BTCF Blog | Hudson Valley Nonprofits Amidst COVID-19: An Assessme

BTCF Blog

Hudson Valley Nonprofits Amidst COVID-19: An Assessment of Capacity-Building Needs

By Justin Burke / October 1, 2020 / News & Announcements
Hudson Valley Nonprofits Amidst COVID-19: An Assessment of Capacity-Building Needs

A survey of nonprofits in nine Hudson Valley counties shows widespread revenue loss and concern about future operations amid the ongoing pandemic. 

Conducted from June 29 through July 14, the survey of 291 organizations was administered by the New York Council on Nonprofits on behalf of a coalition of charitable foundations, including Berkshire Taconic, that are exploring ways to offer targeted financial and technical assistance to nonprofits, particularly those providing essential human services.

Among its findings, the survey reveals that as many as 30 percent of respondents—or 75 nonprofits—were “very likely, likely, or somewhat likely” to cease operations as a result of financial hardship. Among all respondents, 79 percent reported revenue shortfalls since the pandemic hit and New York State mandated shutdowns, even as 60% applied for and received funding from the Payroll Protection Program (PPP).

[The full report, Hudson Valley Nonprofits Amidst COVID-19: An Assessment of Capacity-Building Needs, can be downloaded here.]

Additional findings include:

  • On average, responding nonprofits expected a decrease in annual revenue of 41%. Those nonprofits without a cash reserve or access to a bank credit line—generally smaller nonprofits—were much more likely to experience significant revenue losses
  • Nonprofits providing education and child care-related services were among those organizations most at risk of failing.
  • 62% of respondents were open to exploring collaborations, partnerships, or alliances to help them become more efficient and continue operations
  • Technical assistance needs identified by respondents include fundraising (65%); planning and strategy (60%); finance, operations & technology (45%); organizational leadership (38%), and marketing & communications (33%).

Coalition members are currently exploring the most effective ways to respond to the findings of the survey, including assisting with the formation of new collaborative solutions, and providing other forms of technical assistance to assist organizations to emerge stronger, restructure or create mergers and affiliations.

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation President Peter Taylor helped organize this group of Hudson Valley-based foundations to join with NYCON in the survey in order to assess the impact of COVID-19 on nonprofits’ financial and organizational stability and to gain insight as to their technical assistance, training and resource needs. 

The group includes Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan, Dyson Foundation, Foundation for Community Health, and Westchester Community Foundation. The coalition is part of a broader Hudson Valley Funders Group that also includes the Field Hall Foundation, Ralph E. Ogden Foundation, United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region, United Way of Ulster County, and United Way of Westchester and Putnam, among others. 

Over the next year, Berkshire Taconic expects to be working in each of our three states to support new educational and cohort learning initiatives to help build nonprofit capacity. In the meantime, we urge donors to support their favorite organizations. 

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