It didn’t take long for the COVID-19 pandemic to alter daily life for the majority of individuals and families throughout the world. Due to the pandemic, nearly every aspect of everyday life has been changed, and that is also true for the nonprofit sector. From financial support to volunteerism, nonprofits across the world are facing unprecedented obstacles caused by the pandemic. In this article, we have broken down some of the ways that charitable giving and support for nonprofit organizations have been affected by COVID-19.
Changes in Donor Support
Fidelity Charitable conducted a study in which they surveyed philanthropic individuals to assess and understand how they think about philanthropy in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. In this study, they found that most donors plan to maintain, or even increase, their charitable contributions this year. Specifically, 25% of those surveyed reported that they would increase their charitable donations, and 54% plan to maintain their current giving levels.
It is interesting to note that out of those planning to increase their charitable giving in response to the pandemic, the majority were from younger generations. Millennials were the most likely generation to donate to charitable causes at 46%, compared to 25% of Gen X and just 14% of Baby Boomers. Of those who plan to decrease their donations, concern about a potential recession and the economy in general were listed as main reasons for their decisions.
Changes in Volunteerism
The same study also asked questions regarding the likelihood of individuals to commit to volunteer activities in response to the pandemic. In contrast to donor support, roughly half (57%) of those surveyed reported that they anticipate their time spent volunteering to drop, or stop entirely during the pandemic.
Individuals from older generations are more likely to report that their volunteering will decrease due to the pandemic. More than half of the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers, 61% and 57% respectively, anticipate their time spent volunteering to drop, while 19% of Gen X, and 31% of Millennials actually report that they anticipate their volunteerism to increase as a result of the pandemic.
Types of Organizations People Are Supporting
When it comes to the types of charities that people are supporting during the pandemic, most tend to consider themselves more concerned with the health and human services industry, and their capacity to do their work safely and effectively during the outbreak. Under the current circumstances created by the Coronavirus epidemic, roughly 80% of donors report that they are specifically more concerned with these organizations because they are on the front lines of the pandemic, and often serve vulnerable populations. However, no single organization is isolated from the effects of the outbreak. Because of this, about 50% of donors are also concerned about organizations that work in other fields, like the arts and environment.
It may be surprising to also note that most donors do not plan to shift their giving to different organizations because of the pandemic. More than 40% of donors reported that they have chosen to continue supporting the same organizations that they have in the past. Only 25% of donors reported that they will give to different organizations as a result of the pandemic.