Research reveals top concerns among nonprofits as they work on recovering from pandemicby Leslie Wells, assistant director of communications, Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUINew research on COVID-19’s impact on the nonprofit sector finds that organization leaders who want to find a way forward must first look back at how they have weathered the pandemic thus far. While the past 15 months have been a challenge for every sector, associate professor/researcher Marlene Walk is optimistic about the future of nonprofits.
“It’s very interesting how nonprofits rose to the challenge while still serving those in need,” says Walk, who teaches at the Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental at IUPUI. “For many smaller nonprofits, this was a survival situation for both their clients and them as well.” After analyzing data and examining trends, Walk has three pieces of advice for nonprofits as they navigate the return to work and the future of their organizations: Ask employees for their opinions, including about remote work and whether it can/should continue. Determine which organizational practices can be improved upon.Evaluate which new technologies adopted during the pandemic should be institutionalized.
Walk and O’Neill student Abby Klippel recently worked with Mandi Stewart, an associate professor at North Carolina State University, and Kerry Kuenzi (Public and Environmental Affairs), assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, to analyze 77 COVID-19 impact reports collected through the National Council of Nonprofits. These reports detail how nonprofits have operated since March 2020. The data analysis covers more than 23,000 nonprofit organizations across 43 states. The team released its updated report on May 5, 2021, focusing on three areas of impact: financial indicators, human resources and employees, and the most common COVID-19 concerns.