Proven Tips to Mastering Impact of COVID-19 on the Non-Profit Sector

The coronavirus pandemic has influenced worldwide activities and lifestyle, both positively and negatively. Therefore, organisations, including the non-profit sector, are influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this way, NGOs have to maintain their volunteers, donors, employees, and beneficiaries directly touched by the pandemic situation. The non-profit sector is facing different obstacles, and at the same time, benefitting from COVID-19. However, they must work and deal with the impacts and find solutions to reassure their community during this pandemic.

One significant negative impact that the non-profit sector is facing right now during coronavirus disease is the cancellation of fundraising and other related events—noted that non-profit organisations rely a lot on fundraising events to collect money to achieve their objectives. Due to lockdowns and the rapid spread of the disease that occurs worldwide, fundraising events were prohibited, which led to a lack of money entering the organisation and the loss of some funders and partners. NGOs lose part of their funders because they fail to meet the specific requirements of funders due to COVID-19. Also, most funders and partners have their own business, which is also negatively impacted by the COVID-19. Therefore as their own business also deals with low income, they feel the necessity to break off their contract with non-profit sectors. Moreover, the cancellation of events represents an enormous challenge for the sector, as organising different forms of events is the only primary way for NGOs to collect funds to help and provide for their communities’ needs. COVID-19 has negatively impacted revenues and funding of non-profit sectors, which means that the non-profit sector is now in a lurch, as they have to serve more with fewer income and resources.

COVID-19 pandemic has forced the non-profit sector to decrease its number of employees and make tough decisions about their salaries. As mentioned above, the non-profit sector is having income problems due to the cancellation of fundraising. Therefore, low-income conduct to lack of money for salary payments obliges the sector to reduce staffing levels because they cannot pay all the salary. Non-profit organisations are attached to their employees, and they need them within the organisation, but unfortunately, they have to separate some of them from the organisation due to priority decisions. Even with the presence of the coronavirus disease, the sector must still need to accomplish their task and continue their programs and services; this is why the non-profit organisation is stuck in difficulties of firing employees and even froze salaries in the process. Frozen salaries impact both the employees and the employer, leading to employee resignation due to salary problems. Therefore, non-profit organisations lost much staff during this sanitary crisis. The non-profit sector has to manage both their activities and their employees, costly for the organisation during this world’s crisis. According to existing studies and statistics, the non-profit sector has reduced their employees’ salaries during the crisis, but employees have pledged to increase by 25% when the situation calms down, especially when the organisations’ revenues will get back normal.

Due to the negative impacts that COVID-19 brings to the sector, some organisations in the non-profit sector stop their programs and services because of the lack of income and donation. The non-profit sector survives mainly through fundraising and donation, but the COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for cancelling those activities. No income drive non-profit organisation to close their doors by putting an end to their programs and services, employees, as well as the population they serve. It is a hard decision for a non-profit organisation, but they did not have any choice because they do not have enough funds to pay their employees, help and serve their community, and maintain the excellent running of their organisation. Thus, these closed organisation maybe will restart their activities when everything will get back to normal or may disappear from the sector.

Despite the economic challenges that the non-profit sector is facing right now during this sanitary crisis, there is a significant increase in the demand for their services. As the population is also negatively affected by the pandemic, more people than non-profit sectors have to increase daily since the pandemic started. People are in urgent needs, and some of them are in a certain way under the non-profit sector’s responsibility, while the sector is dealing with less income. Normally, an increase in services demand should be considered as a positive aspect for the organisation, but it is now representing a threat for the sector due to COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, some organisations are increasing their services; others reduce or suspend some of their services. The non-profit sector cannot manage an excellent clientele for the moment due to low income and lack of resources to serve and satisfy the population they serve because of the epidemic.

Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has also brought positive impacts to the non-profit sector. One of the benefits that COVID-19 produced is the increase in donation; several donors respond immediately and generously, especially in times of disaster and crisis, a moment where communities need it the most. During such a crisis, individuals are more sensitive to what others are enduring, which leads to solidarity and an increase in donors. Certain donors give up during such a crisis, but a significant number of them respond much more during a crisis, where people are more in need. The non-profit sector deals with more than 1 million families in need. Therefore they have to help them during this COVID-19 pandemic. However, helping the communities will be impossible for non-profit sectors without the great help of their donors. Donations mainly consist of food, clothes, essential products such as soap, toothbrush, etc. and education kit for students (books, bags, pencils, etc.). However, donations have expanded during the pandemic than before, as givers are aware that people are suffering and much needier in such a situation than other days.

During the lockdown, the non-profit sector must rely on the online platform to continue running the organisation, despite that most of their activities towards the population they serve are physical. The COVID-19 situation has positively impacted the non-profit sector because being online has been advantageous for the sector. Using the online system for collecting funds and receiving charity is more direct and practical; a non-profit organisation can manage and plan all donations, charity, and their communities behind the screen. Donors can give money through one click across the non-profit organisation’ bank account, wherever they are. Therefore, even that some non-profit organisations feel the need to fire their staff, other organisations are doing the opposite. Due to the increase in demand, other NGOs hire new staff to perfectly control the organisation and make distributions to families in need easier. Thus, the non-profit organisation’s employees have been divided into two-sector, a part of the non-profit organisations’ staff are working virtually at home to supervise and control the entering funds, while the others are working physically to get in touch with the needier community and accomplish the distributions of foods and so on. Consequently, both the non-profit organisations concerned and the people who were jobless benefits from the new hiring of staff during this challenging crisis of the COVID-19.

Another positive impact of COVID-19 on the non-profit sector is expanding its services and programs within the organisation. COVID-19 has enlarged creativity within the sector, introducing new services and new programs to help the non-profit sector grow and serve more. Through innovative services, the non-profit sector will attract more donors and increase demand, leading to considerable revenue and resources, allowing the sector to offer their help to the population further. Especially the creation of new online services and programs is advantageous for the sector because, with the pandemic, physical contact with collaborators is to be avoided. Therefore, new online events and online fundraising are the new approaches that the non-profit sector has implemented to move on from the negative impacts on event cancellation. Indeed, the non-profit sector is trying to survive and overcome the negative impacts that COVID-19 has reported to the sector by finding a more excellent solution to transform negative impacts into positive ones.

To conclude, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, certain non-profit sectors will have to add and explore new services to meet new needs, while others will have to reduce or directly eliminate some available programs and services to revive the sector successfully. To get back on track and confront the post-COVID-19 positively, the non-profit sector must work on new strategies and techniques to reorganise the sector.

Nella Lai Kim
YUVA Intern

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YUVA

Registered in February 2015, YUVA started as a group of enthusiastic individuals, and today it has mobilised thousands of young people with a simple aim of creating a better future for children and youth of Mauritius. At the heart of YUVA’s duty lies the conviction that the collective destinies of the human race are bound together.

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