The COVID-19 Pandemic has stretched nonprofits budgets, staff and other resources.
Yesterday, the United Ways of Texas (UWT) released a study of COVID’s impact on the nonprofit sector. UWT partnered with the OneStar Foundation to study how nonprofits are responding to the pandemic, and how it is affecting the sector. While the study is based on Texas nonprofits, it’s findings and recommendations apply to the nonprofit sector in other sunbelt states.
They found that Texas nonprofits have stepped up without hesitation. This included increased services at foodbanks, childcare providers, and workforce development organizations. The study discovered that nonprofits met increased demand despite being severely affected themselves.
The report, titled Impact of COVID-19 on Texas Nonprofit Organizations, offers themes about the impact of COVID-19 on nonprofits. It also shares opportunities to strengthen the nonprofit sector, which serves as an important social safety net and economic driver.
A few notable highlights in the report include:
- Most nonprofits provide direct support to people impacted by the pandemic, and they are doing more than ever before. Over 70% of nonprofits have changed operations or services to better support those affected.
- Nonprofits are facing severe financial strain themselves. 70% of nonprofit budgets were harmed or jeopardized by the COVID recession. Additionally, 82% of nonprofits canceled or plan to cancel revenue-generating programs or events. This will diminish their financial stability.
- The pandemic impedes the sector’s ability to sustain its workforce and provide critical services. More than 24% of nonprofits reduced employee hours, laid-off employees or instituted furloughs. 19% have instituted a hiring freeze. A diminished nonprofit sector results in a slower recovery from the COVID recession.
- The pandemic and financial strain impede nonprofits’ abilities to serve those in need. 62% of nonprofits experienced an increased demand for services from clients and communities. 69% of nonprofits experienced an interruption to client services.
- Nonprofits need flexible funding and operating dollars immediately.
The report offers advice to leaders in government, foundations, and businesses to protect the nonprofit sector. This guidance is designed to ensure nonprofits have the ability to meet today’s needs and emerge stronger in a post-pandemic world.
“While nonprofits are facing significant increases in demand, they are also experiencing decreases in donations and other revenue. It’s vital to the recovery …. that we work together to keep the sector strong,” notes Chris Bugbee, President, and CEO of the OneStar Foundation.
The report’s recommendations include:
- All sectors must collaborate to minimize the short and long-term impacts of COVID and the recession. This includes government, business, nonprofit and civic sectors.
- Mission-based advocacy is more important than ever.
“Throughout this pandemic, nonprofits across our state have risen to the challenge of supporting Texans in need by being nimble and innovative to tackle the complex issues that our communities are facing,” said Adrianna Cuellar Rojas, President, and CEO of United Ways of Texas. “We hope that policymakers, business leaders, and other public officials will explore opportunities to support our Texas nonprofit sector so that they can continue to meet the challenging situations that this pandemic has created.”
You can read the entire report here: The Impact of COVID-19 on Texas Nonprofit Organizations.
Why am I writing about this?
As a consulting serving nonprofits, I work hard to stay abreast of the latest research. My executive coaching and tactical planning work is often with organizations facing big obstacles that seem insurmountable. Together, we work through those issues and help your organization thrive despite the challenges. If you’re looking for help overcoming your organization’s obstacles related to COVID and the recession, reach out to me.