This fall, the Catalogue for Philanthropy surveyed local, community-based nonprofits about the impact Covid-19 has had on their work. This was the third instance of the survey since the beginning of the pandemic in March. The main takeaway? The current situation is challenging for many vital community organizations and it’s clear that without our support, many are at risk for closure or reduction in services. If we want local nonprofits to continue to be there for our community, it is up to us to provide the resources and support they desperately need right now.
Here’s what we know from talking with our nonprofit partners:
- Two out of three small nonprofits are facing real challenges or threats to their existence.
- 89 percent reported financial and programming challenges as their leading concerns, stemming primarily from the loss of event and earned income revenue as well as increased costs of programming and the shift to virtual.
- 93 percent of our nonprofit partners have shifted to virtual programming or maintain socially distanced in-person programming.
- Uncertainty about the future of the financial landscape is leading to the delay of critical operating decisions and layoffs. Without additional support, more layoffs and closures are likely.
Since March, the Catalogue for Philanthropy has worked to support nonprofits in the face of these issues, offering more than 100 free Learning Commons virtual workshops and webinars, more than 50 peer-to-peer cohort meetings, and educating more than 7,000 participants through these online offerings. Of those attendees, 97 percent reported the webinar content was valuable and that attending will improve their job performance. We also have connected and engaged community supporters to raise over $1 million for local organizations. The Catalogue led a Covid giving day campaign that engaged more than 150 nonprofits and inspired 5,600 individual donations.
For many organizations, the real impact of these virtual sessions and collaborative cohorts is a chance to connect, albeit remotely. We are all figuring out how to navigate the challenges of 2020, and any opportunity to feel less alone and more supported is important. This virtual community is one of the things our team at the Catalogue is most proud of during the past 7+ months.
What we have learned since Covid is that local nonprofits need continued virtual support, funding and awareness. The next six weeks are critical to their survival, and it’s up to us to make sure they are still here to make a difference into 2021 and beyond. We urge you to get involved in one of three ways:
- Participate in #GivingTuesday by giving to a Catalogue for Philanthropy nonprofit partner on December 1.
- Pledge to make an end of the year gift to a Catalogue for Philanthropy nonprofit partner so they can count on your support.
- Share the great work of a local nonprofit with your friends and family, or on social media, to raise awareness about their important work.
We know that recovering from this pandemic will be a long and challenging journey. We also know we’ll be looking to our community nonprofits and partners to help us through that recovery. So, if we want local nonprofits to continue to show up for our region, we need to show up for them. Please join us.
To make a gift to support one or more of these organizations and find out how you can get involved in the community, visit www.givelocaltogether.org.
About the author: Gonzales joined the Catalogue in 2017 and brings with him a unique mix of fundraising, marketing and resource development experience from his time both in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Prior to joining the Catalogue, he worked with two Catalogue partner organizations, seeing firsthand the important impact the Catalogue had on local nonprofits.
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