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Last Update: December 29, 1999.

Table of Contents for Y2K Preparation Considerations for Non-Profit Groups.

Topics covered in this page -

  1. Resources to Assist Nonprofit Organizations with Y2K Recovery. New
  2. Considerations in Preparing for Y2K.
  3. A Year 2000 Compliance Plan.
  4. A Resource for Non-Profit Organizations.
  5. "God's Last Offer" by Lou Ayres New
  6. Web links for further information for Nonprofit Organizations.
  7. Unchecked Nonprofit-related Links.
  8. Humor

Considerations in Preparing for Y2K.

First, consider that nearly everyone in our society will be affected to some extent by the Y2K Problem. Even if you are not directly affected, be aware that some of your suppliers and some of your customers are probably at risk.

The only people who will not be affected by the Y2K Problem are people who are totally outside the general economy - they do not use banks, checks, credit cards, electricity, mail, stores, telephones, or any of the other "conveniences" of our society.

Second, will your nonprofit be affected by the Year 2000 Problem? Very Probably.

Third, how severe will the Year 2000 Problem be for your nonprofit? It is expected that most small and medium sized nonprofit organizations will not experience severe problems as a result of the Y2K situation. In fact it is likely that most of the problems you encounter internally will be minor, or negligible, annoyances. However, many significant problems that are expected to occur will probably happen outside the control of your own organization.

How high is the Year 2000 risk for your nonprofit organization? There are two main points to consider -

  1. How essential are computers to supporting the mission of your nonprofit? How many of your staff work on computers? How many of your organization's functions are performed on computers?
  2. How much date-oriented data does your computer operations manage? If your computer usage is mostly manipulating email, text and graphics, your risks are lower. If your computer usage is mostly manipulating spreadsheets, databases, numeric or financial data, historical or date-specific data, then your risks are higher.

Therefore, only if you know that you can turn your computers (and those belonging to everyone in your supply chain) off for a week or a month and continue to perform your organization's mission without significant problems, then you can afford to take your chances with Year 2000.

Otherwise, you definitely should have a Year 2000 Plan in place as soon as possible.

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A Year 2000 Compliance Plan

  1. Develop an organization-wide project with a specific person (or team) - the Y2K Coordinator - who has full management support to address the entire gamut of Y2K concerns.
  2. Inventory your supply chain. You are probably a link in a lengthy sequence of groups or organizations who supply goods or services to you, and you in turn, supply goods or services to others.
  3. Examine the impact that a disruption - ranging from a few hours to several days - in your getting service from any of your suppliers would have on your operation. Would it be a big disaster, or a minor inconvenience?
  4. Contact the suppliers in your supply chain and ask them for a commitment of their plans for service continuity. Get the contact information - names and telephone numbers - of their Y2K Coordinator so you can follow up on future questions.
  5. Get a paper printout of all data (financial, organizational, supplies, etc.) regarding your organization that presently resides in anyone else's information system.
  6. Examine the impact that a short or long disruption in the services you supply to others. Would such a disruption be consistent with your professional standing and outstanding commitments?
  7. Inventory the hardware and software in all information systems in your organization - such as desktop computers, information servers, laptop computers, special purpose systems of any kind.
  8. Review all other electronic equipment in your organization - does it have a date capability and does its behavior depend on an accurate date? If questions come up, contact the vendor for comprehensive answers.
  9. Check the version or release numbers on all support software; upgrade if necessary. Contact the support software suppliers and ask them for confirmation that their products are Y2K compliant. And if they cannot provide assurances, ask them what options they offer you to minimize any impact on your operation.
  10. Review the Introduction to the Technical Side of the Y2K problem. for specific details on dealing with various hardware and software issues.
  11. Involve your entire staff in the details of gathering the above information about their work environment and how to upgrade it.
  12. Consider deferring the installation of significant new systems or projects until later. The industry regards the time from Labor day (September 7th) to about March 31, 2000, as a "lockdown" time where major enterprise activities, such as installing payrolls, will probably be deferred.
    From: "Electronic News," May 10, 1999, page 1.
  13. Be a bit paranoid in looking for possible Y2K scams; such as -
    • Put a "fraud alert" on your credit files to warn potential creditors to check directly with you before opening an account in your name.
    • Check your Social Security record for unexplained changes: 800/772-1213.
    • Check with the major credit bureaus for the current state of records in your name -
      • Equifax Credit Bureau: 800/525-6285.
      • Experian Credit Bureau: 888/397-3742.
      • Trans-Union Credit Bureau: 800/680-7289.

In summary -

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Resources to Assist Nonprofit Organizations with Y2K Recovery

A message from Compumentor -

We hope you are completely prepared for Y2K, but if you do experience problems after January 1, you may want to visit the "Resources to Assist Nonprofit Organizations with Y2K Recovery" page as a first step. This page was developed through a collaboration between CompuMentor, The Center for Y2K and Society, Nonprofit Tech, NPower, ITRC and other nonprofit technical assistance organizations.

The Y2K First Aid materials on this site, developed by CompuMentor, describe how to check your hardware and software for Y2K compliance. They include a list of software packages, compliance information, and steps for fixing problems you may encounter. Finally, they describe options to consider if your hardware is not Y2K compliant.

You can find these resources and more at:

If you have NOT prepared for Y2K, we STRONGLY suggest you do at least the following in the next few days:

  1. *Back up all of your systems! Make sure all of your files and data are backed up so that you do not lose important documents if you have a Y2K-related failure.
  2. *Visit CompuMentor's Y2K Home Page and do as much as you can of the Y2K preparation process. You'll want to check both your hardware and software for Y2K compliance. Many common software applications require Y2K patches, such as Windows 95 and 98 and Office 97.

A good resource for finding patches and compliance information quickly is the Software Action Steps page:

Good luck and Happy New Year!
The CompuMentor Y2K Program Staff
* * * * * * *
Y2K Program
San Francisco

A Resource for Non-Profit Organizations.

With a program developed by CompuMentor, non-profits can now undertake their own plan of action, based on a just-released, free manual that helps to identify and mitigate potential disruptions resulting from the Y2K bug. CompuMentor Program Description.

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"God's Last Offer," by Lou Ayres

A very pertinent contribution to the general discussion of social stability and preparedness is a recently-published book - "God's Last Offer," by Lou Ayres, editor of World Watch Magazine.

"God's Last Offer" examines in detail the social and ecological ramifications of our highly interconnected global economy that has developed over the last several decades, and the serious challenges that the synergisms of several converging megaphenomena - biological extinctions, carbon gas emissions, unsustainable consumption and rising human populations - are throwing at us.

This book also examines the sophisticated propaganda techniques being used by governments, institutions, and corporations, to misdirect and marginalize public concerns and distract the political processes from realistically addressing the serious cultural, environmental and social issues facing everyone of us.

Highly recommended for every student of the future.

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Web links for further information -

This section added on April 28, 1999.
Return to the top of the BCN Y2K Nonprofits page.

Unchecked Nonprofit-related Links.

The following web links have been obtained from sources that listed them as nonprofit-related, but they have not been examined in detail.

Return to the top of the BCN Y2K Nonprofits page.

And finally, enjoy a bit of animated humor on the subject (76k graphics file) - "The Y2K Bug Problem was overblown!"

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Revised '27-Jun-2002,10:20:22'
URL of this page:'Y2KBINTN.HTM' ; Version '89'.
Y2K Center Coordinator: E. Stiltner