(The Center Square) – Nearly 3,000 of Arizona's nonprofit employees have been laid off or furloughed as a result of COVID-19, the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits reports.
And nearly $53 million of revenue has been lost due to the pandemic; the expected loss through the end of the year is projected at $270 million. Of 488 nonprofit participants surveyed, 99 percent say they have been negatively impacted by the spread of COVID-19.
“Arizona’s nonprofits are a vital part of the economic and social fabric of our state, and citizens everywhere rely on these organizations for everything from emergency services to cultural enrichment,” Dr. Robert Ashcraft, executive director of Arizona State University’s Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation and Saguaro Professor of Civic Enterprise, told The Center Square. “While citizens across the state have been disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit sector too is facing challenges."
Demand for certain human services is increasing while demand for services in arts, culture and humanities is falling. The areas surveyed include Arts, Culture, and Humanities; Health and Human Services; Animal Welfare and Environment; Faith-Based Organizations; Education and Youth Development; and Community and Civic Engagement.
While revenues have decreased, expenses have increased by nearly $4.5 million. The total increase of expenses by the end of the year is estimated at greater than $9 million.
Organizations are worried about more than the financial toll of canceled programs and fundraising events, and reduced donor contributions. The human toll of reduced volunteers is hindering some organizations when they need help the most. Some nonprofits depend on volunteers to provide the majority of their services and have had to pause programming for the time being.
Three hundred organizations of those surveyed applied for Paycheck Protection Program funding, requesting more than $63 million in relief funds. Of those, 60 percent were approved to receive funds and 33 percent are still awaiting approval.
Another source of emergency relief is the Economic Injury Disaster Loan; 104 of the surveyed organizations have applied for this funding. Of those, 33 percent were approved to receive funds and 51 percent were still awaiting approval.
“We know that the situation for most Arizona Nonprofits is grim, and we anticipate these numbers only represent the ‘tip of the iceberg,’” Kristen Merrifield, CEO of Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits said, according to KVOA. “At the same time, nonprofits are incredibly resilient and have long been a major economic engine for Arizona as the fifth largest employer with revenue contributions on par with retail and construction sectors. This means that getting critical relief to these organizations through increased donations, government relief packages and state and local funding must be a top priority.”