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The team from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest independent charity evaluator and leading donor advocate, shares their thoughts on emerging nonprofit-sector issues and offers tips to better inform your intelligent giving decisions.

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Friday, April 17, 2020

Now More Than Ever, The Nonprofits You Love Need Your Help

As COVID-19 continues to disrupt normalcy, one thing remains a constant: the nonprofit sector continues to provide critical services across a wide spectrum of causes. We’ve highlighted many organizations responding directly to the crisis. If you have not done so, I urge you to check our Coronavirus Hot Topic and help out with what you can.

COVID-19 has greatly stressed the resources of the entire nonprofit sector. The organizations you love that are not directly responding to the health emergency continue to provide important mission-based programs and services. From the arts to zoos, nonprofits are struggling with immediate cash flow concerns, along with expected longer-term projected budget shortfalls.

According to a survey we recently conducted with Reuters News, 83% of organizations who responded indicated they had suffered financially due to the pandemic and resulting economic shutdown. Over half of the respondents answered that they are experiencing increased demand in their programs, yet two-thirds of respondents indicated that they were forced to cut back on program services given the current conditions.

Most nonprofits strive to be as efficient as possible with the contributions they receive. This means that many nonprofits were understaffed and under-resourced prior to the pandemic and economic shutdown. 50% of the organizations we surveyed reported that they have seen an increased demand in programs. This is a tough predicament to be in, as nonprofits are being asked to do more with less during this very trying time.

Donors can make a huge difference by helping out the causes and nonprofits they have always supported with whatever they can give now. Even a small gift can have a huge impact on the short-term and long-term health of an organization, and it is important to support the nonprofit sector through this difficult time.  Charity Navigator encourages all donors to help with what they can, when they can. To support multiple organizations in one convenient checkout, consider using Charity Navigator’s Giving Basket. Together, we can ensure a bright future for nonprofits and the critical services they provide across dozens of causes.

Written by Kevin Doyle, Senior Program Analyst at Charity Navigator

Bonus encouragement: The folks at GivingTuesday recently announced #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. Mark your calendars and be sure to rely on Charity Navigator to make sure your giving is as informed and impactful as possible.


Keisha C said...

thank you for this information !! I hope that donations can resume SOON !
And I appreciate all of the services that these many non-profit organizations
provide !!

Steveiam said...

It is important to be ultra selective in giving. There are several 'large' non-profits who use donated funds to 'reward' their management in an outsized manner. Famously, the Red Cross, Goodwill are at the apex in paying their Executives salaries, often $1,000,000 and much more. Further, they offer very rich expense accounts, and other perks that few in private industry enjoy.
Contribute generously, but look to smaller Charities to see that your dollar goes further.

Unknown said...

Many of us plan monthly expenditures based on whatever our "regular" income is expected to be. I donate primarily to the American Red Cross and some other non-profit organizations. A regular monthly amount of as little as $10.00 in addition to an occasional larger gift can make a serious difference in how a non-profit can plan for consistent budgeting of anticipated regular income.

Unknown said...

Appreciate the article, but can Charity Navigator please update the survey you did back in April? I fear it may be outdated and misleading. I think the economic situation is probably far worse now due to events of the past 3 months. So much has happened that has increased the strain on businesses and donors.