnostic details will become available when shelter-in-place requirements are lifted. Full information will be available by June 15.
  • Community collaboration diagnostic: Rebounding will require significant collaboration within any ecosystem—this is more challenging than most appreciate, despite the genuine desire to work collectively. This multi-dimensional diagnostic will enable organizations to emerge from the current crisis to explore underlying obstacles and potential pathways to community collaboration. Full information will be available by June 15. 

Each of the above offerings will assist funders and nonprofits in re-envisioning readiness to re-build. However, as we know from years of managing transitions, data merely provide the foundation from which we make change. TCC Group will provide support to organizations wishing to tap these diagnostics by working together to make meaning from what they learn. We will offer virtual, weekly office hours to the first 50 organizations requesting support, with an anticipated start time of July 2020. We look forward to partnering with funders to provide timely, essential insights for their grantees needing to reset their coordinates in the shifted terrain they need to navigate.

Check back here or email if you would like to be added to a mailing list to receive the latest information each time we launch a new phase.

For the longer-term (Available starting October 2020)

Rebuild/Reset is about returning to full-scale services in support of shared societal vision. In preparing to contribute most meaningfully to a transformed world, organizations will need to make strategic decisions about how to prioritize and sequence the rebuilding process.

Interpretation and Plan Development Guidance: To that end, we are offering free interpretations and plan development guidance for a limited number of nonprofits or funders interested in administering the Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT) or the Foundation Core Capacity Assessment Tool (FCCAT). This experience will leave nonprofits and funders with an actionable capacity-building plan, as well as a roadmap to operationalize recovery. We don’t believe a crisis is the right time to do a comprehensive organizational assessment, as the data will be reflective of the crisis period. As a result, we anticipate making this available in mid-October 2020, with the hope that conditions will indicate we are all on a path toward longer-term recovery.

Check back here or email if you would like to be added to a mailing list to receive the latest information each time we launch a new phase.

Final Thoughts

The challenges raised by COVID are great. Tackling them requires institutional as well as collective effort. We offer these TCC Group resources, appreciative that our firm’s contribution is a small but, we hope, effective way to support the social sector organizations we value and the communities they support. We believe in our collective resilience, imagination, intention, and passion. We believe that collectively, we will emerge stronger to address challenges and future opportunities to build equitable, safe, and healthy communities for all.