Can Nonprofits Survive Coronavirus?

by | Apr 24, 2020

The coronavirus outbreak has left many nonprofits in the USA holding on for dear life, with mass layoffs, closures and many left destitute following lockdown measures. The biggest question on everybody’s lips right now is, “What happens next?” Can nonprofits survive coronavirus?

At this juncture, it seems that most effective way for nonprofits to transcend the effects of the crisis is to pull in aid wherever possible and work on short-term survival strategies to help get them back on their feet.


What happened to nonprofit coronavirus relief from Congress?

In March 2020, the US Senate passed a $2 trillion relief bill to mitigate the effects of coronavirus on the economy. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act) was aimed at providing businesses, artists, and nonprofits with much-needed support during this time.

Initially, $350 billion from the fund was allocated to nonprofits. The funds provide Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to help cover mortgages, payroll, rent and other essential expenses. As of Apri 17th, though, the Nonprofit PPP Loan Program has reached its cap and it remains to be seen whether more aid will be forthcoming.

Nonprofits need to stay proactive

The outside world may appear to have come to a halt, but within the confines of our homes or remote workplaces, it’s more important than ever to keep reporting up to date, to stay active, and to dream up as many contingency plans as possible to emerge successfully from the crisis.

Financial assistance is still available at national, state and community level if you seek it out. But the national backlog does suggest that starting small is the best strategy at this point. Smaller organizations are far more likely to receive the aid they need by proactively reaching out to their communities and local governments.

Creative thinking is the best thing anyone can do in times of crisis. And opportunity presents itself when you look for it. Google is your greatest ally when it comes to finding new sources of funding, but there are also more targeted approaches your organization can take.

The Government Benefits Center is a site that is worth checking on a regular basis. It provides an up to date newsroom and links to federal aid programs that could help your organization weather the coronavirus storm.

Big business is also stepping up to the plate and is likely to be far more receptive to pleas for help from legitimate nonprofits now than they traditionally would be, provided their financial situation allows it. Reaching out now can’t hurt, even if it’s just in the interest of finding support post-crisis.

Candid has compiled a comprehensive list of coronavirus relief funds that are helping charitable organizations out of the doldrums. These include several locally-based funds like the Greater Manhattan COVID-19 Relief Fund (GMCF) and Oklahoma’s 2020 Disaster Relief Fund, among many others. 

Help is out there. And it’s important to stay hopeful and proactive as you navigate the rough seas that the pandemic has created.

Let the crisis bring us together

A quote from author and hospice counselor, Kate McGahan is great food for thought as we see the world change before our eyes every day; “Deep within every crisis is an opportunity for something beautiful.”

Even in this extremely challenging period, opportunity does exist. There is potential to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic stronger and more prepared than we have ever been. And now, more than ever, nonprofits need to stay focused and summon every possible resource available to stay afloat. Can nonprofits survive coronavirus? I say yes.

About the Charity CFO

The Charity CFO is an accounting service and resource provider that is specifically focused on the nonprofit sector in the USA. Get in touch to discuss sound financial and accounting strategies to maximize your financial resources when you need them most.

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