Education, Partner Spotlights

COVID-19 Scenario Planning Revisited: An Update from Monitor Institute by Deloitte

Monitor Institute by Deloitte recently released an addendum to their 2020 COVID-19 resource report that provides updated illustrations of what the world might look like in each of the four scenarios introduced in the original report, with our evolving context as a backdrop.

By Kim Jackson Nielsen, Manager, Education Portfolio

As we mark one year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, we are simultaneously reflecting on and learning from the glimmers of hope that have emerged while acknowledging and mourning the devastation on our health, our families, and the economy. More than 536,000 American lives and over twenty million jobs have been lost, disproportionately affecting communities of color. Amidst this devastation, we have also seen incredible adaptability as working parents have done double duty as home school teachers, schools have developed innovative ways to reach their students remotely, people across the country have figured out how to build and maintain relationships virtually, and organizations and individuals have helped and supported those hit hardest by the pandemic. 

Recognizing all that had happened as a result of COVID-19 — and all that remained uncertain — last summer we collaborated with Monitor Institute by Deloitte on the release of An event or an era? Resources for social sector decision-making in the context of COVID-19. This report aimed to help social sector leaders determine how to think about the future and navigate through the uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis. The report included a number of possible ways the crisis could play out. Some of these have since materialized, such as the “K-shaped recovery” that has widened the gap between high-income and low-income communities (Shruti Sehra of New Profit explains this in detail in the accompanying podcast, Serving communities in crisis). Still, a number of uncertainties remain. 

Yet, as all-encompassing as the pandemic has been, it has not occurred within a vacuum; the past year also included a contentious political election, an ongoing racial reckoning, several natural disasters, and unprecedented political polarization and violence. Recognizing this context as well as the uncertainties that continue to be at play, our colleagues at Monitor Institute by Deloitte recently released an addendum to provide updated illustrations of what the world might look like in each of the four scenarios introduced in the original report, with our evolving context as a backdrop. It is our hope that nonprofit and philanthropic leaders will find revisiting these scenarios within today’s context useful as they continue to make critical decisions and plan for the future ahead, shaping not only their organizations but also the field, all while pushing toward a more equitable, just America. 

For more coverage and to read the addendum, please read How Covid is Changing Strategic Planning: Fresh Thinking For Nonprofit Leaders in the Chronicle of Philanthropy and authored by Monitor Institute by Deloitte.