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Should We Be Worried about the Health of the Nonprofit Sector?

October 7, 2021

As the pandemic ravaged our communities in 2020, the number of individual donors in the United States increased for the first time in many years. Great news, to be sure, but that headline buries the lede.

If you dig a level deeper, unexpected findings from Independent Sector’s 2021 Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector report show that the pandemic actually created a series of extremely alarming problems for the sector – ones that specifically harm both our legitimacy and ability to fight for racial justice and society health.

Organizations headed by Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) leaders, arts organizations, and small organizations all took disproportionately high financial hits last year. And organizations that already faced capacity issues before the pandemic struggled even more.

But that’s not the worst of it.

Perhaps the most disturbing development is that, as organizations were forced to lay off staff, the nonprofit workforce became less diverse.

That’s just not acceptable. We can’t be the people calling for – let alone leading on -- equity and justice if we’re not even living up to our own standards.

On the Main Stage, Elisha Rhodes (YWCA USA), Ekundayo Bandele (Hattiloo Theatre), Stacy Palmer (The Chronicle of Philanthropy), and Dan Cardinali (Independent Sector) will engage in a candid and urgent conversation about reversing these trends...before they get worse.  

Register for the Summit here.

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