Research into the impact of Covid-19 in 2020 on nonprofits in the Netherlands shows that smaller organisations have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. This research echoes similar findings from our Covid-19 survey, and recent studies from the Small Charities Coalition and Charities Aid Foundation in the UK.
The Dutch study, produced by Radboud University and the CBF, the Netherlands Fundraising Regulator, reflects on the experiences of over 300 charities in 2020 with a combined revenue of €2.47 billion. It reveals that while 28% of nonprofits grew their income from 2019 to 2020, the pandemic took its toll, with around half of the organisations in the study citing a loss of income.
On average, nonprofits experienced annual income loss of 6%, but there was a marked difference in the extent of the loss for large and small organisations. The smallest organisations (with up to €100,000 total annual income) lost an average 13.4% in annual revenue compared to a 0.3% loss for the largest organisations (with annual income of over €2 million).
The majority of large organisations (58%) were able to introduce new activities related to those impacted by the pandemic, to pivot what they do and offer services online. Organisations that were more dependent on income from events, corporate income, ticket sales and retail activities were more adversely affected.
The study also indicates that different causes fared better than others. On the whole, international aid organisations seem to have seen fewer negative consequences from COVID-19 than many others. Those working to protect nature and the environment received a relatively large amount of attention from donors in 2020, while organisations in the field of education, science and welfare had a much harder time of it.
More than 50% of organisations in the study reported difficulty in organising fundraising campaigns and events, while over a third cited a decline in one-off donations (37%). On the other hand, regular donors, have remained loyal and a vital source of income.
Of those organisations that reported an increase in donations, one third attribute this to an increase in regular giving (34%) and charitable bequests (33%).
Harmienke Kloeze, director of CBF, says:
“Donors make all the difference. It is great to see that their support helps charities to do their important work in these difficult times.”
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