Nearly a Third of Nonprofits Have Cut Staff or Suspended Operations

Nearly a Third of Nonprofits Have Cut Staff or Suspended Operations

Nearly a third of U.S. nonprofits have reduced head count or suspended operations as a result of COVID-19, a report from the Unemployment Services Trust finds.

Based on survey responses collected from nearly eight hundred nonprofit employers over four weeks beginning March 26, the COVID-19 Nonprofit Workforce Trends Report (7 pages, PDF) found that nearly 17 percent of respondents had eliminated or scaled back positions, while 13 percent reported suspending all or most of their operations and 43 percent said they had modified their operations extensively. The remaining 27 percent were considered essential services and said they were operating as they had pre-COVID. Nonprofits with between five hundred and a thousand employees were more likely than nonprofits with fewer or more employees to have eliminated or scaled back positions.  

Asked how much of their organization's revenue would be at risk if current restrictions were to remain in place, 24 percent of respondents said between 25 percent and 49 percent, 28 percent said between 50 percent and 79 percent, 14 percent said between 80 percent and 99 percent, and 7 percent said all of it. Without additional support from government-funded relief programs, 3.3 percent of respondents said they could sustain operations under their current strategy for less than a month, while 17.3 percent said they could do so between a month and two months, 36.5 percent said between three and five months, 17.7 percent said six to eight months, 7.2 percent said nine to eleven months, and 18 percent said a year or longer.

The survey also found that nonprofit employers were most likely to look to the Department of Labor (47 percent), the U.S. Small Business Administration (44.5 percent), the National Council of Nonprofits (40.3 percent), and state-specific nonprofit associations (39.1 percent) for information and resources about the impact of the public health emergency on nonprofits and the nonprofit sector.

"COVID-19 Nonprofit Workforce Trends Report." Unemployment Services Trust Report 05/07/2020.