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How Will Your Nonprofit Navigate the Pandemic’s Challenges in 2021?

Posted by Dawn White on Apr 22, 2021 1:21:12 PM
Dawn White
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Group of nonprofit volunteers | how to navigate the pandemic’s challenges for nonprofits

For some nonprofit organizations, the coronavirus pandemic spurred unprecedented giving. For other organizations, funding has all but dried up. In either case, nonprofits are faced with new challenges that they’ve never experienced before, and many are looking for tools to help them adapt more effectively.

Go deeper: How to Keep Your Nonprofit Strong During Coronavirus Uncertainties

A recent survey by Nonprofit Leadership Center reveals the various challenges that the coronavirus pandemic has created for nonprofit organizations in 2020 — and gives a peak into what to expect this year. For example:

Nonprofit leaders said fundraising was the top challenge of 2020. Other challenges included innovating their programs and business models and revising their business strategies.

Nonprofits’ ability to generate revenue was impacted most by canceled fundraising events (64%), loss of funders and corporate partners (45%), and meeting funder requirements (38%) or losing grants (31%).

At the same time, 48 percent of nonprofits were able to meet or exceed their 2020 revenue goals — especially those that are directly or indirectly involved in pandemic response.

The good news for nonprofits is that more than half were able to keep their staffing models in place, or anticipated needing additional services from agencies or partners in the coming months. Only 23 percent of nonprofits expected to lay off or furlough their staff.

The pandemic has also forced nonprofit leaders and their staff to grow in new ways. To be personally successful, leaders said that they would need more secure financial resources to meet payroll and continue business operations.

Among staff’s greatest needs:

  • Emotional support/self-care, including vacation time
  • Better technology, including tools that help with remote work for planning and accountability
  • Flexibility, including flexible work hours

Nonprofit leaders have had to shift the way they operate and provide services — often pivoting to some sort of virtual service delivery. Leaders are also more purposeful about connecting personally with donors, forging strategic collaborations, and refocusing on enhancing strategies.

Make Your Pivots Easier to Navigate

These pivots aren’t easy to navigate when your staff are already stretched thin and working remotely. Now, more than ever, it’s critical to adapt technologies that free you up to do more, so that you can address the challenges in your path.

No matter what your organization’s funding situation, the pandemic has delivered its share of challenges to deal with — financial, operational, and administrative. And while we’re starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel, you can expect these challenges to extend through 2021.

Reducing inefficiencies can help you meet those challenges. A couple natural places to start are your manual processes for allocating time and earnings to grants or funds, instead of your best guess, so you can give accurate reporting to funding sources.

IDI can help. GrantAlytics is the only budgeting and management solution fully integrated with your time and payroll modules. Dashboards, reporting, and other tools allow you to quickly gain clarity on how each grant, contract, or program is performing — and why — with actual data from your time and payroll systems. Since you aren’t relying on estimates, you can take corrective action and deliver reports that justify spending to your funding sources.

Adapt with Confidence in 2021

The challenges of 2021 will have you trying to understand what to expect for the future:

  • If funding increases, how will that change the way earnings are allocated?
  • If funding decreases, how will you ensure that you’re being a strong steward of the funding you have left?
  • How can you continue to prove your value as a grant recipient?

IDI can partner with you to tackle these questions and prepare for the challenges that lie ahead.

Check out solutions for the non-profit industry →

Topics: Nonprofit Industry Solutions