COVID-19’s Impact on R.I. Nonprofits, Part 1

Many thanks to the nonprofits supporting our communities during this time.
Understanding the Scope

United Way of Rhode Island is working with our partners throughout the state to help nonprofits impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

To help us understand the scope of need, we circulated a survey to Rhode Island nonprofit administrators asking about the current and anticipated effects of COVID-19 on their programs, services, and operations. 159 administrators responded between March 14 and March 25.

Here’s what they told us.

Populations Served

Approximately 39.6% of the nonprofits represented serve children, youth, and families, and 40.9% serve all Rhode Islanders.

The majority of nonprofits (48%) are located in the Providence area.

Current / Projected Financial Loss

At the time of response, many nonprofit administrators were unable to determine whether COVID-19 had an impact on their current or projected financial status. However, those who provided financial data indicated losses in the millions.

As of March 25, current financial losses were approximately $934,650. Projected financial losses were approximately $5,580,500.

Support Needed

Nonprofit administrators identified three types of support most needed to help them serve Rhode Island communities.

These include computers and other technology equipment (21.1%), monies for overhead expenses such as staff salaries and office space (19.3%), and cleaning products such as disinfectants and Personal Protective Equipment (17.4%).

Operational Needs

Nonprofit administrators indicated a range of operational needs, including technology, emergency supplies, and direction from the Rhode Island Department of Health, or funding agencies, on how best to provide services.

Notably, almost two-thirds (62.7%) of administrators indicated monies for overhead expenses and unrestricted funds as their primary operational need.

Our Response

United Way and the Rhode Island Foundation created the COVID-19 Response Fund to support local nonprofits with direct service programs impacted by COVID-19. The Fund has awarded $5.7 million to date.