Giving Compass' Take:

• Vu Le explains how funders can help nonprofits and the people they serve throughout the coronavirus outbreak and beyond. 

• What do nonprofits you work with need in order to continue and increase their work in these hard times? 

• Read more about the role for donors in addressing coronavirus.

While we continue to work to contain infections and prevent panic, there are many things we also need to think about. The virus reveals several of the weaknesses of our sector and our society, shedding light on things we need to get a better grasp on. Let us use this opportunity to learn and strengthen our work. Thank you to various colleagues for bringing up these critical points for nonprofits and foundations to consider:

We need extra support and assurance from funders: Nonprofits are having to do extra work in response to this virus, on top of all their regular responsibilities, and with the risk of funding being jeopardized due to canceled events and programs.

We need to end the nonprofit starvation cycle: Nonprofits are put into difficult situations: Continue forward with fundraising events and risk spreading the virus, or cancel them and not have enough funding to provide vital services, which may also cost lives. Decades of chronic underinvestment from funders have been leading to these terrible choices. The funding philosophies and practices that have been defaults in our sector have perpetuated a scarcity mindset and constricted our abilities to do effective work. Foundations, you need to change your entire way of doing things.

We need stronger advocacy on safety nets: While many of us are lucky to be employed by supportive organizations that allow us to work from home, there are millions in society who cannot. They don’t have sick leave. They may get fired if they take time off. They depend on tips. Etc. It puts everyone at risk because people are at work when they shouldn’t be, but society gives them few options.

More funding needs to go to intermediary organizations: State associations and capacity building organizations play vital roles in connecting nonprofits, disseminating timely information, and leading collective actions, all essential during crises like potential pandemics. And yet these organizations are constantly fighting for survival as funders and donors gravitate toward missions that are easier to explain or tug at heartstrings more

Read the full article about helping nonprofits survive coronavirus by Vu Le at Nonprofit AF.