Questions to help your business continuity

We strongly recommend that you create or update your business continuity plan to manage the impact of COVID-19 on your organisation. As part of this process you should clearly identify core and non-core business and outline all the potential scenarios your organisation could face, from fear or confusion amongst your staff and volunteers, to consideration and a revision of how your organisation will need to work.

Questions to guide your discussion include:

  • Do you have a business continuity plan? Are volunteers included in this plan?

 Volunteers and Paid Staff:

  • How can you best support your volunteers and paid staff and their families to stay safe?
  • Do you have volunteers and/ or paid staff who are vulnerable? What extra precautions do you need to take for their safety?
  • Have you communicated clear, accurate information to volunteers and paid staff on what your organisation’s plans are and what actions they need to take?
  • Have you planned for a volunteer workforce shortage?
  • Do you have up to date records of which volunteers are and are not available?
  • What volunteer and paid staff support do you need to continue to deliver essential service delivery?
  • How can you keep volunteers and paid staff actively engaged if they are no longer working? How do you reduce any of their feelings of isolation?


  • Do you have appropriate policies and procedures to protect your team? Are these well understood by all team members?
  • Do you we have plans that can quickly be put into action if one of your team contracts COVID-19? How will you cope if all your staff and volunteers must self-isolate for 14 days?
  • What steps should you take to protect your vulnerable clients?
  • Do you have the necessary PPE (personal protective equipment)?
  • How do travel restrictions impact your work?
  • What will the impact be on your service delivery? What are your essential services that need to keep running? Can you cope with increased need for support from people who rely on your work?
  • Does your team need to work remotely? Do you have the collaborative tools, information and supplies to support this? Have you tested your remote working systems?
  • Does your team deliver critical transport services? Will you and if necessary, how will you continue to deliver these services without putting staff and clients at risk?
  • Have you informed all relevant parties about the changes you are implementing – e.g. volunteers, paid staff, clients receiving your services, funding agencies, program partners, the general public (if appropriate)?
  • How will you restore operations smoothly when the crisis has passed?


  • What are the implications of cancelling or postponing your event?
  • Can your events be held virtually?


  • Can you budget for increased contingency costs over the next financial year?
  • How can you buffer any fall in income?
  • How do you manage increased costs from suppliers?
  • Can you talk to your bank and/ or funders and make a plan?

Social impact:

  • Which of your services may ramp up during this time, such as support provided to people experiencing disadvantage who may be less equipped to prepare for self-isolation and/ or added hygiene needs due to a lack of disposable income for bulk food and supplies?
  • How can you show support to staff and community members who may be experiencing racism or discrimination due to COVID-19?

Adapted from information provided by NCVO. 

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