Ohio non-profits have experienced significant impacts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many citing loss of donor revenue and uncertain state funding – along with increased demand for their services – as factors, according to a recent survey.

Approximately 60% of Ohio non-profit organizations reported they had ceased operations completely or were operating at significantly reduced capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Another 28% reported they were operating at moderately reduced or normal capacity, and 8% said they were responding to increased need for their programs.

More than 7,700 Ohio non-profit organizations responded to the Ohio Nonprofit COVID-19 Survey sponsored by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and Philanthropy Ohio. The survey was conducted by the Ohio State University’s John Glenn School of Public Affairs. The organizations that responded represent approximately 20% of the non-profit sector in Ohio.

“We are an all-volunteer animal shelter and have stopped taking in animals because we cannot raise funds to take care of them,” one survey respondent reported.

As of May, when the survey was conducted, 15% of non-profits reported they have furloughed staff, and 20% had applied for Paycheck Protection Program loans. (Since the application period for the PPP extended through June 30, it is likely that percentage is now higher.) Additionally, 25% had cut expenses and more than 50% were conducting board meetings virtually.

By May, many non-profits had cancelled spring fundraising events or had converted them to a virtual platform. As a result, 49% of non-profit leaders reported they were concerned about loss of revenue, and 47% were worried about disruption to their delivery of services to their communities. Another 25% worried about having to shut down their operations temporarily.

“We are in danger of closing our food pantry because of lack of funding,” the leader of a local food pantry reported. “Two big grants we were expecting this month did not come through. Our pantry guests have increased about 40%.”

Of the responding organizations, 32% were human services providers, 15% were education-related, and 15% were arts and culture organizations. The remainder included community foundations, hospitals, religious organizations, environmental advocacy, animal protection, and public benefit organizations.

Slightly more than half of the respondent organizations had annual revenues under $50,000, and another 29% had annual revenues between $50,000 and $500,000.

If you need help positioning your non-profit to come out of the COVID-19 crisis in the best possible financial condition, please contact Barnes Wendling’s advisors.

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