Written by Sarina Dayal, Research Associate at Candid.
Over the last four months, organizations around the globe have surveyed foundations, nonprofits, civil society organizations, and individuals to learn how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting them. The findings from these surveys provide data to help the sector best respond to the crisis, strengthen solidarity, and inform advocacy.
With so many surveys conducted across the globe, we at Candid were curious to understand what the common challenges, experiences, and needs might be across regions. So we aggregated the surveys into one list. So far, we’ve collected information on 51 surveys from 47 organizations, including member-based organizations, philanthropy-serving organizations, nonprofit support organizations, community foundations, donor-advised funds, academia, and corporate institutions. Representatives of nonprofit organizations, funders, and civil society organizations (CSOs) participated in the surveys. Some 28 surveys focused on the U.S. and 23 on regions outside the U.S. (9 of these with a global scope). Most of the surveys were administered between March and May.
Looking at the questions asked across the board, these surveys primarily aimed to 1) to assess the impact of the pandemic on organization operations, 2) understand how organizations are coping and responding to these challenges, and 3) identify opportunities and lessons learned.
We know the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly exacerbated and exposed the many global challenges communities face, but it has also highlighted weaknesses, challenges, and opportunities within the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. The survey responses help us understand what those are. Our analysis below falls into five categories: financial constraints, challenges of working remotely, new ways of responding to the crisis, the importance of funder support for building resilience, and miscellaneous observations.
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