Imagine Canada Publishes Report on Charities and COVID-19
June 2020 Charity & NFP Law Update
Published on June 25, 2020

By Terrance S. Carter

Imagine Canada’s Sector Monitor: Charities & the COVID-19 Pandemic (the “Report”) was released in late May, 2020, summarizing Imagine Canada’s findings from an online survey on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on charities conducted between April 15 and April 28, 2020. The Report highlights the changes in demand for different services provided by charities as well as changes to the organizational capacity of charities as a result of COVID-19; discusses the financial impact of COVID-19 on charities and outlines the types of organizations and income streams most impacted; and outlines the different ways charities are adapting to systemic change through innovation and program changes.

The Report indicates that physical distancing requirements have impacted charities differently, with some experiencing increased demand (e.g. health and social services organizations), while demand for others has decreased (e.g. arts and recreation organizations). Despite this, it also found that charities in general have experienced significant declines in revenue as a result of COVID-19, and have made significant reductions to staff, with more cuts likely to come. Similarly, charities have had difficulty engaging volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic

However, the Report also found that innovation has played a central role for charities. 54% of respondents indicated that they were transitioning their in-person programs to online platforms instead, and 42% of respondents had developed entirely new programs to respond to needs.

The Report outlines some of the important issues that many in the charitable sector are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is therefore a helpful resource for understanding the both sector’s struggles and response to the pandemic.

Read the June 2020 Charity & NFP Law Update