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Funding Flexibility Helping World’s Nonprofits Survive COVID-19 Struggles: Survey

By News Creatives Authors , in Leadership , at July 20, 2021

More than a full year into the coronavirus pandemic, less than 2 in 3 nonprofits around the world are certain that they can survive another 12 months, according to the latest survey from CAF America.

‘Twelve Months Later: The State of the World’s Nonprofits’ was the group’s 7th COVID-19 survey, polling 496 organizations from 129 countries. The largest segment of responding organizations — 27.19% — had between 6 and 20 employees; 25.06% of responding organizations had 51 or more employees.

The jarring sustainability figures represented a modest improvement since the question was asked in June 2020. In the latest edition, 64.23% of respondents asked “How long can your organization continue to operate under current conditions?” said ‘No Limit, We Remain Strong.’ ‘We Don’t Know’ received 13.41%; ‘6 Months At Most’ received 4.27%; and ‘12 Months At Most’ received 17.68%.

The pandemic has led donors to offer more flexibility in the ways organizations utilize the dollars. In the aggregate, 90% of corporate respondents have offered flexibility in funding arrangements to grantees, with 65% facilitating changes to grant purposes to redirect funds to the most immediate needs. Grant extensions have been offered by 54% of corporate respondents, and 49% indicated a willingness to fund overhead costs.

“Donors have been more open to donating funds for running costs or for different needs that we have in the organization once they get to know our activities,” said Miriam Valero, a social worker for Manos de Ayuda Social. “We have to be really persistent to help them see exactly where the money would go and why it is needed.”

More than 4 in 5 organizations — 81.74% — indicated that their largest funding need comes from programming and services. Salary needs were cited by 61.05% of organizations, while marketing/fundraising needs were cited by 51.12%.

The data clearly indicated that most nonprofits had added new programming and services in response to the pandemic: 70.45% said they’d re-prioritized to include new services and/or programs; and 61.63% indicated that of the new strategies they’d adopted since the start of the pandemic, online programming was a priority to maintain moving forward.

“We can’t lose momentum,” said Florencia Spangaro, Chief Operating Officer of the Citi Foundation. “What we’ve learned, what we’ve acquired in terms of new programming, new strategies, in the past year are something that we need to continue on and accelerate, not try to go back to pre-crisis or pre-pandemic times.”

Looking ahead, a vast majority of respondents indicated that they are either ‘Very Confident’ (57.09%) or ‘Moderately Confident’ (37.04%) in their ability to successfully face the next crisis. Only 2.02% said they are ‘Not Confident’ in their ability to survive what may come next.

The full report can be downloaded and read here.

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