How You Can Help Charities And Their Beneficiaries
The effects of economic recessions are most strongly felt by those who walk the line between just-getting-by and not-having-enough. Nonprofit organizations, as well as the people they serve, are likely to be hit the hardest by the required precautionary measures taken in response to COVID-19. Fundraisers and volunteering events have all been either postponed or canceled and for nonprofits that rely on reimbursement for services, their revenue may now have dropped to zero as facilities are forced to close.
ABC cited a survey on nonprofits in which 60% of 364 total respondents expressed concerns about budgetary implications related to the strained national economy. Furthermore, a studyby CNN found, “less than half of the nonprofits have one month of operating reserves and less than six months of cash to keep them running.” This data is alarming when considering 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and many businesses have had to layoff their employees. We are in a time where the need for charity is rapidly increasing, and the resources available in the nonprofit sector are simultaneously decreasing.
Clearly this is a problem, so what can you do to help? The issue is two-fold and below we will share how to one, support nonprofit organizations as they combat monetary struggles, and two, directly serve the body of individuals who are forced to rely on nonprofit services and are in a position where they no longer can.
How You Can Support Nonprofit Organizations
Vendors, Delay Invoicing
This is a time of national crisis. Nonprofit organizations operate under extremely tight budgets and have to make quick decisions in order to stay afloat and serve their purpose. Nonprofits are people-oriented. As budget cuts arise, the first thing to go is not going to be their employees, and it’s certainly not going to be the services they offer to the people that count on them. There’s one viable choice and it’s the services they pay for in day-to-day operations. Don’t be the company that takes away a valuable tool because your client has been put in a dire financial position. As an example, Civic Champs suspended subscription fees for the next two months and has offered consulting services to its clients in fields in which our team has relevant expertise. These difficult times provide an opportunity to show that you care, don’t leave those you work without to dry.
As many people begin to struggle to pay the bills as layoffs mount, nonprofits often serve as a safety net of last resort. Unfortunately, many are now facing harsh funding shortfalls. As an example, many organizations are reimbursed only when serving clients on-site (e.g., after-school programs) and with these programs now canceled, these reimbursements have now gone to zero. Thus if you are able to contribute a donation, the impact of your donation will be magnified. The United Way has set up Emergency Relief Funds across communities that will provide urgently needed funding for nonprofits to keep them in business. You can find your local fund here.
There are plenty of ways to help nonprofits right now from the comfort of your home (here are a few). Technically savvy? We’ve posted before, that organizations in the nonprofit sector are just now beginning to leverage technology, and many have room for improvement. Do not hesitate to reach out and offer technical advice. Working remotely may have been a smooth adjustment for your firm, but it could be overwhelming for organizations not as familiar with the pieces of software available. Whatever your area of expertise is, financial, legal, etc., offer your help. Give your background, and ask how you can be of assistance. It will go a long way.
Help Spread The Message
Maybe you do not have enough financial resources to donate and do not think your skills are relevant to any of the challenges nonprofits are currently facing. In that case, you can still help by spreading awareness. Share this blog or others like it on your social media accounts. The world knows small businesses need a bailout, however, what most people don’t know is that the charities we are usually able to take for granted are also in dire need of support. Maybe you don’t know how to help, but if you spread the message it will eventually reach someone who does.