The COVID-19 pandemic has cut into noprofits' resources while increasing demand for their services. As they are asked to do more with less money and reduced staff, what can they learn from history and data about navigating the crisis? And how can philanthropy help?

SSIR's publisher, Michael Voss, speaks about the pandemic's impact on nonprofits and how they can respond with Amir Pasic, the Eugene R. Tempel Dean at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University and a professor of philanthropic studies, and Mary Jovanovich, senior manager for relationship management at Schwab Charitable.


What does history and recent data tell us about what might happen to organizations in the nonprofit sector in the near- and long-term, and how can the philanthropic community help provide vital support to ensure that these organizations are able to continue to support their constituents?


We know that in disasters, giving spikes and people respond often in proportion to the severity of the disaster that we are facing. And, certainly, given the scope and the depth of what we’re facing with the pandemic, it will be interesting to talk more about the surge of response that we have seen across the philanthropic space to the particular disaster.


We’ve seen an increase in both grants specified for COVID relief, as well as to other nonprofits. In fact, since mid-February through mid-June, the total number of grants recommended by donors at Schwab charitable has risen almost 50%, compared to the same period last year. And that’s resulted in over $1.3 billion granted to charity. My experience has taught me that our donors respond immediately and generously in times of disaster or crisis when communities need it the most.

Read the full discussion about supporting nonprofits during COVID with Amir Pasic and Mary Jovanovich at Stanford Social Innovation Review.