The current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic has affected every person, every industry, and every organization in myriad ways. For nonprofit organizations, stay-at-home orders, concerns over the virus's spread, and economic fears all add up to a new world of uncertainty.
Here's a look at how many nonprofits are currently impacted, and what donors, volunteers, and caring citizens can do to support them during this time.
How Nonprofits Are Affected
For many nonprofits, particularly those that regularly interact with the community, operations are at a standstill. At Sleep in Heavenly Peace, for example, we have suspended all volunteer activities. For us that means no bed builds and no bed deliveries to children in need, which is our primary cause.
Here's a look at some of the effects of the coronavirus on many nonprofits and charities:
- Canceled fundraising events
- Loss of regular donations
- No volunteer opportunities
- Halted operations
Nonprofits rely heavily on fundraising events and regular donations in order to serve their communities. Canceling fundraising events can be extremely costly. Regular donors might find themselves having to stop making donations due to loss of jobs or economic anxiety. And, for organizations that rely on volunteers for specific tasks, having to stop volunteer events adds an additional layer of burden.
Of course, communities also suffer, as well. Though some charities, including homeless shelters, food pantries, and animal rescues have been able to operate, they are often limited by funding and by essential volunteer work or donations. Others, including SHP, have stopped providing goods or services altogether, so families and individuals in need aren't getting items or services they need.
How You Can Help
The nonprofits and charities you care about need your support now more than ever. It's understandable that you may not be able to support them in the ways you have in the past -- such as donating and volunteering -- but there's still something you can do! Here are some ways you can offer ongoing support to your favorite charities.
Follow Them Online
If you're not already, find nonprofits you care about on social media. Share their messages, engage when you can, and show your support whenever possible. Helping them stay visible can open up possibilities for new supporters now and in the future.
Donate Financially (When You're Able)
If you find yourself in a situation where you are financially able to give, please do! Every little bit helps -- and charities need all the help they can get. If you're not able to donate right now, keep them in mind for later. When the worst of this has passed, nonprofits will still need financial support (and will have a lot of making up to do!)
Donate Time, Now or Later
Though volunteering isn't possible in most cases due to stay-at-home orders and amid worries of community spread, there may be nonprofits that can use a helping hand from home. Crisis hotlines, outreach, and other virtual volunteer opportunities still exist, so if you have time and are able, consider finding a charity that you can use your quarantine time for. Simply reach out to local organizations and ask if there's anything you can do to help.
If that isn't an option for you now, that's okay -- consider volunteering later! As we mentioned before, charitable foundations will need lots of help down the road. Sign up for updates or check back with organizations later to see when volunteers will be needed.
Whatever you can do to support nonprofits and charities during these times is most appreciated.