NYC Nonprofits Facing Steep Financial Losses From The COVID Crisis

Jonathan Bowles, Executive Director, Center for an Urban Future

We thought you might be interested in a new report my colleagues and I at the Center for an Urban Future published yesterday.

The Center for an Urban Future reveals that a growing number of New York City’s human services nonprofit organizations are experiencing steep financial losses as a result of the pandemic, jeopardizing the organizations’ ability to continue meeting the needs of vulnerable communities. The report was covered in the New York Times this weekend.

Our report finds that while human services nonprofits have been the unsung heroes of this health and economic crisis, many are facing a double financial hit: 1) they are confronting sometimes staggering revenue losses due to canceled fundraisers; 2) they are dealing with a sea of new operational costs brought on by the pandemic—from setting up new IT systems to purchasing protective equipment. Several of the organizations profiled in the report have already encountered more than $1 million in financial losses.


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But while the city’s nonprofits are more financially fragile than ever before, the report points out that city and state government leaders have not done enough to help. In fact, it notes that recent decisions by the de Blasio administration have the potential to make things considerably worse.

Click here to view the full report, titled Essential Yet Vulnerable: NYC’s Human Services Nonprofits Face Financial Crisis During Pandemic.

And click here to read the NY Times article, “Charity organizations face financial disaster amid pandemic, report finds” (scroll down to the fourth article on this news roundup of New York pandemic related stories).

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The report was the latest in a series of more than half dozen rapid-response studies CUF has published in the last two months detailing how the pandemic has impacted vital aspects of life in New York—and how policymakers should respond.

These studies include:

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Jonathan Bowles, Executive Director, Center for an Urban Future. The Center for an Urban Future (CUF) is a leading New York City-based think tank focused on expanding economic opportunity in New York. CUF receives general operating support from The Clark Foundation and the Bernard F. and Alva B. Gimbel Foundation. Our ongoing research on the financial challenges facing New York City’s human services sector has been generously supported by a grant from The Helmsley Charitable Trust. We are also grateful for support from the Fisher Brothers Foundation for the Center for an Urban Future’s Middle-Class Jobs Project, and ongoing support from a number of other philanthropic funders.

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