Keeping the Engine Running: Challenges in Non-Profit Operations During COVID-19

From remote payroll and payments, new government support, day-to-day banking and financial reporting to managing people, maintaining morale and supporting your employees – the anticipated and unexpected are cropping up in the new virtual and physically distant world.

This resource page includes a recording of our webinar “Keeping the Engine Running: Challenges in Non-Profit Operations During COVID-19,” as well as additional resources for navigating operational challenges and new opportunities during COVID-19.

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Welcome and Agenda – Alli Bunting – Manager, Programs and Operations, CanWaCH


1. Alli Bunting – Manager, Programs and Operations, CanWaCH

2. Terry Gillis – President & CEO, Ahria Consulting

3. Brenda Beattie – CPA, CA, CFP, TEP – Partner, Tax Services, Davis Martindale LLP


Alli Bunting – Manager, Programs and Operations, CanWaCH

Download the presentation slides here 


What are ways to help those who may be living in denial about the current COVID-19 situation? 

Terry Gillis: It is incumbent upon every leader to really get to know their employees. Spending some time to get to know the person better may help the leader understand what is driving the denial. The flip side of that is asking yourself: What is the denial telling me as a leader? Is this a sign of a deeper issue or just a case of being blissfully unaware?. Either way, continuing to emphasize the importance of open dialogue, as well as access to support, would be critical.

Alli Bunting: Working with and knowing each employee is important, and it can be challenging to have an employee who is facing difficulties – whether it is a seeming lack of self-reflection, a discrepancy between your assessment and their assessment of their performance or a mental health concern. Being upfront, providing regular feedback and documenting successes and failures where possible is important. It’s also important to note that supervisors are often not mental health professionals, nor do they need to try to act as one. They should try to be supportive, to accommodate where requested and possible and to support staff in accessing mental health services if possible. For a list of free resources and strategies for navigating mental health at home and the workplace during COVID-19, click here.

Can we claim the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) if we did not have lay off employees? 

Brenda Beattie: Yes. The intent of the program is to assist employers in both keeping people employed, and bringing back employees who were laid off.

For non-profits that barely had any revenue last year, but have some this year, are we still eligible for the CEWS?  

BB: In such situations, you can elect to compare your revenue to your average of January and February 2020.


Glip (RingCentral): Team and Project Management 
Google Drive (GSuite)File Sharing
Zoom: Video Conferencing

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)


May 13, 2020