Long-term affects from COVID-19 pandemic loom for SD nonprofit organizations

A study by Benchmark Data Labs shows that nonprofit organizations statewide could see long-term affects from the COVID-19 pandemic.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The COVID-19 pandemic affected many nonprofit organizations around the Black Hills and for that matter, around the state.

Of course, officials of the United Way of the Black Hills knew the impact, but the question was, how much of an impact?

“We needed some of the hard numbers,” said Jamie Toennies, the Executive Director of the United Way of the Black Hills. “We know anecdotally the stories we’re hearing but is that backed up by the actual data?”

In a survey, which was done by Benchmark Data Labs, 87 percent of nonprofits said that they were negatively impacted by the pandemic, while 64 percent said that their donations decreased. 55 percent even reported a drop in fundraising opportunities.

A problem that only got worse when the number of usable volunteers fell 36 percent.

“These non-profits suddenly lost the help they need to deliver their mission and had to then sometimes hire additional staff, well when you know, operation funding is down and you’re not able to fundraise, you can’t pay for that additional staff and so it really hampered their ability to meet their mission,” Toennies said.

In the survey, earned revenue from fee-based programs and product sales, which is the largest source of revenue for nonprofits, reported a decline.

The survey showed that the short-term affects for nonprofits were during the March-April timeline in 2020.

However, Toennis says that The United Way surpassed its fundraising goal by at least $100,000. Those funds will be made available as additional grants for nonprofits, who could see long-term affects of up to two years.

But the survey proved that it will be integral in decision making in regards to funds.

“It’s really important for me and for our team to have this data to help guide our decisions, but one of the really important parts of this work is that this was a collaborative effort, so a lot of the funders, all of the funders actually here in the Black Hills are also using the same data to help drive their decisions on funding.

Toennis also said that one of the main concerns for nonprofits was technology. She also says that moving forward, United Way will look to help the areas of the community that were most affected by the pandemic.

A survey that shows the impacts of the pandemic so nonprofits can help alleviate them.

For more information on the survey click here.

For part two of the survey, click here. 

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News