In March 2021, Philanthropy Massachusetts and Massachusetts Nonprofit Network continued its ongoing study of the impacts of COVID-19 on the nonprofit sector by surveying the sector. We received survey responses from 275 nonprofits of all sizes and from all subsectors and regions of Massachusetts. Results indicate that Massachusetts nonprofits continue to be experiencing significant impacts on operations and programming, with more than 90% reporting impacts of medium to high levels of severity on their organizations.
- Declining revenue streams was reported as the biggest pandemic-related challenge nonprofits are currently facing. More than 60% of respondents report revenue loss, with an average revenue loss of 34% over the previous year.
- Over 50% of respondents report that they have six months or less in cash on hand.
- The Arts & Culture sub-sector had the highest percentage of respondents experiencing declining revenue streams (65%).
- The most frequently reported form of financial relief was a federal PPP loan (over 70% received a PPP loan), with philanthropic support the second most frequently reported support stream (55%).
PROGRAMS & ORGANIZATIONAL NEEDS:
- Greatest reported unmet need of the populations served by nonprofits is mental health (48%), followed by food (33%) and housing assistance (32%).
- Greatest reported unmet organizational need is staffing capacity (54%), followed by capacity to operate programs remotely (40%), and resources to meet increased service demands (39%).
- Between 24% and 29% of respondents cited Education, Racial Disparities, Youth Development and Child Care as additional needs.
- Unmet organizational needs cited included staffing capacity (54%), followed by capacity to operate programs remotely (40%), and resources to meet increased service demands (39%).
- Other organizational needs included board development, marketing and communications, and technology/virtual programming, all at 27%.
- Greater Boston nonprofits reported the highest severity of ongoing impacts, with 88% of Greater Boston respondents reporting medium to high severity of ongoing impacts to programs, services, and operations, followed by the MetroWest (87%) and Southeast Regions (87%).
- Respondents in Greater Boston reported the highest incidence of revenue loss (66% reported revenue loss).
- Respondents in the Central region reported the highest incidence of increasing expenses (35% reported organizational expense increases).
- The Southeast Region reported the highest frequency of job loss (32% of orgs reported eliminating full-time jobs; 22% reduced work hours).
- Health and Human Services subsectors reported the highest severity of ongoing impacts to programs (62% and 49% experiencing high severity, respectively).
- Environment subsector reported the highest frequency of medium severity (62%).
- Arts and Culture subsector reported the highest frequency of declining revenue streams (65%).
- Philanthropy subsector reported the highest frequency of being able to maintain for 12+ months (38%), many others reported higher frequency in the 0-3 months or 4-6 months options.
- Philanthropy subsector reported the highest frequency of much better year end fundraising (31%)
- Staffing capacity seems to be a large issue amongst all subsectors when it comes to the orgs unmet needs.
- Mental health, housing and food seemed to be the larger issues amongst those being served in the subsectors.
- Within those that documented mental health as the greatest unmet need human services (55%), youth & education (54%), human rights (60%) and arts and culture (51%).
- Small (50%) and large nonprofits (50%) were more likely to report a higher level of severity of impact from COVID-19 than medium nonprofits (40.5%).
- Small, medium, and large nonprofits reported “Declining revenue streams” as their biggest pandemic-related challenge (39.7%, 31.5%, and 41% respectively).
- Small nonprofits reported a significantly higher percentage decrease in revenues compared to medium and large nonprofits.
- 67% of small nonprofits reported 25%+ declines compared to 48.5% of medium nonprofits and 19% of large nonprofits.
- A majority of small (33%) and medium (36%) nonprofits could maintain operations for 4-6 months if their revenue streams halted. Large nonprofits could maintain operations for 0-3 months (35%) and 4-6 months (38%) if their revenue streams stopped.
- Medium nonprofits reported receiving more support from the PPP loans than small and large nonprofits (84% for PPP1 and 31.5% for PPP2).
Results of this survey will be used to inform advocacy and funding relief efforts on behalf of the sector. For more resources on navigating the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, please check MNN's resource website and Philanthropy Massachusetts' resource page.