COVID-19 has changed everything about our daily lives. People are keeping their distance. Businesses have had to completely shift their way of doing business or closed entirely. Organizations everywhere are feeling the strain of multiple crises affecting their communities. And the social sector as a whole is looking for clear action steps for bouncing back and building nonprofit resiliency.

Taproot Foundation gathered experts in the field for a webinar to share insights about building nonprofit resiliency and dig into some trends in the sector during this time. Panelists Sheila Morovati, founder of Crayon Collection, and Sonia Montoya, manager, assessment and advisory services, at the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) joined us to discuss the pandemic’s impact on nonprofits across the country. Together we dug into data CEP recently collected as well as our own resiliency survey and discussed how those findings could translate into strategies for recovery.

What are nonprofits asking funders for right now?

CEP’s mission is to provide data so that philanthropic funders can better define, assess, and improve their effectiveness. They explored the ramifications of the pandemic through a survey that yielded several key insights into challenges nonprofits are now struggling with.

While COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on nonprofits, they found that negative repercussions have been magnified for nonprofits that provide direct services and serve historically disadvantaged communities.

They also identified that the biggest challenges facing nonprofit leaders have been supporting staff well-being, creating or maintaining financial security, and decision-making amid uncertainty.

In order to understand the resource gaps nonprofits are facing in this truly unique time, CEP had to ask some key questions. Their report Funder Support During the COVID-19 Pandemic was designed to surface and share what nonprofits are looking for in this moment. The nonprofits surveyed overwhelmingly asked for the same three things from funders right now:

  • Provide unrestricted funding — Nonprofits are looking for a commitment of unrestricted dollars over a longer timeframe so that they can focus on their missions and instead of fundraising.
  • Provide more funding — More investment is crucial. Many recommended that funders stop protecting endowments for the future, as the future isn’t going to matter if they don’t get support now.
  • Reach out to nonprofits — Funders must provide transparency and more communication about how the pandemic will impact future financial support.

Read the full article about building nonprofit capacity and resiliency by Margaret Dunham at The Center for Effective Philanthropy.