Spitfire Strategies

Smart Plan: Spitfire’s Guide to Crisis Prep and Management

In 2007, I was working as a consultant for Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area (now Planned Parenthood of Illinois). We were planning to open a large health care facility in Aurora, Ill., a conservative suburb and the backyard of Joe Scheidler, one of the country’s leading anti-abortion activists. Opposition lurked at every turn. Contractors pulled out of the job. Pro-life groups organized massive protests in front of the building. The City Council threatened to deny its occupancy permit.

It’s a good thing we had a plan. No matter what opponents threw at us – we were ready for it. And on October 2, 2007, the Planned Parenthood Aurora Health Center opened its doors (that’s me on the ladder), making critical reproductive health care services available to thousands of Chicago-area women.

Fast forward to present day. Planned Parenthood continues to have a target on its back. The organization’s hostile opposition seems to stop at nothing in its efforts to shut down the organization. But it’s not working. Planned Parenthood is standing strong in the face of this latest crisis because it was ready with a plan in place.

Whether you are a large nonprofit like Planned Parenthood, a foundation or a smaller group, the best way to deal with a crisis is to be prepared. The Boy Scouts were clearly on to something.

To help, Spitfire created its newest tool, the Smart Plan: Spitfire’s Guide to Crisis Prep and Management. When a crisis hits, having a plan in place will allow you to spend precious moments and resources handling the situation rather than scrambling to figure out what to do.

The guide walks you through a four-step process to assess and minimize risks, identify potential sources of attack and leverage your strengths.

Assess Your Risk: Where are you most vulnerable? The Smart Plan helps you identify potential threats – both internally and externally – and assess your risk level. Spoiler alert: Tom Cruise makes a guest appearance in this risk assessment quiz.

Assess Your Opposition: To prepare for external crises, we ask a series of questions about your opposition to help you gain a clear picture of what you’re up against so you can prepare to counter them.

Minimize Risk: We help you consider the actions you can take to minimize the chance of something becoming a crisis and reduce the likelihood of attack.

Maximize Strengths: Use the Smart Plan to identify your organization’s strengths – which could include an active grassroots network, powerful allies, credibility with the media and/or a strong online community – and determine how to turn these opportunities into big wins when the time comes.

With that information in hand, your ready to put a crisis plan in place. The Smart Plan includes tips for establishing your crisis communication team, potential scenarios and appropriate response strategies.

While there’s no foolproof way to predict what an attack may be or when it will come, the Smart Plan’s four-step process let’s you rest easy knowing that no matter what comes next, you’re ready to respond.

Check out the Smart Plan at http://www.spitfirestrategies.com or give me a call at 202-448-0209 if you want to be prepared before a crisis strikes.

“This truly is the gold standard of executive training.  I have benefited greatly.”

- Roland Stringfellow, Director of Ministerial Outreach, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies

Building Movements Through Art, Communication and Advocacy

Claire de Leon

By Claire de Leon
Director

Power is invisible. That’s part of what makes it tricky to dismantle. Audre Lorde asks us, “What are the words you do not yet have?” – a rallying cry to move from silence to speaking the truth of our experiences. For me, art across time and mediums has played a… (read more)

Many of your Black co-workers and friends are not okay right now: Here’s what you can do

Inga Skippings

By Inga Skippings
Chief Engagement Officer

Many of my white friends and colleagues reached out over the past week to check in on me. They saw George Floyd die pinned beneath Minneapolis police officers’ knees and read how the Louisville police used a no-knock warrant to execute Breonna Taylor. They saw Ahmaud Arbery’s killers arrested only… (read more)

In a Time of Scarcity, We Need Narratives of Abundance

Caroline Gasparini

By Caroline Gasparini
Account Coordinator

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, people are feeling a lot of emotions right now, all at once. There is uncertainty in our day-to-day lives, concern over the future and fear for the health, safety and livelihood of our families, friends, neighbors and selves. It’s easy to become overwhelmed… (read more)

Sign up to receive Spitfire Sparks

You’ll receive our latest smarts on the causes you care about and updates on our free tools.