Sustain all nonprofits

Updated March 25, 2022

Sustaining the nonprofit sector

Like many industries, the nonprofit sector continues to face challenges caused by the pandemic. Nonprofits are critical employers and economic drivers in our communities. With 12.3 million paid workers, the nonprofit sector is the third largest industry workforce in the American economy1. It’s important to remember that even organizations that are not directly providing COVID-19 relief are facing growing difficulties and need help to make it through the pandemic.

  • Declining revenue streams and rising costs
    Organizations have had to contend with wave after wave of COVID cases. Uncertainty about the future safety of large events, paired with continued efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, has continued to curtail regular in-person fundraising efforts, as well as certain revenue-generating programs such as camps, classes, performances, and more. The rising cost of goods and services affects nonprofits as well, and unlike businesses, nonprofits have a harder time raising employee wages to match rising costs. Because of this, the nonprofit sector may lose employees to other sectors. On top of these challenges, many nonprofits are struggling to meet growing need for their programs.

    Similar to small businesses, many small nonprofits may not survive if the pandemic and its ripple effects continue to wear on and impact their operations.
  • Continued volunteer shortages
    Nonprofits that rely on volunteer engagement are still facing a shortage of workers as people continue to avoid groups for safety. Consistent volunteers, such as retirees, may not have returned to in-person volunteering. While many nonprofits are trying to convert, where possible, to a remote volunteer workforce, some are struggling with the technology resources to do so effectively. Offering programs only online may leave out the population that a nonprofit may be trying to serve.

National Council of Nonprofits, “2019 Nonprofit Employment Report.”


How to help

Continue to contribute—and consider increasing your support—to any of your favorite nonprofits. Giving unrestricted support to nonprofits will allow them to use funds on their most mission-critical priorities, and will demonstrate your trust in them during a difficult time. Unrestricted support also gives nonprofits the freedom to invest in the infrastructure—like technology, training and staffing—that allows them to be nimble in the face of disasters.