Midsize nonprofit employment down by nearly half due to COVID-19

Midsize nonprofit employment down by nearly half due to COVID-19

As they continue to struggle with the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, midsize nonprofits in the United States have cut staff by nearly half, a survey conducted by Independent Sector finds.

Based on online responses collected between May 27 and June 9 from a hundred and ten nonprofits with between five hundred and five thousand employees, the survey found that 67 percent of respondents had furloughed staff and 51 percent had laid off employees. According to the survey, the respondents collectively employed 152,704 full-time, part-time, or temporary staff in 2019 — a number that had dropped to  80,571 as of April 30, a decline of 47 percent. 

The survey also found that 83 percent of respondents — 62 percent of which were human services organizations — had recorded declines in revenue, including earned income (83 percent), individual giving (53 percent), or philanthropic grants (33 percent); 71 percent had scaled back their services or operations; 55 percent had closed their offices; and 30 percent had cut employee pay and benefits. When asked what type of assistance would be most helpful to them, respondents were most likely to say forgivable loans (92 percent), followed by payroll tax relief (61 percent), help with employee healthcare costs (48 percent), and program grants (45 percent).

"Since the beginning of COVID-19 and the CARES Act negotiations, we've been calling on Congress to provide better support for midsize nonprofits in our country," said Independent Sector president and CEO Dan Cardinali. "These results make it abundantly clear that the sector is facing great pressure, and it is time for Congress to step up to provide immediate relief. Nonprofit organizations address critical needs, including food insecurity, housing, child care, and other resources that our society needs to function. These nonprofits are made up of frontline workers who serve the most vulnerable, especially communities of color disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Continuing to disqualify midsize nonprofits for this assistance puts those nonprofits at grave operational risk and threatens our collective ability to get communities the help they most need in this crisis."

(Photo credit: United Way)