-- More than half of Indiana’s nonprofit groups that provide services to
those in need have cut back on programs or reduced their capacity in recent
months due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, a report has found.
declines and fundraiser cancellations, about 60% of not-for-profit groups
have suspended or ended programs such as summer camps, after-school
programs, mentorships and volunteer programs, according to the report from
the Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana
University and Indiana United Ways.
When schools closed
in March, Nine13sports Chief Executive Tom Hanley wasn’t sure what to do.
His organization’s programs that teach kids how to ride and build bikes are
directly tied to partnerships with schools and community centers.
“In March, our
world changed just like everybody else’s,” Hanley told the Indianapolis
He started thinking
of ways he could re-purpose his group’s assets and skills.
pivoted into food distribution and partnered with Gleaners Food Bank of
Indiana, Second Helpings and Indy Hunger Network to deliver food to those
who are unable to pick up distributions themselves. Hanley said his staff
has delivered 2.5 million pounds of food.
not-for-profits have shifted as much as possible to virtual programs.
According to the IU report, 69% of organizations statewide are providing
more programs either online or via telephone. Few have slowly and cautiously
started to reintegrate in-person programs and services.
professor at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs and an
author of the IU report, said the future of not-for-profits depends on how
the pandemic plays out. If the size of gatherings is restricted again, even
more programs might need to be cut. “We are cautiously opening back up,”
Gronbjerg said. “But given what’s happening in other states, I don’t know if
that’s going to continue to be our track.”