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Mapping Nonprofit Disaster Recovery

You don’t have to be a relief agency to be prepared for a disaster. Even if you’re a social services organization, your nonprofit should be prepared in some way.

Disaster recovery planning should include planning for resumption of applications, IT infrastructure, data and hardware IT. Most nonprofits aren’t prepared though, according to Chris Fink, vice president, support and implementation, for Arreva, and Ramona Dopps, data and administrative director at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho.

The duo presented attendees with two methodologies when it comes to disaster recovery planning during a session at the recent Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) in Portland, Ore.

    First, there’s the “Follow the Money” planning methodology:

  • Trace how money flows through your organization
  • Start with income, i.e., donations, grants, revenue, etc.
  • Map where that money goes as expenditures
  • Document the process flow and include all systems used to process transactions
    There’s also the “Committed Service” planning methodology:

  • Identify services that your organization provides, such as, meals, counseling, housing, etc.
  • Map how raw materials used in that service become useable and delivered, such as groceries, people, transportation, etc.
  • Document the process flow and include all of the systems used to process transactions


As we celebrate our 36th year, NPT remains dedicated to supplying breaking news, in-depth reporting, and special issue coverage to help nonprofit executives run their organizations more effectively.