Nonprofits have seen an increase in expenses due to the pandemic, with the demand for services continuing to increase.

Beginning in March 2020, surveys of the Delaware nonprofit sector have been conducted to understand the impacts of COVID-19, as well as to identify organizational needs. The surveys are part of the COVID-19 Response Initiative, a collaborative among DANA (Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement), the Delaware Community Foundation, Philanthropy Delaware and the United Way of Delaware.

The most recent survey is the fifth in a series designed to provide information that informs funding strategies for many organizations, as well as state government, and will also guide DANA’s training and capacity support services for the nonprofit sector.

According to the report, COVID-19-related expenses continue to be an issue for many nonprofits. Most organizations saw an increase in expenses in the first half of 2021 compared to the second half of 2020. Nearly half of the nonprofit organizations have been able to raise some funds to cover the expenses, but a fifth have not been able to recover the expenses.

The survey series revealed that service demands continue to increase, with majority of those surveyed having re-opened their facilities to provide at least some services on-site. It is apparent that their clients’ ability to access those services continues to be an issue.

Nonprofits are struggling to meet increased demand for services in balance with concerns about the health and safety of their staff, and their organization’s ability to retain and attract skilled employees. Staff are concerned about their health and safety, including unvaccinated staff and clients, increases in workloads, and burnout.

“Nonprofits play a fundamental role in creating communities that thrive,” said Sheila Bravo, president and CEO of DANA. “As Giving Tuesday approaches, please remember that many nonprofit organizations are struggling to cover rising costs in the market. Your gift can help them close gaps in services and staffing and ensure that the services needed for our community to thrive may continue.”

While revenue losses may not have been as dire as expected, many organizations are operating with less than 10 weeks of cash on hand — meaning smaller organizations are now in a tenuous financial position. To improve their ability to survive and thrive, nonprofits need improved government engagement and communication, additional funding sources that include unrestricted grants and gifts, and increased opportunities for partnerships and collaboration within the community.

For more information, read the report at