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Ontario’s nonprofits and charities are facing a triple threat

In addition to the disorienting reality of navigating change-making during a pandemic, Ontario’s nonprofits and charities are also facing:

  1. An abrupt loss of revenue from the cancellation of fundraising events and a steep drop-off in donations
  2. The closure of offices and cancellation of programs and services due to pandemic restrictions
  3. Unprecedented human resource challenges in terms of both paid staff and volunteers.

To track the real-life impact of these challenges, The Ontario Nonprofit Network conducted a flash survey to examine how organizations across Ontario are dealing with COVID-19.

Here are some of the key findings.

OPERATIONS

    • Over three-quarters of respondents have experienced disruption of services to clients and communities
    • Almost one in five nonprofits have closed their doors – at least for now -because of the pandemic or are making plans to do so.

REVENUE

    • Close to 75 per cent of respondents have seen reduced revenue from fundraising, with the hard-hit arts sector reporting an 81 per cent reduction in ticket and event sales
    • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will cost 43% of organizations between $50,000 and $249,999 each. Another 10% estimate the financial impact to be $1 million or more.

HUMAN RESOURCES

  • Nonprofits are experiencing staff and volunteer absences of 35% due to concerns about contagion in doing their work.
  • Many respondents from nonprofits performing essential services — including community health organizations and long-term care homes — commented on a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • One third of respondents indicated that their organization has either reduced hours for workers or laid off staff. The pandemic has been particularly devastating for workers in arts and culture, sports and recreation, child care, and nonprofit social enterprises

SOME SUB-SECTOR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Social services: 93% of respondents have experienced or anticipate a disruption in service to clients and community
  • Employment and training: 48% have laid off or will have to lay off staff
  • Arts and culture: There has been an 81% reduction in ticket and event sales
  • Social enterprises: Courier, catering, and retail social enterprises that often employ people with barriers to the labour market have closed their doors for the duration
  • Health: 31% have resources to sustain their organizations for only the next three to six months, while 38% are unsure how long their resources will last because of the unpredictable nature of the pandemic and its effects on physical and mental health

 

Read the full report here.

 

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