COVID-19: Lessons in Disaster Philanthropy
The Voice of Charities During COVID-19 | Volume 8

In its eighth COVID-19 survey conducted in August 2021, CAF America polled 436 charitable organizations operating in 5 countries to report on their current status and outlook for the future

Key Findings Include

  • Smaller charities are more fragile. Small charities (with 1-5 employees) are 57% more likely to say they are struggling than larger organizations.
  • Fundraising has changed. There has been a move toward more distributed, online fundraising. In CAF America’s 2021 report The Face of Charities During COVID-19, 49.4% of survey respondents reported that they created new digital donation opportunities for donors.
  • Charities have learned the importance planning for disasters. Charities have learned the importance of planning for disasters, but donors need to learn how to make grants to support charities as they build their resilience. Donor should consider offering resilience funding.

12 Months Later: The State of the World’s Nonprofits | VOLUME 7

Key Findings Include

  • Over half of respondents plan to continue their new services offerings and fundraising strategies. Partnership building is also notable, as 40% of respondents indicate it as a new practice that will be sustained into the future.
  • In the aggregate, donors have consistently demonstrated their willingness to accommodate grantee needs during the pandemic. This is a clear demonstration of expanded efforts on donors’ part to reinforce their partnership with nonprofit partners
  • Fundraising is regarded among respondents as the most important competency to be further developed and strengthened. The lack of an effective fundraising strategy precludes activation of other areas of organizational management.

Future-Proofing Nonprofits for the Post Pandemic World | VOLUME 6

Key Findings Include

  • Following a modest improvement during the summer months, an increasing number of organizations continue to confront challenges associated with the coronavirus global pandemic. In this latest survey comprising mainly organizations that continue to operate, approximately 93% of respondents reported being negatively impacted.
  • Among the greatest concerns for 2021 across affected organizations remain the reduced financial contributions and the sustained travel limitations.
  • With over 92% of respondents adapting their approaches to online operations, the shift to digital technology has dominated the social sector globally.

The Voice of Corporate Philanthropy in Response to COVID-19 Worldwide | VOLUME 5

Key Findings Include

  • The majority of survey respondents work in education and healthcare, followed closely by organizations focused
    on environmental protection, human rights, arts and culture, and sports and recreational activities.
  • The majority of responding organizations, 97.16%, are able to maintain their operations, and another 2.84% are
    not operating currently.
  • One fourth of the responding organizations expect to close down within the next 12 months if the situation remains unchanged and one fourth are unable to predict their future.
  • Funding from individual donors remained the main source of income for over 70% of the organizations surveyed.

The Voice of Corporate Philanthropy in Response to COVID-19 Worldwide | VOLUME 4

Key Findings Include

  • Distribution of giving domestically covers all 50 states and Puerto Rico and nearly 60% of surveyed corporations give internationally.
  • The three highest needs addressed were in disaster relief, health, and food security.
  • Corporations are doing more to support in this time of need, with 72% of the respondents increasing their contributions to charities.
  • Companies are demonstrating their flexibility to grantee needs, with 65% offering to change grant purposes to redirect funds to the most immediate needs, and 54% offering grant extensions.
  • 43% intend to revise their disaster relief strategy while 26% intend to expand their employee engagement programming.

The Voice of Charities Facing COVID-19 Worldwide | VOLUME 3

Key Findings Include

  • 1 in 3 responding organizations foresee that they will be forced to close down within the next 12 month period, while 31.88% are unable to determine how long they can persevere under the current conditions.
  • 16.27% of the surveyed organizations did not receive any funding in the last month and many are struggling to manage increased need for their services while seeing a significant decrease in the size of the grants provided by long-term donors.
  • Close to 50% of the respondents were allowed grant extensions on current projects and over 39% were able to redirect funds to other projects.

The Voice of Charities Facing COVID-19 Worldwide | VOLUME 2

Key Findings Include

  • Nearly all, 94.38% of the responding organizations, reported being negatively impacted by the coronavirus global pandemic. Over 70% of the respondents have seen a significant reduction in the contributions they receive and had to suspend programs involving travel or events.
  • Many have shared concerns about the long-term impact of the pandemic on their donors’ ability to continue their support while the need for services is expected to increase, as more lives will be impacted by the economic hardships exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic
  • Almost 15% of the organizations surveyed were forced to suspend their operations, as their activities cannot be carried out remotely. More than 60% have reported that they had to eliminate or suspend some of their regular programs and services

The Voice of Charities Facing COVID-19 Worldwide | VOLUME 1

Key Findings Include

  • 67.93% of the respondents have seen a decrease in funding and reported difficulties in reaching donors, while 33.97% indicated an increase in operational costs. More than half are unable to fully meet the expectations of those they serve due to staffing limitations (48.58%) and system-challenges (37.57%). Restrictions on travel, a key programmatic element for many organizations, have affected 63% of the respondents’ operations.
  • Despite the serious challenges organizations are experiencing worldwide, almost all respondents (90.10%continue to serve their communities.
  • 64.09% of the respondents engaged in researching ways to innovate and adapt their operations to the current reality shaped by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the examples shared by the organizations surveyed, those with programming compatible with the virtual realm have worked to move their activities online.


The eighth edition of our COVID-19 report series represents the voices of 436 charitable organizations across 5 countries (Brazil, Argentina, Russia, India, and South Africa).

Read the transcript

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