On June 15, Independent Sector released a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on large and mid-sized nonprofit organizations. The survey illustrates that the pandemic and the resulting economic shutdown has had significant effects on the services, operations, and the people working in the nonprofit sector.
In general, the survey provides clear evidence of a decline in revenue and individual giving that has forced nonprofits to limit needed services and layoff, furlough, or reduce pay and benefits for their employees. A total of 110 organizations responded to the survey. Of note, 62% of respondents were organizations identifying as “human services” organizations. The respondent organizations collectively represent over 152,000 employees and nearly $9.1 billion in contributions and revenue, as calculated prior to COVID-19 and the economic shutdown.
Notably, 83% of organizations reported a decline in revenues, including a decline in earned revenue from events or other activities, and a reduction in individual giving and grants received. These events have hit both the organizations’ ability to fulfill their missions (71% reported a reduction in services or available operations), and their ability to retain employees (organizations reported a 47% decline in employment in April and a majority either laying off or furloughing employees between February and May of 2020).
Given the results and impact on this key sector of society and the economy, additional assistance is needed to help sector organizations continue to provide essential services to our communities and restore their operations and employment levels, through additional grant, loan, or payroll tax relief programs.
Congress can help reverse the trending loss of revenue and contributions to the nonprofit sector and the resulting loss of jobs by enacting legislation to provide an expanded above-the-line tax deduction for all individuals to give to charity, and expand loans programs for nonprofits with favorable terms, including the availability of loan forgiveness.