Not-for-profit organisations are in the unique position of having to provide support for the community while needing support from other parts of the community. A health crisis like COVID-19 is a major disruptor in the not-for-profit world. This is a crucial time for not-for-profit boards and managers to adapt their work environments and policies to ensure the safety and well-being of their staff and volunteers. The crisis is also creating a demand for not-for-profits to provide programs and services beyond normal delivery.
Due to the need for social distancing and to comply with orders to stay at home, galas and other fundraising events have been cancelled, which means that nonprofits are losing out on some of their largest donations. The lack of funding drains their finances and other resources which will likely have a long-term impact on their capacity to serve their communities in the coming months or years. As the demand for services is going up and the resources are going down, not-for-profit are still needed to fill the gap in services that state and federal governments can’t provide on their own.
At this volatile time, there’s a greater than ever demand for food and basic essentials. There’s also a great need to focus on the safety and well-being of people and pets.
Demands Increase for Not-for-profit Services
Not-for-profit services provide much-needed support to communities and those who need it most. In Australia, the demand for these not-for-profit services has no doubt been pushed into overdrive due to extreme drought, the 2019/2020 bushfires, flooding, and now a global pandemic. With these challenging times, not-for-profit need as many grants and financial support as possible to help make it all possible. While support is out there, there is still an underlying concern of whether it’s enough.
Not-for-profits Spring into Action
Despite the reduced capacity, many not-for-profits are doing their best to step up their efforts to meet the general public’s needs.
For example, Red Cross Australia has already supported vulnerable Australians facing difficulties at this time including; providing emergency food and hygiene packages, emergency relief funds to people on temporary visas who cannot afford basics, and even assisting in the translation of health advice in over 18 different languages.
Not-for-profits Work Towards Health and Safety for People and Pets
UNICEF Australia is a vital organisation that is assisting in infection prevention and delivery of protective equipment to support health workers and stop the spread. Additionally, they are also assisting in the provision of cash grants for households. Mental health services are also a strong element to their support; particularly since it is a challenging and unprecedented time, which can cause feelings of anxiety, stress, and poor overall wellbeing.
So many people are worried about the COVID-19 crisis, that they’re also not thinking as much about pets that need homes. Pet shelters need people to step up and foster or adopt lonely dogs and cats at this time. Studies show that pets can help relieve the loneliness and depression that accompanies isolation.
If you are a not-for-profit seeking funding OR you would like to assist in fundraising efforts, check out the COVID-19 National Funding Platform, who are “coordinating a philanthropic funding response” to the crisis. You can help fund projects, or as a not-for-profit, have a digital platform to raise a funding proposal.