Nonprofit organizations suffering because of virus pandemic

The nation’s nonprofit organizations are suffering because of the coronavirus pandemic.

News 12 Staff

Apr 9, 2020, 11:30 PM

Updated 1,471 days ago

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The nation’s nonprofit organizations are suffering because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Local groups say that they are having a hard time holding on to staff, funding and donors and having difficulties helping the people that they serve.
Matches with the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson and Union counties would normally be spending time together in person. But social distancing has put a stop to in-person meetings. The mentoring program typically asks that the pairs meet an average of once per week.
“With that interaction comes a lot of beautiful and positive things for our children’s lives and in a socially distant world, we are taking that away,” says CEO Carlos Lejnieks.
Lejnieks says that meetings are now being held virtually to keep the relationships strong and growing. But he says that the COVID-19 pandemic is also hitting the organization financially.
“When the economy goes down, the ripple effect impacts social service organizations and nonprofits like ours. That’s our lifeblood,” he says.
Donations are down and there are no in-person pleas. Important fundraising events like Big Brother’s annual Bowl for Kids' Sake are not allowed.
Photos: The Heroes of the Coronavirus Pandemic
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“Without the ability to meet with funders or gather people for social events, we may not be able to run into 25% of our revenue,” Lejnieks says.
The group is now trying to raise money online. It is also relying on new fundraising sources from both the state and federal governments. The CEO says that he hopes that some of what everyone is going through now can serve as a reminder later.
“We don’t have the regular things we normally have and that gives us a baseline experience we can hopefully draw upon to care about someone else coming out of this,” he says.
Big Brothers and Big Sisters found out that it has received a fully forgivable loan from the federal Paycheck Protection Program. The group says that this will help keep its entire staff working and on the payroll. It is also applying for the New Jersey Pandemic Fund, which is run by first lady Tammy Murphy.


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