Survey Evaluates COVID-19's Impact on Community Nonprofits
In the early days of COVID-19, we knew the Guilford County nonprofit sector was in for a long, wild ride with far-reaching impact. From March 12 to March 31 Guilford Nonprofit Consortium, a long-time Cone Health Foundation grantee, conducted a survey that involved 134 of its member nonprofits operating in Guilford County. The respondents ranged in size from grassroots groups that rely solely on volunteers, to organizations with annual operating budgets of millions and that employ hundreds. The survey sought to learn about the needs of nonprofits and how the Consortium and funders could support their work as we all learn to cope with COVID-19.
“Our nonprofits expect major disruptions in service delivery. And, the reality is that 70% of all nonprofits have less than three months of operating reserves. Those are sobering statistics, coupled with the fact that the population that provides most of a nonprofit’s volunteer time are also the same people most at risk for COVID-19 infection, our senior citizens,” said Steve Hayes, Executive Director of the Guilford Nonprofit Consortium.
The disruptive effects from this pandemic are different than what nonprofits have faced in the past. Natural disasters are bound by geography and a recession is contained to the market, but a pandemic cuts across all sectors. Revenue loss is not defined by source of funding but tied to people gathering to receive or enjoy the services of our nonprofits. Nonprofits face exceptional challenges especially because they are called to serve those who are hungry, in need of shelter, or are in search of healthcare. They have to manage increases in demand amid constrained capacity, concerns for the health and safety of staff and clients, and availability of workers who don’t have the privilege of working remotely or who are unable to both work and care for children who are home because of school and day care closures. See the results of the survey here.