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A Year Into Pandemic, Arizona Nonprofits Have Lost $91 Million

For food banks, shelters and human services organizations, COVID-19 caused skyrocketing demand. For arts and culture nonprofits, it meant ticket sales and programming screeched to a halt. And for nonprofits across the board, donations and volunteer hours declined. A year into the pandemic, Arizona nonprofits have lost at least $91 million in revenue,  according to a new survey

The Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits this spring polled 412 organizations in the state about the economic challenges brought about by the pandemic. Nearly every nonprofit that responded had been adversely impacted. 

“The average nonprofit laid off between 26% to 50% of their staff,” said Jennifer Purcell, senior vice president and director of development with the alliance. 

The pandemic led to the loss of more than 2,000 jobs among the nonprofits surveyed, of which only about 400 have been recovered. Even though the virus is slowing in Arizona, Purcell said economic recovery in the nonprofit sector is likely to take a long time.

“They really need to get back to holding fundraising events, engaging people in their mission, bringing back volunteers," Purcell said. 

Purcell said only about 1% of organizations surveyed had had to stop services completely. But many Arizona nonprofits surveyed said they will need more aid to stay afloat.

Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent reporting on a variety of issues, including public health and climate change.