New Study Shows the “COVID-19 Effect” on Wisconsin’s Nonprofit Sector

The COVID-19 pandemic has had dramatic impacts on Wisconsin communities and nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits are often at the front lines of the COVID-19 response, given that the epidemic has caused a spike in community demand for food, shelter, and other basic needs services.  At the same time, Wisconsin nonprofits face unprecedented challenges in delivering programming and conducting fundraising as before.

To better understand the “COVID-19 effect” on Wisconisn’s Nonprofit Sector, the Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management at UW-Milwaukee and the Institute for Nonprofit Management Studies at UW-Whitewater, in collaboration with a host of UW System research partners including the UW-Madison Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies, recently launched a longitudinal statewide study. The study aims to capture how Wisconsin nonprofits are responding to the COVID-19 crisis at administrative, fiscal, and operational levels. Survey results will also highlight the challenges that nonprofits are facing and changes in community needs they are trying to address. Project partners hope this work will inform stakeholders about the role of nonprofits in COVID-19 response and the new pressures they face.

The first report from the study is now available, along with a series of regional and topic area briefs: Northeast Wisconsin; Dane County; La Crosse County; Arts, Culture and Humanities; and Human Services. Reporting and survey efforts will continue through the end of 2020, culminating in summary recommendations on how best to support the nonprofit sector in Wisconsin. This longitudinal perspective will highlight changes in organizational needs and the emerging impacts of government responses to COVID-19.

All Wisconsin nonprofit organizations are invited to participate! The current survey, available here, will be open through August 9th.