COVID-19 and the Non-Profit Sector

By Tasada Junsook, B.A.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, physical distancing protocols have forced the cancellation of in-person fundraising events planned in the last year across Canada. Other than lost revenue from cancelled fundraisers, many charities have also incurred significant increases in expenses related to limited operational capacity and new protocols. 

Charities and non-profit organizations have been operating under the reduced hours for workers or have had to lay off staff. While most charities have been able to adapt and innovate to continue to offer services and programs to their communities since the beginning of the pandemic, the situation however, remains challenging. For most organizations, the constraints and uncertainty of the pandemic as well as social distancing limitations, are driving significant shifts to organizational priorities.

COVID-19 crisis continues to influence staffing decisions and volunteer contributions. Most charities operate with minimal fund reserves and have only survived the pandemic through the federal and provincial financial assistance programs.