The COVID-19 crisis has detrimentally impacted every industry over the past several months. While record numbers of Americans are filing for unemployment and communities around the country are facing serious health and economic crises, the social sector, responsible for supporting and engaging these communities, is desperately holding on while funding dries up.

As the pandemic shutdown began to unfold, we reached out to foundation and nonprofit leaders across the sector to look for stories and trends as well as some indication of what lies ahead. We conducted two rounds of surveys in March and April, receiving over 750 responses, a testament to the interest and desire of social sector organizations to both understand and adapt to the crisis.

The March survey results were sobering if not surprising. The April survey results confirmed that the damage we reported a month prior was enduring, and the future, at best, uncertain. In March, 70 percent of respondents reported revenue decreases, with some declining by 100 percent. The hardest hit groups included arts and culture organizations and school-based service providers, both seeing programs grind to a complete halt due to COVID-19. The losses reported in the first round were bad enough, but four weeks later, matters had gotten even worse, with 90 percent of respondents reporting further revenue losses, often substantial, and nearly half of respondents having to make additional reductions in staff. 91 percent of respondents had to curtail their services or adapt how they are provided.

Philanthropy has stepped up its giving; now is the time for you to consider the immediate needs of the organizations you support by further increasing funding.

As a family foundation, you may consider supporting grantees right now through accelerating and lifting restrictions on funding, delaying (or even removing) reporting requirements, offering technical assistance and capacity building initiatives, and reassuring grantees of your continued commitment to support them beyond the pandemic.

Read the full article about how family philanthropy can help nonprofits by David La Piana and Madison McAleese at the National Center for Family Philanthropy.