CAF America Reports Charities Remain Resilient in the Face of COVID-19

In a new CAF America survey, 424 global and local charitable organizations report that even as COVID-19 continues to negatively impact 91% of the respondents, almost all managed to maintain full or some level of operations by adjusting their strategies, by increasing their social media presence, holding virtual fundraisers, and hosting webinars and other digital events to draw new donors. While nearly half believe they can continue operating under the current conditions as long as necessary, 28% are not sure, 11% predict they wouldn’t make it another year, and 10% expect they won’t last another six months.

The findings and in-depth stories appear in the fifth of a series of reports conducted by CAF America to highlight the needs and resilience of the philanthropic sector during the global pandemic.

Most organizations have enhanced their fundraising strategy in the past three months, creating new digital donation opportunities for donors (49.4%), offering new products or services (36.04%), and focusing on new donor segments (34.6%). More than a third (35.32%) have applied for public support through relief programs, subsidies, and other government assistance.

Additional highlights from the September survey include:

  1. More than two-thirds (64.51%) said they are exploring partnering opportunities with other organizations to address the challenges faced during the pandemic. Their reasoning included:
    1. 60.66% say partnering with other organizations can help unlock new funding opportunities
    2. 58.46% said other organizations are interested in partnering with them to develop new services that better serve their communities
    3. 48.53% believe partnering with other organizations can help the organization sustain itself through the pandemic
    4. 29.78% said their funders have indicated their interest in funding collaborative projects developed in partnership with other organizations
  1. When asked to rate skills that were most useful to the organization during the months impacted by the pandemic from 1 (most important) to 5 (least important), organizations rated the following as most important:
    1. 50.50% communications (telling their story and connecting with stakeholders)
    2. 41.61% finance (effective fiscal management, strategy, contingency, planning)
    3. 41.65% fundraising/donor relationship management
    4. 30.04% technology (creating virtual networks, developing apps)
    5. 26.37% executive management/board of directors