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    Ollie Rothmann By Ollie Rothmann • April 1, 2021

    COVID’s Impact on Nonprofit Jobs and What It Means for Fundraising

    Remember your work life before the pandemic? The morning drive to the office. Sitting down at your desk to focus your complete attention on the task at hand. Chatting with long-time colleagues in the break room.

    Perhaps this all feels very foreign to you today. Maybe your commute now consists of trekking through the kitchen by foot into a makeshift home office. If you have children at home, you know very little is receiving your complete attention. You’ve also no doubt seen some of your colleagues furloughed or even had to lay off members of your own team as well.  

    Down But Not Out: COVID’s Impact on Nonprofit Jobs and What It Means for Fundraising

    You’re not alone. As it pertains to the nonprofit job market, a recent report from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civil Society Studies states that the sector was almost 8% smaller in February of 2021 than it was one year prior. This means that more than 926,000 jobs were lost at nonprofits alone. We have seen arts, entertainment, and recreation nonprofits lose more than 35% (nearly 125,000) of their jobs, while healthcare has lost only 4%.

    While we have seen a bit of a rebound since the early months of the pandemic, forecasts point to it taking nearly two years for nonprofit employment to return to pre-COVID levels.

    While some nonprofit fundraising leaders will look to ride out this wave and eventually staff up again when budgets allow, those at the forefront of the sector are thinking beyond this. They recognize we are at a pivotal moment. Reverting back to the way things were done in the past is not the path to future success.

    So what can nonprofit leaders do now to ensure their fundraising teams are future proofed?

    Embrace the Pivot

    As much as some of us would like to simply reset, it’s time to accept the fact that fundraising teams may never look like it once did. Not only is that OK, it’s for the best. Though the majority of nonprofits have struggled with the pivot to digital fundraising as a result of COVID, the awareness of the need for change and the willingness to adapt is vital moving forward. Case in point, the rise of the Digital Gift Officer in advancement offices - a position born from the pandemic that is here to stay.

    They recognize we are at a pivotal moment. Reverting back to the way things were done in the past is not the path to future success.

    Invest in Innovation

    Investing beyond human capital is essential if fundraising teams are to be successful in expanding their donor reach and cultivate relationships beyond the top of the donor pyramid. Leaders are recognizing the need for digital transformation to improve operational efficiencies and free up fundraisers to do what they do best. And with more digital resources available to nonprofits than ever before, there has never been a better time to reinforce the work of your team by investing in them.

    Have you had any staffing changes since the beginning of the pandemic? Let us know what challenges you are facing and learn how Gravyty is helping nonprofits around the country meet the moment.

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