Like many industries and organizations throughout BC, non-profits are facing an uphill battle amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a recent survey conducted by Vantage Point, 15-19 per cent of non-profits face closure and 23 per cent feel they may not last more than 6 months under the current crisis conditions.

In a combined report released by Vantage Point, Victoria Foundation and Vancouver Foundation following the survey, the data suggests that art organizations, sports and recreation groups, environmental organizations and social service agencies may disappear in the next few months.

“Our sector fills the gap between government and the private sector,” says Alison Brewin, Executive Director of Vantage Point. “After decades of focusing our resources on direct services, our capacity to be resilient, to meet the increased demand from communities for our help, non-profits and charities are digging deep to protect the needs of those we serve. And, not surprisingly, this report shows us that sector is more worried for the disruption COVID-19 has meant for those we serve than we are for ourselves. It highlights our optimism, capacity, and resilience. But we can’t do it without support.”

Some of the key findings following the survey include:

  • 74% of non-profits have experienced a decrease in funding
  • 68% have struggled to manage working from home
  • 95% report higher stress levels because of COVID-19
“Our most vulnerable residents rely on civil society organizations at the best of times, let alone when we’re facing something as unprecedented as the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Sandra Richardson, CEO of the Victoria Foundation. “While it’s distressing to see the challenges highlighted in this report, this entire situation has been an important reminder of just how vital these organizations are and how essential it is they be able to remain stable when they’re needed most.”

The data also points to 40% of non-profits having to lay off staff or anticipate laying off staff.

“The bottom line of this report is that many charities and frontline agencies in BC are at risk and the people and communities they serve are going to fall through the cracks if we don’t rally together to act” says Kevin McCort, CEO of Vancouver Foundation.  “Our economy will not recover without the vital services non-profit organizations provide every day. We all depend on this sector doing its part to get BC back on its feet.”

The survey performed by Vantage Point includes responses from 1,119 non-profit organizations throughout BC.

Graham Cox, Kori Sidaway