There are times when everything suddenly goes dark. When you lose a dear friend to suicide. When your mosque gets bombed. When the lab results come back and it’s bad news.

In the last few weeks, each of these things has happened to someone in my life, and once I got past the initial wave of heartbreak it got me thinking: What allows people to survive a cataclysmic event? What gives them resiliency? My best guess is that it’s the things they store up while the sun is shining—memories, friendships, wisdom—sources of hope and reasons to keep going.

I spend so much time thinking about nonprofit leadership that I can’t help also making a connection to that. What are the kinds of things at an organizational level that build resiliency and allow them to survive a catastrophe? A few come to mind:

  • A committed team.
  • A clear shared purpose.
  • A support network.
  • A reserve of both cash and goodwill.

Whether the event is short and only slightly disruptive like a solar eclipse, or it’s something that leaves the organization forever changed, these things make a huge difference.

You might notice that I didn’t list technology among the items that contribute to resiliency. Of course I believe technology is important. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t be dedicating my career to helping nonprofits use technology better. But technology is just a tool, a means to an end. It can help you build and reach out to a support network, for example. Or provide transparency that builds public trust and helps you with fundraising. It helps you be better at doing the things that make you resilient.

My heart goes out to all of our readers who are struggling with troubles in our society, among their loved ones, or in their organization. I do hope Idealware can take a bit of the stress and uncertainty out of your technology decisions, or save you some time so you can tackle bigger issues. And more importantly, I wish you hope, and courage, and strength to keep going.