Six Ways the Nonprofit Sector Has Been There for Us In 2020 – Let’s Say Thanks During Their Greatest Time of Need on “Giving Tuesday”

benefits of nonprofits May 26, 2021
Six Ways the Nonprofit Sector Has Been There for Us In 2020 – Let’s Say Thanks During Their Greatest Time of Need on “Giving Tuesday”

COVID-19 has stretched the nonprofit sector to its limit. Sadly, many nonprofits have closed or are considering closing.

However, since Thanksgiving is only a week away, this is a good time to take stock of some of the positive things that have happened during this turbulent year of 2020.

6 Nonprofit Sector Shinning Moments That Inspire Hope 

Nonprofits have stepped up their efforts to meet the needs of the most vulnerable who have been impacted by illness, job loss, the death of loved ones, and economic uncertainty. Community members have turned first to nonprofits to seek help with shelter, food, domestic violence services, rent assistance, elder care, early childhood care, mental health services, medical care, and cultural and spiritual fulfillment. Below is a list of the top 6 things that make me grateful about nonprofits in 2020 and fill me with hope for a brighter future:

1. In the moments of greatest need, nonprofits have pivoted in order to continue to problem-solve around the needs of the most vulnerable and deeply impacted by the pandemic. 

During this difficult time, nonprofits have completely restructured how they carry out their work. Organizations have: 1) shifted to virtual or hybrid operations models, 2) restructured management practices, and 3) reconfigured how they deliver complex health and human services, including public and mental health. They have also used creative approaches to continue to carry out their work through investing in technology. For example, many nonprofits have held fundraisers online instead of their annual events. They have also used technology to streamline their communications and increase efficiency. They have done so in order to ensure that everyone who needs help is not left to fend for themselves without recourse. 

2. Level-headed and reliable nonprofit professionals, in times of crisis, have engaged in strategic management and creative problem-solving to build organizational resiliency into their work

Nonprofit leaders have relied on sound management practices, transparency, and inclusivity in decision-making to make sure their missions survive. This has at times resulted in restructuring, merging with other organizations, collaboration with government or other nonprofits, negotiating with funders, developing short-and-long term priorities, budgeting to conserve cash, investing in new technologies, and implementing cost-cutting measures. 

3. Nonprofits have discovered that they can engage in remote work, which, post-pandemic, will help organizations broaden their pool of potential employees and make accommodations for the specific needs of their workforce.

Incorporating this feature into nonprofit work increases the degree of flexibility that organizations provide to their employees, which increases job satisfaction and retention.  

4. The impact of the pandemic in combination with police brutality, systemic racism, and the elections has brought equity, diversity, racial justice, and inclusion issues into the forefront of nonprofit work.

Nonprofits throughout the nation have come out to support communities of color by taking stands against police brutality, racism, and inequity, including in healthcare. As a result, many in the nonprofit sector are proactively integrating anti-racist practices into their systems, restructuring decision-making to be more inclusive, and creating more transparent organizations. 

5. As the demands for nonprofit services have expanded and nonprofits have been stretched thin, they have turned to one another to proactively expand and improve services.  

Not only have nonprofits collaborated with one another at unprecedented rates, but there has been a broader realization by stakeholders outside the field that solutions to complex social issues require multi-layered and intersectoral partnerships.

6. The philanthropic sector has initiated a coordinated response that has allowed foundations to partner with nonprofits in an unprecedented way to ensure that the industry is able to continue services and meet the needs of its constituents.

The end result is that these critical stakeholders have come together to make meaningful progress on overhead costs, and outcomes, repurposing how funding is used, making investments into technology, managing risk in the future, and creating sustainable organizations. 

Giving Tuesday”

Although this year has been very difficult, we have also seen the best of humanity surface all around us. Strengthening our nonprofit sector during this time is critical to building a more resilient society that can adapt to unprecedented risk and devastating events. Therefore, on December 1, 2020, it will be Giving Tuesday. Please consider giving to a local nonprofit organization near you, particularly this year when many organizations that provide vital services are in danger of going out of business. 

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