[UPDATE: November 14, 2020]
Despite the clear financial crunch faced by most nonprofits around the nation, there has been no additional federal help since late last spring, due to partisan obstructionism. It remains unclear whether there will be any significant help – or any help at all – during the lame duck period. Foundations have been easing up on their procedures and making larger payouts, but the massive amounts of funding needed cannot be made up from philanthropy alone.
[UPDATE: May 25, 2020]
In response to the unprecedented emergency, government is stepping up with innovative loan and aid programs, but these efforts have been plagued with under-funding, bureaucratic hiccups, and administrative policies that fail to direct enough money to smaller businesses and nonprofits.
Donors at all giving levels are responding generously despite downturns in their own financial circumstances, but nonprofits are still experiencing budget shortfalls; overall, though, there will be a substantial decline in contributions. Rapid-response funds around the nation are generating substantial public support, but are not making up for revenue losses.
Foundations are taking the cue to revise some of their long-standing policies including increasing their current level of grantmaking and easing their restrictions and compliance requirements on grants.
Nonprofits are adapting to social-distancing rules and making the difficult switch, for the near term, to virtual fundraisers, but these substitutes aren’t expected to generate as much money as the traditional, in-person, fundraisers.
[April 1, 2020]
The crisis facing our entire society has thrust the nonprofit sector into a dual role all too familiar from emergencies past: We are fighting for our survival while at the same time stepping up to provide needed benefits and services to our communities.
In these uncharted waters, nonprofit organizations are looking to sources of financial assistance both established (government contracts, foundation grants, and individual donors) as well as new (rapid-response funds and special government loans and benefits).