The Society for Advancement of Consulting® (SAC ®) has developed some best and worst practices in current economic conditions, based on the observations of its global membership and the tens of thousands of clients they serve.

“Its helpful for nonprofit leaders to remember,” observed Karen Eber Davis with Karen Eber Davis Consulting, in Sarasota, Florida, “that during recent recessions giving dropped from one to five percent” or that 95 percent of all giving remained unchanged. We need to keep our attention focused on these continuing opportunities.”



Panicking as leaders, and allowing employees to witness dissension, indecision, and vacillation.

Withdrawal and downsizing so severe that the probability of being positioned strongly when the upturn arrives is remote.

Sacrificing productivity of remaining workers through rolling and seemingly arbitrary layoffs.

Failure to spread sacrifice, and a perception that executives are not sharing the burden.

Poor communication of short and longer term plans to the workforce.

Failure to manage the public relations and media speculation and reporting.

Follow-the-leader mentality instead of carving out a singular approach to the conditions as they affect the organization.

Failure to provide incentive for “franchise players” and key talent which can’t easily be replaced.

Cutbacks in the wrong areas, such as customer responsiveness.

Poor use of existing credit and financial reserves.



Delivery of new products and new services to existing customers.

Creation of the perception of increased value and worth.

Strong public and community image.

Strategic initiative to plan for inevitable upturn, no matter when it occurs.

Daily efforts to build trust, confidence, and interaction with employees.

Development of new markets for existing products and services, including global markets, even for smaller businesses.

Paying local and smaller suppliers first, to help keep them in business and become their priority customer.

Creation of banking relationships, credit lines, and financial reserves.

Industry/professional leadership, assuming a visible and assertive role and becoming leaders in discussing conditions and solutions.

Constant presence in the customers’ eyes through all available media which are relevant.

SAC is an international association of consulting professionals who subscribe to an industry code of ethics and have provided evidence of significant consulting results among their clients. For more information, please go to, write to, or call 800/825-6153 (401/886-4097).


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