Nine in ten nonprofits worldwide still impacted by COVID, survey finds

Nine in ten nonprofits worldwide still impacted by COVID, survey finds

More than nine in ten nonprofits worldwide continue to be negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a quarter not sure they can survive another twelve months, a report from the Charities Aid Foundation of America (CAF America) finds.

Based on a survey conducted between August 25 and September 2 of more than four hundred charitable organizations in a hundred and fifty-six countries, the report, The Face of Charities During COVID-19 Worldwide (22 pages, PDF), found that 91 percent of nonprofits reported being negatively impacted by the pandemic — down from 96.5 percent in March but up slightly from 90.4 percent in June. According to the survey, 35.95 percent of respondents were providing a regular slate of programs/services, up from 28.45 percent in May; 53.16 percent were providing programs/services on a limited basis, up from 52.3 percent; and 57.22 percent were providing new programs/services in response to COVID-related needs, up from 54.31 percent. Organizations that had suspended programming or operations cited the incompatibility of their services with online delivery (73.17 percent) and/or a shortage of volunteers (34.15 percent), funds (26.83 percent), or the technology and infrastructure needed for remote operations (19.51 percent).

The report also found that 46.76 percent of respondents said they were able to "remain open as long as necessary," up from 36.51 percent in June; 27.82 percent were unsure about how long they could remain open, down from 31.89 percent; and 25.42 percent said they would be forced to close within twelve months, down from 31.6 percent. A large majority (83.29 percent) of respondents said they had adapted their fundraising/income strategies in response to the crisis, including creating new digital donation opportunities (49.4 percent) or products and services (36.04 percent), applying for public subsidies (35.32 percent), and focusing on new donor segments (34.61 percent).

In addition, 64.51 percent of respondents said they were exploring opportunities to partner with other nonprofits — either as a way to unlock new funding opportunities (60.66 percent), or because other organizations were interested in partnering with them on new services that better serve their communities (58.46 percent), their funders had indicated an interest in funding collaborative projects (48.53 percent), and/or it would help the organization sustain itself through the pandemic (29.78 percent). The report also includes stories highlighting how ten nonprofits have responded to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis.

"This report unveils some of the most powerful narratives of survival during uncertain times," said CAF America president and CEO Ted Hart. "The resilience of these organizations and their commitment to serving their communities is impressive. While many continue to be deeply affected by the pandemic, and some have had to shut their doors, others are finding creative ways to continue their fundraising to provide much-needed services."

"The Face of Charities During COVID-19 Worldwide." Charities Aid Foundation of America report 09/21/2020. "Charities remain resilient in the face of COVID-19 as strategies emerge to manage through the pandemic." Charities Aid Foundation of America press release 09/21/2020.