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Nonprofit sector struggling in COVID-19 outbreak

The nonprofit sector is going to be hit doubly hard during this COVID-19 outbreak. Not only are our health and human service nonprofits on the front line of supporting those who are ill, but they are also supporting those in our most vulnerable populations.

Additionally, they are now having to fulfill their missions with fewer resources, less volunteers and canceled or postponed fundraisers that had been budgeted for cash flow to support their work.

Schools are closed in many parts of the state, leaving working parents to scramble for childcare that is largely unavailable.

Many students will go hungry, as they will not eat school meals, which are often the only meals they receive. As businesses temporarily close, those in the service industry may also find themselves with little to no financial resources.

Nonprofits will be there to help.

Nonprofits serve our communities daily, with tremendous impact. Now, nearly all nonprofit subsectors have or will be impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Like you, we are all a little scared. We are all a little tired. We are all a little uncertain about what the future holds. And, like you, we are all more than ready to roll up our sleeves and pitch in.

That is what we do, it is who we are, it is intricately patterned in our DNA sequencing as nonprofit professionals who always want to help, wherever and whenever we can.

Nonprofits are more than just our missions. Nonprofits contribute to our local and state economy in so many ways. As we experience decreases in revenues, just like for-profit businesses, nonprofits will be faced with similar choices.

Did you know that nearly 60,000 people are employed by the nonprofit sector? And that nonprofits make up 9% of all private-sector jobs? Nonprofits pay $4.25 billion in total compensation annually? Nonprofits rank as the 6th largest employment sector?

Did you know that nonprofits receive over $4 billion in out-of-state revenues that generate $7.47 billion in sales transactions, $4.46 billion in GSP, $3.5 billion in total compensation and more than 55,000 jobs (in addition to the nearly 60,000 already employed BY the sector)?

Lastly, more than 493,000 Idahoans volunteer each year, contributing 48.6 million hours of service worth $1.1 billion and supporting the equivalent of over 23,360 jobs each year. As our revenues and volunteer numbers decline through this pandemic, we’ll all be stretched even thinner than ever before.

I’ve been a part of the nonprofit world on and off for nearly 25 years, and I assure you that even as we’re pushed to the limits, each and every one of us will dive deeper in all the ways we can help. We will work harder, longer and do everything in our power and then some to show up in our communities in all the ways we are needed.

Now, more than ever, gifts of time, talent and especially treasure, are needed.

We hope every single Idahoan will find ways to continue to support our nonprofits.

We believe that the community will show up for us, in the same way that we show up for each other.

We know that every single one of us can ask, “How can I help?” And that anything and everything you do is wanted, needed and appreciated.

There are many funds being set up statewide in support of our nonprofits and the communities we serve, and I encourage gifts wherever you feel your support is best leveraged. We are proud to be working in partnership with the Idaho Community Foundation and the United Way of the Treasure Valley on the COVID-19 Response Fund that you can give to by visiting the Idaho Community Foundation website.

Thank you for your continued support of our entire community, our people, our businesses and our nonprofits. We’re all in this together, and together we’ll make it through.

Amy Little is Chief Executive Officer of the Idaho Nonprofit Center.

About Amy Little