Study: Pandemic hitting nonprofits hard

Posted on Dec 1, 2020 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive
Posted by of Insight Publications

COVID-19 is taking a toll on nonprofit organizations across the New North, according to a new study.  The research is part of a statewide effort to study the responses of nonprofit organizations to the COVID-19 pandemic. Conducted by University of Wisconsin faculty from across the state, the research was organized by the Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management at UW-Milwaukee and the Institute for Nonprofit Management at UW-Whitewater.

Lora Warner, director of UW-Green Bay’s Center for Public Affairs, says research showed 56 percent of regional respondents were “greatly concerned” about the decline in donations, compared to 52 percent statewide. In addition, about half of nonprofits reduced their service delivery due to the pandemic, while the other half adapted their services or increased their service delivery.

“We need to remember the vital roles these organizations play in our community. Nonprofits provide services that enhance our quality of life and meet needs that neither private companies nor government address,” Warner says.

Other key research findings include:

  • 72 percent of nonprofits in the region received or were approved for the federal Paycheck Protection Program, compared to 61 percent statewide.
  • 82 percent of nonprofits in the region said it was somewhat or very likely they could continue to provide services for 12 weeks, compared to 79 percent statewide. Among nonprofits, those serving the arts and humanities were least likely to continue services.
  • When it comes to covering payroll costs for the next 12 weeks, 79 percent of New North respondents said it was likely or very likely they would be able to do so. Statewide, that number was 81 percent. In the region, 21 percent said it was somewhat or very unlikely they could cover payroll costs for 12 weeks.
  • 75 percent of New North nonprofits were somewhat or greatly concerned about inability to reach most marginalized clients, compared to 81 percent statewide.