The recent spread of COVID-19 has and will impact non-profit organizations in different ways.
The needs are great and far. Food, health care, adequate shelter, care for children, the list goes on and on. Individuals, foundations and corporations are making big donations to organizations like food banks, hospitals, community funds and more. But, what about non-profit organizations that are not directly providing relief from COVID-19? What is changing for their operations and programming now, in the next coming weeks, months or even years?
Who is Being Affected and How? Arts and culture is one area that is getting hit hard. According to Sally Dix, Executive Director of BRAVO Greater Des Moines, “Arts and culture non-profits are being affected on many levels. From the loss of earned revenue due to low attendance, cancelled events and school visits, to the loss of contributed revenue as donors and sponsors watch the situation unfold before making philanthropic commitments. While this sector is valued for its creativity and resilience and many organizations have found alternate activities to maintain awareness, this crisis will hit this group hard in both the short and long term.” We often turn to arts and culture during these difficult moments. Let’s hope we have concerts, plays, or the ability to tour a museum back in our lives soon.
How are Organizations Getting Creative? On a more optimistic note, some non-profits are offering their programming in different ways or coming up with strategies outside of the box. Best Buddies is an International nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Carrie Mueller, State Director for Iowa, states, “COVID-19 has changed the landscape of how we are supporting our participants. During this time of social distancing, isolation can be pervasive for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We have been blown away by the creativity demonstrated by our participants, they have persevered with innovative ways to stay connected. We know we will emerge better and stronger and continue to be inspired by the ingenuity of our buddy pairs.”
What Comes Next? This question is up to us. It is our responsibility as a corporate foundation and as individuals to keep up to date on what non-profit organizations are doing, what they need and how we can help. The bottom line is we need to help them remain in business and that comes down to more than just money. Non-profits still need volunteers, resources and other creative ideas to keep their spirits and organizations alive.
The Businessolver Foundation is taking different steps to support non-profit organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have participated in local relief funds, provided funding for school lunch programs and asked our employees to volunteer in new and creative ways. Perhaps most importantly, we are keeping our lines open and being a source of support. To learn about our Foundation’s resources or to have a conversation about the recent challenges of the non-profit community, please reach out to Foundation@businessolver.com. Together we will get through this!