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COVID-19 Negatively Impacting Nearly All Charities

Just short of all of 544 global and local charitable organizations (97 percent) answering polling have been negatively impacted by COVID-19, according to a survey conducted by Charities Aid Foundation of America (CAF America) in Alexandria, Va. Managers at more than 42% of charities provide direct services to those affected by the pandemic and are facing a steep decline in contributions and increased costs.

Other negative impacts reported include broken supply chains, staffing and operational inefficiencies, government and travel restrictions and an inability to meet the expectations of those served.

“It’s important to hear firsthand how this global pandemic is affecting our grantee partner organizations around the world, in real time,” said Ted Hart, CAF America President and CEO. “I have no doubt the powerful insights that have been shared with us, will inspire and motivate those wanting to help with COVID-19 relief, on the ground, around the world, where it can help the most.”

CAF America collected responses from 544 global organizations to learn how the pandemic is affecting them. Several of the key findings include:

  • 42.5 percent of the organizations — spanning social services, education, healthcare and conservation and arts and culture — provide direct services to those affected by COVID-19. 
  • 96.5 percent of the survey respondents indicated they were negatively impacted. 

The top three indicators were: 

  • 67.9 percent report a decline in contributions, due to donors giving less and the inability to reach donors; 
  • 63 percent have experienced travel disruption, including cancellations and the inability to work effectively, including contacting clients, donors and recipients; and 
  • 56.4 percent report an issue with client relations, leading to the inability to meet expectations of those they serve due to inefficiency or barriers to service, such as cancelled public events or face-to-face operations.

One of the organizations noted: “Our revenues from the activities of a social enterprise fell by 80 percent. We have no finances to maintain employment of disabled and healthy people, to pay for electricity, heating, garbage collection, taxes and insurance.” 

Almost all organizations indicated that they expect a decline in contributions (revenue): 

  • 41.2 percent expect a decline of greater than 21 percent 
  • 43.4 percent expect a decline of 1 to 20 percent; and  
  • Only 2.6 percent expect contributions to increase.

While 90 said they are not currently experiencing a negative impact, most expected to be negatively impacted in the future due to cancelled events and programming and bankrupted sponsors: 

  • 73.3 percent expected to be impacted in one to three months;  
  • 34.4 percent expect to be impacted in more than three months; and  
  • 11.1 percent expect no negative impact. 

This article originally appeared in Non-Profit Times.  It is reprinted with permission.  To read more from Non-Profit Times, click here. 

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