Covid 19 Community Leadership Discussion

On Friday 13th March, the Board of Deputies and JLC convened a community wide conference call regarding the communal response to Covid-19 and its potential impact on our community and wider society.

It was a very productive call with over 60 communal Chief Executives from large and small charities joining. A number of actions flowed from the discussion. We would like to thank all colleagues who joined the call.

Whilst we are not producing actual minutes, below is a summary of actions, and suggestions. There is much that we need to follow up on and we will be working through this over the coming days. We ask our community to be patient with our institutions and also with the authorities over the coming weeks.

For a full collated update sheet for organisations see www.thejlc.org/covid19 or https://www.bod.org.uk/coronavirus/. The latter also includes information on how to help individuals in your community through volunteering.

  1. Latest Update on Government Advice and latest developments

We recommend that all organisations keep up to date with the latest Government advice and guidance. The Board of Deputies and the JLC are collating much of the latest material at:

https://www.bod.org.uk/coronavirus/

https://www.thejlc.org/covid19

We know that there will be other sources of such information available.

NOTE at 17.35 16th March 2020 – The Government has just introduced more severe restrictions which may necessitate further measures and the need for further calls. This note is based on the call from 13th March 2020.

  1. Office Functions and Community Operations
  2. Remote Working
  3. Staff issues including HR related issues

Much useful information was shared on the call and there is a wealth of advice available. It was agreed that organisations should be able to share good practice and be able to support each other with information and resources. The Community HR Forum will convene and lead on this area. Michelle Janes (JLC-LEAD) and Judy Silkoff (BOD) will work together to ensure that the HR Forum can operate as efficiently as possible.

As a general point, which will apply to many of the items discussed on the call, the JLC and BOD will look to create efficient communication tools between relevant and interested groups. We will look into the best technological solutions, which will include Microsoft Teams as an option. The HR Forum will have a communications and document sharing mechanism created.

  1. Community Public Events and Gatherings

Prior to new advice being issued many charities have already taken difficult choices.

There are challenges across the community, and it was agreed that similar organisations will need to work together.

Members shared the details of events that had been cancelled. It was also felt to be important that members share information about events that were still proceeding. It was important to emphasise if there was business continuing as usual.

It was noted that a number of fundraising dinners have been cancelled and this will have a significant impact on many charities.

The BOD and JLC will look at the most efficient way to create a communication forum for CEO’s with the aim that those with upcoming events should keep in contact.

It was also noted that, where organisations intended to reschedule events to later in the year, great care should be taken not to clash with events that are scheduled at that time but also not to organise in such a way as to risk the financial success of such events.

A number of participants noted that the increase of isolation and enforced isolation would create mental health issues.

  1. Sharing Practice between sector groups
  2. Synagogues
  3. Care organisations
  4. Overseas residential trips
  5. Schools

We will set up sub-groups using appropriate technology to enable these groups to meet virtually and to share information to react to events.

  1. Impact on Fundraising

There was wide acceptance of the impact on funding and the viability of communal organisations from the cancellation of funding activities and the impact on philanthropy from the current crisis.

Whilst there was agreement on the problems, there was insufficient time to discuss mitigations and solutions. We have seen helpful and supportive communications from US based philanthropic foundations, which provide a good model for the kind of reassurance that our community may need in due course.

We will establish a sub-group of CEOs to discuss what emergency measures may be needed in the event of protracted period when income is affected. The JLC and BOD will seek volunteers for this group.