The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything — from eating at restaurants to working out at the gym. Daily routines, employment options, and housing stability have all been upended as stay-at-home orders continue across the country. The pandemic’s societal impact has also touched charitable giving and the nonprofit sector.
How Donations Have Been Affected
In May 2020, job losses hit the highest numbers that had been seen since the Great Depression. An estimated 20.6 million people lost their jobs due to businesses being shut down, flights being grounded and people staying at home to stop the spread of the virus. The loss of employment opportunities made it difficult for many people to pay their bills. Experts believed that nonprofits would hurt from the lack of extra funds that people had for donations. Surveys have shown that this belief was unfounded. An estimated 25 percent of donors have said they plan to increase their nonprofit donations, while 54 percent said they would continue to make donations at their current level. Only 20 percent of those surveyed said they would have to give less than they had in the past.
How Nonprofits are Managing
Though donations may not decrease too much overall, nonprofits are still struggling due to a lack of volunteers. Many nonprofit organizations rely on volunteers to help keep the charities operating on a limited income. Stay-at-home orders and fear of the virus have kept many people from helping. An estimated 47 percent of people who recently volunteered said they would be volunteering less in the future or that they would stop volunteering completely. Older volunteers are planning on volunteering less as well with 61 percent saying that they were planning on stopping their volunteer work for a period of time.
The Future of Nonprofits
One positive aspect has come from Millennials who are donating more of their time and money than ever before. This has led many nonprofits to adapt their needs to fit younger people’s unique talents and skills. Changing the needs of the business to allow people to volunteer from home and creating unique virtual fundraisers can help nonprofits to continue to thrive during these unprecedented times.