Earlier this year, the Center conducted a survey of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on nonprofit finances, staff, programs, and operations. We've collected some key findings and statistics below:

  • While relief funding helped many nonprofits survive, there is uncertainty about the future—donor fatigue, shifting priorities, etc.—and additional support is needed to prevent closures or reductions in services to our communities.
  • Nonprofits are competing for talent in a tight labor market, whether they're hiring or looking to retain current staff. This is even more difficult for organizations that have had to delay hiring or reduce compensation while asking staff to adapt to new programs and modes of work.
  • While there's much to be concerned about, nonprofits and our government, philanthropic, and community partners have risen to the challenge through innovation, collaboration, and inspiration.

Financial Impact

  • 49% of organizations reported a decrease in total revenue compared to pre-pandemic levels. Of those that reported a decrease in total revenue, most reported decreased revenue from individual contributions, corporate contributions or sponsorships, and non-governmental fees (tickets, products, sales, etc.).
  • 29% of organizations reported an increase in total revenue compared to pre-pandemic levels. Of those that reported an increase in total revenue, most reported increased revenue from individual contributions, foundation contributions or grants, and government contracts.
  • 43% of organizations are concerned about their financial position in 2021.
  • Pandemic-related relief funds made up 20% of organizations' total revenue on average.
  • 26% of organizations anticipate needing to lay off or furlough staff, suspend operations, close or end programs and services, or dissolve without additional relief resources.

​"I'm worried about the economic reality without federal funds and donor fatigue post-COVID."

"We reduced staffing and limited some programs, which we won't be able to re-open without additional relief."

Impact on Operations, Programs & Staff

  • Organizations are operating at reduced capacity. 47% of organizations have reduced the number/capacity of their programs or the number of constituents they serve and 27% of organizations have downsized or closed an office/program site.
  • Staff recruitment and retention are a concern for all industries and nonprofits are no exception. 42% of organizations have laid-off or furloughed staff, delayed hiring, or reduced overall staff compensation, and 25% of organizations report recruiting and retaining staff as their biggest pandemic-related challenge.

​"We are simply not able to offer programming due to the fragile population we serve."

Silver Linings

  • Many of the changes made in response to COVID-19 will benefit organizations long after the pandemic. More than 50% of organizations implemented new methods of fundraising​, expanded communication with their supporters, and initiated new online programs. In addition, 36% of organizations formed new partnerships and 32% of organizations implemented new methods of volunteer engagement.
  • Despite the challenges, some organizations were able to increase their impact, with 26% of organizations increasing the number of constituents they serve and 21% experiencing growth in their programs.

​"The outpouring [of support] we've received from the community (near and far) has been unprecedented. […] We've also had the opportunity to share our mission and stories more broadly."

"We have created efficiencies through [the] use of software for remote operations. New collaborations have formed and we have tried new program approaches, some of which have been very positive."

About the Survey

The survey was conducted in May of 2021 with 112 organizations participating. Participants represented organizations with a variety of missions from throughout the state. A plurality of organizations had budgets of $75,000–$500,000 and less than 10 employees.

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