Guidance for Nonprofits Navigating Safely Reopening in Wisconsin

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Updated May 29, 2020 | Ben Hastil

With the Wisconsin Supreme Court having struck down the state’s Safer at Home order, your organization may now be in a situation in which it has to determine for itself when and how to operate (or continue to operate) safely for its employees, clients, and volunteers.

We hope the following resources are helpful to you and your organization in guiding these complex decisions:

  • Though no longer enforced, the gating criteria metrics of the state’s Badger Bounce Back plan are still being updated and its phases (see the full plan for details) can be followed as a guideline for whether to reopen and to what extent.
  • The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has issued industry-specific “Guidelines for Reopening Your Business Safely,” which include nonprofits (see their “General Guidelines” as well as any other categories relevant to your operations).
  • The state Department of Health Services “COVID-19: Businesses, Employers, and Workers” page includes resources to help workers manage the stress and changes that the pandemic has caused as well as resources for employers on operating safely.
  • The CDC also issued two new resources on May 20th, including a set of health considerations to be used by summer camps, schools, youth sports organizations, institutes of higher education, and restaurants and bars, that are open.
  • The Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management, in collaboration with the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, has developed a set of guidelines to aid in navigating the post-pandemic world, Moving Forward: Considerations for Nonprofit Re-engagement, intended as recommendations for nonprofit organizations as they return to the workplace, and re-engage with the communities they serve.
  • The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce has launched a PPE Product Marketplace to connect organizations in need of personal protective equipment with manufacturers producing them (also see the webinar below on Project N95, a national clearinghouse for PPE for frontline organizations).

It’s also important to note that your city or county may have issued its own order related to COVID-19 (see Milwaukee’s order, suburban Milwaukee County’s order, Madison and Dane County’s order, and orders for other areas) for your organization to follow.

In addition to the resources above, these upcoming online events (see all of them on our Events Calendar) may be helpful in guiding next steps for your organization’s operations:

May 22nd: Planning for the Next Version of Normal…What to Keep in Mind When It Comes to Your People – Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement

May 22nd / May 26th: Avoiding Costly Legal Mistakes When Re-Opening Workplaces During the Pandemic – Wegner CPAs

May 29th: Candid Conversations in Nonprofit Leadership: Virtual Fundraising, Changing Services Amid COVID-19 – BizTimes Media

June 1st: Transformation of Work: What HR Leaders Should be Thinking About – ManpowerGroup

June 2nd: Project N95: Accessing PPE Through Supply Chain Management – Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

Beginning 6/3: Certificate of Supervision and Management for the Virtual Workplace – Georgia Center for Nonprofits

June 3rd: HR Realities in the Time of COVID-19 – Wegner CPAs

June 3rd: Reopening: Staying HR Compliant – Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement

June 9th: Strategies for Resiliency: How Do You Plan for the Future? – Georgia Center for Nonprofits

June 9th: Tough Questions to Begin Your Orgs Financial Recovery NOW – NonprofitPlace

June 12th: Candid Conversations in Nonprofit Leadership: Staying the Course During a Crisis – BizTimes Media

June 12th: Virtual Forum: The Post-Pandemic Social Impact Leader – Nonprofit HR

June 16th (among other dates): From Crisis Control to Post-Pandemic Prep – Nonprofit Learning Lab

June 18th (among other dates): How to Successfully Manage and Engage Volunteers During a Crisis – Nonprofit Learning Lab

June 24th: Staying on Track: How is Your Organization Adapting to Changes Due to COVID-19?

June 24thGoverning from the Future: Equipping Your Board for Leadership in Uncertain Times – Milwaukee Public Library and The Center for Public Skills Training

June 25th: Essential Unemployment Insight for Nonprofits – Nonstop Administration and Insurance Services

June 26th: Candid Conversations in Nonprofit Leadership: Preparing for a New Normal – BizTimes Media

June 30th (among other dates): Making the Most of Your Web Communications During Crises and Change – Nonprofit Learning Lab


We hope these resources and events are helpful as we all determine and monitor the steps we are taking to adjust as we move toward summer.


In the meantime, know that we are committed to continuing to support our nonprofit community and the work they do, and are proud to continue to be connecting skilled candidates with their job, internship, and board opportunities throughout this challenging time.

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