By Drew Fox Jordan • May 27, 2020

    Weekly Roundup: The Impact of Fundraising

    In this series, we take a look at the current news impacting the nonprofit sector, specifically fundraising. Our intention is not to be reactive, but to be proactive in our analysis of the news and consider how fundraising and philanthropic efforts can improve outcomes and adapt to meet the times.

    In this week's roundup: Food Banks Rely On Automation, Many Nonprofits Expecting More Layoffs, and Community Foundations Providing COVID-19 Relief.


    Food Banks Use Driverless Cars and Jobless Workers to Survive (Via Bloomberg)

    The coronavirus pandemic is forcing food banks across the country to find new ways to feed people — from paying pig farmers with no buyers because of meat packing plants closing to enlisting car dealerships and unemployed restaurant workers to serve homebound clients. With more than 36 million Americans out of work since mid-March, agencies are experiencing a surge in demand not seen since the financial crisis more than a decade ago.

    Analysis: Unlike most nonprofits, food banks are in a unique situation of seeing an increase of not only demand for its services, but also donations. Many organizations are leaning more on technology to help expand their capacity, and in most cases, they are using technology that enables people to do their jobs better. Health concerns limit the amount of volunteer help they can accept, so they are finding solutions in automation.

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    44 Percent Of Nonprofits Anticipate Further Staff Cuts Due To Coronavirus (Via Forbes)

    A new survey of more than 750 nonprofits around the U.S. finds that 18% of nonprofit staff has been furloughed or laid off already — and 44% of respondents anticipate even more layoffs to come. More than half (55%) of nonprofits said they anticipated further cutbacks in services. Nearly a quarter of responding nonprofits reported considering partnerships, such as a merger, in response to the pandemic.

    Analysis: Many organizations are still feeling the economic fallout from COVID-19, and will continue to be impacted by the stock market drop for the foreseeable future. Leaders of these organizations will need to develop plans to generate revenue to keep the lights on. Cutting more staff will likely lead to a decline in services and ultimately lead to less income at a time where revenue is placed at a premium.


    Community Foundation Awards $280,000 More In COVID-19 Grants to Local Nonprofits (Via Inside NOVA)

    The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has approved $280,000 in Round 4 grants from its COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia to five organizations, including ALIVE!, Arlington Thrive, CASA de Virginia, and Northern Virginia Family Service. Launched on March 18, the COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia has distributed over $1.4 million in grants to 72 local nonprofit organizations providing services to individuals and families affected by the pandemic.

    Analysis: While revenue centers for nonprofits are being hurt, community foundations are contributing to local nonprofits so they can continue to serve their communities. Even though these nonprofits are not directly seeing donors give to them, community foundations often times redistribute philanthropic gifts to organizations with the most need via donor advised funds. Many nonprofits recieving these grants have COVID-19 specific funds to help those impacted by the pandemic.

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