When the COVID-19 crisis reached San Antonio in early 2020, local nonprofits leapt into action. Organizations immediately shifted services—or began offering new ones—to meet new and changing community need. From telehealth to digital access to food distribution, nonprofits have played a critical role in COVID-19 relief and recovery. At the same time, the crisis has seriously impacted nonprofit funding, and organizations with budgets under $500,000 have been particularly affected.
According to the Urban Institute, nonprofits with budgets under $500,000—which make up most of the sector in the U.S. and depend most heavily on individual donations—experienced a decrease in individual donations in 2020 in greater numbers than larger nonprofits. SA2020’s research shows the same trend: of our Nonprofit Partners with budgets under $500,000, 63% reported that their revenue in their last fiscal year decreased overall, with 88% reporting that revenue from individuals decreased. None reported that their revenue from individuals increased.
The power of individual donations is undeniable. The largest source of philanthropy in the U.S., individual giving totaled $324.1 billion in 2020, more than three times the amount of giving from corporations ($16.88 billion) and foundations ($88.55 billion) combined. And donations from individuals are typically unrestricted, allowing and trusting nonprofit leaders to use them wherever the need is greatest—rather than for a specific use identified by a funder. As nonprofits continue to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, this trust from individual donors allows them to be responsive to what the community needs.
Research also shows that organizations led by people of color are less likely to receive this type of unrestricted funding. One national analysis found that unrestricted assets held by nonprofits led by people of color were 76% smaller than those led by White people. Again, individual giving has the power to disrupt this and support the leadership of people of color.
If this all has you itching to make some donations—you’re in luck. The Big Give, San Antonio’s 24-hour campaign of online giving kicks off at 6 pm this Thursday, September 22nd. During The Big Give, your donation of $10 or more goes even further, with matches and prizes being awarded to nonprofits throughout the giving. On SA2020’s page, you can also find all of our Nonprofit Partners who are participating. These organizations have committed to actively align their work toward San Antonio’s shared Community Vision. If you’re feeling especially excited to support a smaller organization (or several), below you can find a list of participating Nonprofit Partners with annual budgets ranging from $1,000 – $477,000.
We hope you’ll join in on this celebration of nonprofits and philanthropy and support the organizations that are so essential to reaching San Antonio’s shared goals.