The report, “States of COVID-19: Synthesis of State-level Nonprofit Reports on the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” was co-authored by Stewart; Kerry Kuenzi, a nonprofit organizations expert and assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; Marlene Walk, a nonprofit leadership expert and assistant professor at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI); and Abby Klippel, a graduate student at IUPUI.
Lora Warner, director of UW-Green Bay’s Center for Public Affairs, says research showed 56 percent of regional respondents were “greatly concerned” about the decline in donations, compared to 52 percent statewide. In addition, about half of nonprofits reduced their service delivery due to the pandemic, while the other half adapted their services or increased their service delivery. Source: Study: Pandemic hitting nonprofits hard, Insight Publications
The COVID-19 Effect on the NEW North Nonprofit Sector
by Prof. Lora Warner
The NEW North region is home to hundreds of nonprofit organizations. On Giving Tuesday, besides giving to a favorite nonprofit organization, we should remember the vital roles these organizations play in our communities. Nonprofits provide services that enhance our quality of life and meet needs that neither private companies nor government address.
The Phase 2 survey was fielded in July and August, 2020 with 137 NEW North nonprofit organizations responding. There was much higher participation in the federal Payroll Protection Program (PPP) by NEW North respondents than those in other areas of the state. In the NEW North, 72% of nonprofits received or were approved for this funding compared to 61% statewide. This program made a significant financial impact that enabled the organizations to continue to operate.
Other important findings:
- About half of NEW North NPOs reduced service delivery due to the pandemic while the other half either adapted to offer services in a different way or increased service delivery. Statewide numbers were similar.
- 82% of NEW North respondents reported that it was somewhat or very likely that they could continue to provide services for 12 weeks compared to 79% statewide. Arts and Humanities organizations were least likely to continue services.
- 79% of NEW North respondents reported that it was somewhat or very likely that they could cover payroll costs for 12 weeks compared to 85% statewide. 21% of NEW North nonprofits would be somewhat or very unlikely to cover payroll for 12 weeks.
- 56% of NEW North respondents were “greatly concerned” about declines in donation receipts compared to 52% statewide.
- 75% of NEW North nonprofit respondents were “somewhat” or “greatly concerned” about inability to reach most marginalized clients, compared to 81% statewide.
How had NPOs responded to these concerns? In many cases, NEW North nonprofits were similar to statewide peers:
- About 10% had reduced staff and just over 50% had reduced volunteer support
- About 3 in 5 had cancelled fundraising events
- About half had projected several financial budget scenarios
- Just over two in five had involved boards of directors to a greater extent
- Two in five had collaborated with local government
- 4-5% had ceased operations
However, the responses of NEW North nonprofits differed from counterparts statewide in some regards:
- 52% had received emergency grants compared to only 43% statewide
- 32% had reached out to major donors compared to only 28% statewide
- 74% had implemented CDC strategies for opening up compared to only 67% statewide
This summary shares results of Phase 2 of a statewide survey of nonprofit organizations for the NEW North region of Wisconsin. The research is part of a statewide effort to study the responses of nonprofit organizations to the COVID-19 pandemic. Conducted by University of Wisconsin faculty from across the state, the research was organized by the Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management at UW-Milwaukee and the Institute for Nonprofit Management at UW-Whitewater. Lora Warner, Director of the Center for Public Affairs at UW-Green Bay, has issued this information for the NEW North region of Wisconsin. A statewide report is forthcoming. The Phase 2 survey, conducted in August 2020, collected information about capacity to continue to provide services and fund payroll over the upcoming 12 weeks. It asked about strategies to mitigate the changes in revenue and the likelihood of other actions that could be taken.
For more information, contact Lora Warner at email@example.com
Green Bay, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Public Administration program announces its Public Administration Major and Nonprofit Management Certificate are now achievable online as well as in-person. This endeavor will make the program more widely available for employed adults while allowing a new generation of college students to pursue their UW-Green Bay education online.
Associate Professor Lora Warner calls this new online expansion “advantageous,” stating students can take control of how they wish to complete their education with greater access to our strong undergraduate program. The online options for the Public Administration Major and Nonprofit Management Certificate are the same as obtaining the major or certificate in person on UW-Green Bay’s campus. Students also are welcome to take a blend of in-person and online courses in ways that best fit their schedules. Warner noted that online students, like those who physically attend classes, will engage in high-impact, hands-on curricula taught by exceptional faculty.
Individuals can obtain Certificates in Emergency Management or in Nonprofit Management (with 15-18 credit hours) by completing designated courses offered by the Public Administration major. These certificates may also be pursued online by non-degree-seeking students such as employed professionals who seek to advance their careers.
Recent UW-Green Bay Public Administration graduates have obtained careers as city administrators, fund-raising professionals, parks directors, budget analysts, program managers, human resources assistants, environmental planners, volunteer coordinators, emergency management directors, and claims analysts, among others. Many graduates pursue graduate degrees in public administration, public policy or political science.
Questions about the program can be directed to Associate Professor David Helpap at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about the Public Administration program can be found on its website, https://www.uwgb.edu/public-administration/.
UW-Green Bay students help nonprofits measure their good works
There was palpable excitement entering Lora Warner’s Government and Nonprofit classroom last semester. Her students were actively engaged with local Nonprofits through service learning; visiting sites, getting their “hands dirty” and evaluating each program to determine the best ways to measure and communicate the Nonprofits mission and success before formally presenting their recommendations directly to their professional Nonprofit partners. Why? Because for each Nonprofit organization, it is becoming increasingly important to stakeholders and donors to know that their time is well-spent and their financial contributions are making a difference.
Delivering value to the mission
The Green Bay Botanical Gardens, CP Center, Curative Connections, The Farmory and The Birder Studio ARTreach program were nonprofits that received help from UW-Green Bay in spring 2018. Take ARTreach, an organization that partners with the YMCA’s after-school program at Green Bay area elementary schools deemed “at-risk,” as an example. As part of the program, K-5 students work with high school mentors and a program leader to experience music, art, theater and more importantly, life skills like self confidence, public speaking and working together. The program brings art to life for kids who may never have the opportunity to be part of an arts-themed program.
However, measuring the success of the program, things like increased confidence and problem-solving skills can be difficult. “It’s been really exciting,” says ARTreach Coordinator Peggy McGee. “We know what we do works — we can see the benefits — but having the UW-Green Bay students here to provide research and organize the numbers into something we can communicate to benefit our program, is so fantastic.”
Community plus campus yields valuable partnership
This unique way of involving student and community is developed from Prof. Warner’s strong background in program evaluation. “Program evaluation helps measure the impact you’re having on the people in your program,” says Warner. “There’s something called the double bottom line; there’s financials, but then there’s the mission, the reason organizations receive donations — to accomplish good for the people that are part of the program.” Lack of staff, budget and time constraints can make it difficult for nonprofits to determine how to best show their success and measure their impact. Outcome measurement can have a profound impact on community philanthropic support, volunteers and overall participation in each program.
In this partnership, local nonprofits have the benefit of utilizing fresh, intelligent and innovative ideas to develop impactful metrics and useful measurement tools. Teams of students observe the nonprofits, meet directly with leaders to learn about organization mission and vision, research best practices and then combine this with their knowledge of program evaluation theory to determine outcomes and develop a model that can be utilized by the organization. The direct application makes it more “real” for each student, which impacts their perception of the local nonprofit landscape.
Adding value to the community
Warner has also observed the additional benefits of understanding outcome measurement and program evaluation through hands-on service learning; students in her classes are learning self-confidence, conflict management skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving. “They’re learning skills that are in high demand,” says Warner. “Program evaluation is something that employers want across all disciplines.” More importantly, students are developing into future employees that are well-prepared and able to effectively communicate their ideas and results.
Students within the program concur. They enjoy the non-traditional style of the class and are happy to share their insights. They speak about gaining empathy, humility, increased knowledge about the community, volunteerism and being a part of something that they may never have been exposed to otherwise, as takeaways from the class. “It’s so much more applicable to what I’m going to experience out in the real world,” says Carly Newhouse ’18, a senior working towards an Arts Management degree. “I’ve learned so much more because it’s not just a lecture.”
Ensuring these millennials are prepared for their future and able to give back to the community is exactly what Warner had envisioned. “This ultimately benefits the whole community in two ways. We’re preparing the future nonprofit and public serving employees to be comfortable and well-prepared,” she says. The nonprofits become more accountable. “They learn with us. And in turn, develop better evaluation methods, are more accountable to their donors, and in turn raise more money…becoming even more effective.”
Final grade? A+
The presentation complete, questions asked and answered, the students happily relax to let their peers take their turn. Peggy McGee is poised to take the students’ recommendations for ARTreach and move this program forward, utilizing the outcome measures outlined. Already, she’s seen the positive effect this unique and valuable project has left on the kids involved in ARTreach. “For students in these schools to see others invest in them by observing and interacting, makes them feel valuable…that people are interested in who they are,” adds McGee.
Mission definitely accomplished.
This story by Kristin Bouchard ‘93 originally appear in the Spring/Summer issue of Inside Magazine.
How do non-profit organizations contribute to local communities? How does one manage the challenging and dynamic nature of a public-serving organization? Students in Prof. Lora Warner’s Public and Nonprofit Management Class spent the semester researching and expanding their knowledge of best approaches to managing public and nonprofit organizations before presenting what they have learned in an end-of-semester public poster presentation.
The project proved to be much more for Taylor Hilgart, who reported on the Brown County United Way — Strategic Planning, Volunteer Management, Fundraising/Budgeting, and Partnering & Collaborating — it also led to a spring semester internship.
“I will be working with Ashley Vanden Boomen next semester to implement United Way’s Common Outcomes Framework, which will help United Way’s grantees better measure the performance and outcomes of their programs,” Hilgart said.
Student Rachel Steffel took a different approach, already an employee at Schneider Foundation, she worked closely with LuEllen Oskey, Executive Director of the Schneider Foundation to expand her knowledge of the Foundation’s board of directors, granting process, accountability and executive leadership.
“I thought it would be interesting to learn more about my organization that I work with and what they do for the community,” Steffel said. “Throughout the project, I learned that the Schneider Foundation has a social responsibility to make the communities a better place where their associates live and work. Overall, this was a valuable experience. I am going to use this academic experience while applying for jobs after graduation.”
The class project has led to many second semester opportunities for students, according to Prof. Warner. Those who presented their posters December 8:
- Amy Baldwin, Golden House
- Carolyn Doan, Unity Hospice
- Alexander Girard, City of Green Bay Mayor’s Office
- Taylor Hilgart, Brown County United Way
- Megan Jones, Title VII Education Program
- Cassie Kogle, Kroc Center
- Amber Kraus, Neville Public Museum & Foundation
- Roshelle Makinia, Girl Scouts
- Amy Niemuth, Bellin Health and Foundation
- Aron Obrecht, Veterans organizations
- Paul Patschke, Harbor House in Fox Valley
- Olivia Stecker, Green Bay Children’s
- Rachel Steffel, Schneider Corporate Foundation
Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.
– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication
The seventh annual Steps to Make a Difference Walk this past Saturday raised about $5,000 for four local causes. Organized by UW-Green Bay’s Public and Nonprofit Management Class led by Prof. Lora Warner, it also gave about 20 student volunteers, most of whom were UWGB Civics Club members, experience on how to run an event, promote it, and solicit donations. Nice photos.