Sector Monitor: Charities and the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Imagine Canada
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This report summarizes the responses of 1,458 leaders of charities who answered an online survey between April 15th and April 28th. All responses are weighted by organization size, activity area, region, principal source of revenue, and the presence of paid staff to produce estimates more representative of charities overall. Historical comparisons are based on our first Sector Monitor, conducted in late 2009/early 2010, just as the 2008/09 recession was ending and the long economic recovery beginning.

Changes to Demand and Organizational Capacity

Since the onset of the pandemic, charities have had quite varied experiences with regards to demand for their services. While some have been declared essential services and are frequently coping with increasing demand, others have been required to cease operations as part of mandatory non-essential business closures and have seen demand decline, sometimes catastrophically. Overall, just over a quarter say demand has held steady while the balance have seen changes, frequently significant ones. Overall, about as many charities report increases in demand as report decreases, though the decreases have tended to be more severe. Looking at organizational capacity to meet demand for services, nearly two fifths of charities report their organizational capacity is holding steady, but those reporting capacity decreases significantly outnumber those reporting increases. In large part, decreased demand correlates with reduced capacity - over half of charities (58%) reporting decreased demand also report their organizational capacity has decreased, usually significantly.

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