To those not in the nonprofit sector or those unfamiliar with how these organizations tend to work, a nonprofit is often just thought of as a charity—a conduit through which giving can flow. Therefore, less revenue translates to fewer services for those in need.
This is true, in a way, but nonprofits serve a wide range of functions. An organization dedicated to advancing some policy goal, for example, may have very little interaction with the public aside from marketing campaigns.
Instead of thinking in terms of charitable giving, it is important to realize that a reduction in revenue causes a reduction in services due to a shrunken workforce. Here are some quick facts that came from the same survey cited above:
- The number of jobs in the nonprofit sector was reduced by 47% when comparing April 2020 to April 2019.
- 51% of organizations reported laying off employees as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 67% of nonprofits reported having to furlough employees since the beginning of the pandemic.
The individuals that make up a nonprofit are the engine driving its mission. Along with a reduced workforce, there has also been a decline in volunteers that many nonprofits rely on; this decline is due to the intermittent stay-at-home orders in a number of states and municipalities throughout 2020 and the general need to enforce social distancing policies.
Put bluntly, the pandemic has been devastating nonprofits’ abilities to achieve their goals. To make matters worse, 23% of the organizations surveyed reported increased demand for their services.