Crisis communication planning and nonprofit organizations

Brittany Haupt, Lauren Azevedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to discuss the evolution of crisis communication and management along with its inclusion into the field and practice of emergency management. This paper also discusses the inclusion of nonprofit organizations and the need for these organizations to engage in crisis communication planning and strategy creation to address the diverse and numerous crises that nonprofits are at risk of experiencing. Design/methodology/approach: This paper utilizes a systematic literature review of crisis communication planning tools and resources focused on nonprofit organizations to derive best practices and policy needs. Findings: The resources analyzed provide foundational insight for nonprofit organizations to proactively develop plans and strategies during noncrisis periods to support their organization when a crisis occurs. Research limitations/implications: Limitations of this paper include limited academic research and practical resources related to nonprofit organizations and crisis communication planning. As such, several potential avenues for empirical research are discussed. Practical implications: This paper provides considerations for nonprofit organizations engaging in crisis communication planning and aspects leaders need to partake in to reduce or eliminate the risk of facing an operational or reputational crisis. Social implications: This paper highlights the critical need to generate a crisis communication plan due to the diverse crises nonprofit organizations face and their connection to the emergency management structure. Understanding the crisis and utilizing a crisis communication plan allows nonprofit organizations a way to strategically mitigate the impact of a crisis while also providing essential services to their respective communities and maintain their overall stability. Originality/value: This paper is unique in its analysis of crisis communication planning resources and creation of a planning framework to assist nonprofit organizations in their planning efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-178
Number of pages16
JournalDisaster Prevention and Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 12 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)


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