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May 4, 2020 (Phoenix, Ariz.) - As unemployment soars and Arizonans cope with the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, many nonprofit organizations, from food pantries to shelter services, are needed more than ever. But those same organizations are struggling with disruptions of their own as donations decline and volunteers stay home. Other categories of nonprofits, including education, environment, and arts and culture, have seen their operations severely reduced or halted, with a real risk of organizations closing entirely.
ASU’s Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation surveyed the Arizona nonprofit community to see the extent of the disruption caused by the pandemic. The results from 449 responding organizations are grim.
The new report highlights the dramatic impacts of the pandemic on Arizona's fifth largest non-government employer - one in 16 employees works for a nonprofit, representing $8.3 billion in annual wages.
“Arizona’s nonprofits are a vital part of the economic and social fabric of our state, and citizens everywhere rely on these organizations for everything from emergency services to cultural enrichment,” said Dr. Robert Ashcraft, executive director of ASU’s Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation and Saguaro Professor of Civic Enterprise. “While citizens across the state have been disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit sector too is facing challenges. Leaders from business, government and philanthropy can learn from what this report reveals as they seek strategies to assure community well-being.”
Key insights from the report include:
Infographic by Alex Davis/ASU