Jonathan Bowles, Executive Director, Center for an Urban Future
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.
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).
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:
- Essential Yet Vulnerable: NYC’s Human Services Nonprofits Face Financial Crisis During Pandemic: This study shows that nonprofits serving the most vulnerable New Yorkers are facing an alarming level of financial fragility because of COVID-19.
- Art in the Time of Coronavirus: New York City’s Small Arts Organizations Fighting for Survival: This report draws from candid and often emotional interviews with the leaders of two dozen arts organizations across all five boroughs and details the unprecedented financial challenges facing small and mid-sized arts organizations and working artists across New York City.
- A Blow to the Boroughs: This data brief shows that the coronavirus crisis is likely to have a particularly devastating economic impact on the four boroughs outside Manhattan, with many of the industries suffering the most catastrophic early setbacks overrepresented in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island.
- Supporting Small Businesses Through Coronavirus: This study features ideas from two dozen small business owners and experts for what New York City and State government should do right now to help the city’s small businesses get through the coronavirus crisis.
- Supporting Older Adults Through Coronavirus: This report includes concrete policy recommendations for supporting the city’s 1.7 million older adults, many of whom are facing unprecedented barriers accessing meals, groceries, medicine and other services
- Tech Disrupted: How Coronavirus is Challenging NYC’s Tech Sector: This study provides the first in-depth analysis of how New York’s tech sector is faring in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and lays out ideas for how policymakers can respond.
- New York’s Free Tuition Promise Falling Short: This study reveals that the state’s signature tuition assistance program—the Excelsior Scholarship—isn’t benefiting many of the state’s low-income students, a major problem right now since many out-of-work New Yorkers will likely pursue a college degree to improve their chances of being hired in a challenging economy.
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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