Nonprofits Prove to be Resilient in the Face of COVID-19 As Reported in Marks Paneth Survey

February 5, 2021

New York, NY (February 5, 2021) – Nonprofits proved to be resilient despite the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest Nonprofit Pulse survey of nonprofit leaders and executives conducted by leading accounting, tax and advisory firm Marks Paneth LLP.

“Planning for Resilience,” the complete report of survey findings, contains insight into what today’s nonprofit leaders are experiencing, what they are concerned about and what they are prioritizing, This year’s report is focused on how nonprofit organizations can plan and move forward during these uncertain times, as well as ideas to transform and sustain their mission. The conclusions from the survey data can help nonprofits identify opportunities and feel more empowered tackling their needs.

Highlights include:

  • Existing challenges that appeared to be stabilizing in 2019 were amplified for many organizations during the global pandemic, such as declines in government funding, access to new donors, limited staffing, and cash flow and reserves.

  • Operational changes and investments that previously seemed like lower priority concerns became critical for program delivery, communications and workflow.

  • While leaders are concerned about their cash flow, few expressed concerns about paying down debt or seeking loans.

  • A big part of the coming months and year will include flexible budgeting and forecasting as well as continued business continuity planning.

  • About two-thirds of responding organizations see opportunities for alternative funding and partnerships with other for-profit or nonprofit organizations.

  • Many if not most nonprofit organizations have completed the covered period and/or received loan forgiveness for the original Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and many may seek additional funding through the PPP Second Draw.

“This past year has been one of the most challenging we’ve faced as a sector, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take away some good lessons from it,” said Hope Goldstein, Co-Partner-in-Charge of the Nonprofit, Healthcare & Government Group at Marks Paneth. “As difficult as these challenges have been, I am awed by how many nonprofits have responded with resilience and resolve to continue their core missions.”

Click here to read the full report.