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Coronavirus outbreak has many nonprofits increasing critical services to meet needs

Members of The Nonprofit Alliance and other organizations are uniquely positioned to reach vulnerable populations during crisis.

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- While the coronavirus pandemic is causing some businesses and schools to close, many nonprofits have more work than ever. Some are ramping up to meet increased needs among especially vulnerable populations, while dealing with a decrease in manpower and donors amid virus fears.

AARP, whose members have been deemed more at-risk for complications from COVID-19, is actively working to provide accurate, timely guidance during the outbreak, including a special Tele-Town Hall earlier this week. "We have a unique opportunity to meet the needs of older adults during this outbreak, providing what could be lifesaving information and support," says David Whitehead, AARP and AARP Foundation chief development officer.

"For many nonprofits, the increased need comes at a time when fundraising is a concern due to market instability and overall uncertainty, and when volunteers — a large part of the manpower at these organizations — may not be able to work," says Shannon McCracken of The Nonprofit Alliance, whose members include many 501(c)(3) organizations. TNPA is planning a virtual town hall meeting for members to discuss fundraising challenges and strategies in light of the pandemic.

The San Antonio Food Bank is preparing hundreds of thousands of 14-day food and supply kits to deliver to low-income households in Texas. "We are running into the fire instead of running away from it," says Chief Resource Officer Michael Guerra, who expects the need to grow as hourly workers miss paychecks. Volunteers for their programs have dropped 50 percent, a gap they expect to increase.

Many food banks are expanding their services to include mobile distribution centers and hundreds of thousands of additional meals. With schools closing, and nearly 3 million children in the National School Lunch Program, organizations are taking action to meet an immediate and possibly dire need across the nation.

"This is a good reminder that nonprofits are a crucial part of the safety net for vulnerable populations. Crisis intervention happens at the national level, but most immediately it happens at the community level," says McCracken. "A family already receiving services from a local pantry or after school program is going to need more help during a crisis. And they're most likely to turn to the organizations already entrenched in the community."

About The Nonprofit Alliance
The Nonprofit Alliance exists to foster the development and growth of nonprofit organizations and to protect the vital services they provide, as well as the donors, members, partners and volunteers who support them. Members represent a diverse landscape of causes and include industry experts who help nonprofits in their public outreach, fundraising and resource development. For more information, visit tnpa.org.


SOURCE The Nonprofit Alliance