NC nonprofits struggling amid COVID-19 crisis just as services are needed most

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As the COVID-19 crisis continues, many organizations that serve the community are struggling financially.

Nonprofit groups are reporting a shortage in donations and fewer volunteers at a time when the demand for their services is high. 

“We have lost all of our major fundraisers, our events, our walk. We count on a lot of that for the medical care as well as our general funding,” said Molly Goldston, the director and founder of Saving Grace.

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Goldston says the Wake Forest dog rescue group has faced a new set of challenges during the COVID-19 crisis, with fewer donations and volunteers.

However, Goldston says they are trying to rescue the same amount, or more, dogs as in years past.

“The dog population is no different.  There’s as many coming, if not more, than always,” she said.

Saving Grace is not alone.

 “There are so many nonprofits that need a lot of help right now and need different types of help,” said David Heinen, Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy for the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits.

The North Carolina Center for Nonprofits partnered with the North Carolina Secretary of State’s office to survey more than 2,000 nonprofits about the impact of COVID-19.

According to the report, 88 percent of respondents say that the pandemic has affected their operations.

In the same study, 74 percent of responding nonprofits say they lost revenue in the past three months.

While 46 percent of survey respondents received Paycheck Protection Program loans, Heinen says that funding expired in August.

“That was a stop-gap way of providing funding for organizations, but there’s really a need for some additional support,” he said.

Heinen says as the pandemic continues, the need for the services the nonprofits provide, especially human services organizations, increases.

“The sources of funding that are available, private foundations, business foundations, they are being asked to give a lot more because of the loss of fundraising,” Heinen said.

He suggests those in a position to contribute should reach out to the nonprofits individually to find out their specific needs, such as funding, donations or volunteers.

Saving Grace is currently trying to raise money for an on-site medical clinic for spay/neuter, vaccination and heart worm treatments. Goldston says the clinic is desperately needed as many of the clinics they usually outsource to have closed during the pandemic.

“The longer we wait for those clinics to accommodate our animals, that’s more dogs that we lose in shelters that we could have cared for and put in a home,” she said.

Goldston says the family behind Christmas Lights on Hoyt Road will to match all donations up to $47,000, so Saving Grace is hoping to raise $40,000 by the end of August to get the clinic operational.

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