COVID Financial Impact on Non-Profits Finds Small Donor Money Drying Up

However, your tax dollars are still flowing out to federal refugee contractors even as the number of arrivals has dropped dramatically.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has published a survey of the financial fallout to non-profit groups in the wake of the Chinese virus ‘crisis’ and finds that big foundations are still giving, but otherwise donations to non-profits are declining.

The bleak picture (title with a positive spin!):

Nonprofits That Rely on Foundation Grants Fare Better Than Others Amid Pandemic

Most nonprofits that get foundation grants haven’t suffered cutbacks as many had feared when the Covid-19 and economic crisis struck in March, a study released today finds.


The survey found that revenue from other sources was far less reliable. Only 14 percent of nonprofit CEOs reported an increase in giving by major donors (those who give more than $7,500 annually), while 43 percent saw gifts from those donors decline. For donors who contribute less than $7,500 annually, only 18 percent of CEOs reported increased giving, while 51 percent saw decreased giving.

I was interested in this section about refugee resettlement contractor World Relief.

The pandemic has placed a greater burden with more demand for services on nonprofits that serve “historically disadvantaged communities,” according to the survey; 61 percent of those CEOs say the demand for services has increased, compared with 35 percent of CEOs at other nonprofits.

Chitra Hanstad, executive director of World Relief Seattle, said her organization has been hit hard by the loss of government contracts for refugee resettlement, which has come to a halt***.  

The nonprofit continues to provide a wide array of services to refugees who have arrived in the United States recently, and demand for those services has increased. [But aren’t we continuously hammered about how refugees are not a burden and are self-sufficient within a few short months of arrival?—ed]

Wealthy people set up family foundations to shelter some of their money and are then able to use the foundation to promote their pet political projects.

However, Hanstad added that donors have been very generous and flexible during the current crisis. She cited in particular the Stolte Family Foundation, created by Heidi and Chris Stolte. Chris Stolte was co-founder of Tableau Software, and Heidi Stolte is a former educator.


However, Hanstad said that while donors are being generous in terms of immediate need, she’s worried those donations may come at the expense of funding long-term challenges, such as providing refugees with income stability, securing affordable housing, and attaining citizenship status. “I wish people would give as robustly to systemic solutions,” she said.

More here.

***But wait!  World Relief , the parent contractor to World Relief Seattle, is still bringing in millions of federal bucks!

During the first week of May I reported that World Relief had received just short of $30 million from taxpayers in 2019 (an amount higher than they received in many Obama years) and I see that they have received $13 million this year!

Here is today’s accounting at USA Spending:

World Relief is getting plenty of your tax dollars (or borrowed money from China). See that they are doing better than they did through most of the Obama years!  Compare to my chart the first week of May and see that they are up a couple million just since then.