Over the last year, we have been privileged to witness first-hand the incredible impact nonprofit organizations around the country have had on their communities. As we collectively struggled to adjust to layoffs or work from home, remote learning, social distancing, and an economic downturn, nonprofits stepped up to support those in need more than ever.
In the early months of the pandemic, the Morgridge Family Foundation committed to supporting the efforts of nonprofits through two rounds of $1 million in Covid-19 emergency relief investments. We signed the Ford Foundation’s Covid-19 pledge and joined the leadership team for Governor Polis’ Colorado Covid Relief Fund. And, as always, we conducted research and listened to nonprofit leaders to learn what challenges they face, what is working, and what resources are needed.
Now, more than a year after Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic, we’re closer than ever to the light at the end of the tunnel. But, we’re not there yet. As recent data and trends show, the pandemic’s impact on nonprofits is likely to be long-lasting:
Nearly 51,000 nonprofit jobs were lost in December 2020. Education, arts, and recreation, including institutions critical to communities such as theaters and museums, were particularly hard hit.
Almost 50 percent of social service nonprofits, such as food banks and shelters for people experiencing homelessness, and almost 80 percent of arts and culture nonprofits had to scale back their work and cut staff because of inadequate funding in the last year.
Since March 2020, nonprofits have had to cut staff, reduce programs and cancel events. Many have completely suspended operations at some point in the last year. At the same time, fluctuating demand for services as a result of the pandemic have made it difficult to predict need. For example, some 50 percent of social services organizations have seen an increase in demand for their services, while arts and culture organizations saw demand for their services fall by over 60 percent.
Even before the pandemic increased uncertainty about the future, we knew from our report The Future of Giving that less than half of nonprofits have one month of operating reserves and less than six months of cash to keep them running.
It became clear there was a need for additional support.
Today, we are thrilled to announce a third and final round of $1 million in Covid-19 emergency relief investments. We once again teamed up with our United Way and community foundation partners to identify and fund 75 nonprofits across six states with an operating budget of $500,000 or less. These small but powerful organizations will be essential to leading their communities through Covid-19 recovery and beyond.
“The Morgridge Family Foundation’s funding support through our organization is targeting nonprofits with smaller budgets who make a lot happen with every dollar,” said Danica Jamison, President and CEO of Greater Gallatin United Way, “The funding will positively impact those who are the most vulnerable in our community – our seniors, our laborers, survivors of violence, children whose parents are unable to make ends meet financially despite working long hours, individuals struggling with trauma.”
We are humbled to have the opportunity to support these organizations in what is hopefully the final stretch of this global crisis. To learn more about MFF’s COVID-19 approach and to stay up-to-date on the impact of our nonprofit partners, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.