Nonprofits need support now

by Jennifer Tolle Whiteside

In the blink of an eye, our world has changed. In turn, our community now faces significant challenges as we respond to something we were perhaps not prepared for: a global pandemic.

Now everyone is having to make confusing and difficult decisions while navigating this new reality and feeling the impacts of COVID-19 on our lives and our families. 

We are all feeling the stress and anxiety of this moment, but as significant as our own personal challenges are, we are being called upon – like many generations before us – to care for others first. We’re being asked to put the health of our community before ourselves and being given an opportunity to rise together with compassion and concern.

We are in this together. The most vulnerable in our community – older adults, those suffering from illness, those experiencing homelessness and food insecurity – are facing the greatest challenges, and they need us more than ever. 

This is an especially difficult time for those without work-from-home options, health insurance, paid sick leave or the luxury of savings and financial support to weather this hard stretch.

Nonprofits work regularly to alleviate suffering and strengthen the fabric of our society. They work to improve education, provide housing, empower equitable economic growth, feed the hungry, heal the sick and so much more, often behind the scenes. 

And now, our nonprofits are on the front lines of this crisis and are being challenged to serve more, rapidly and innovatively, in the face of this pandemic.

This crisis is creating new needs as well as placing significant financial and programmatic pressure on these organizations. The economic uncertainty that each of us is feeling is very real and will have far-reaching impacts on these organizations for months and years to come. Many nonprofits are experiencing this atop already being overburdened, understaffed and under-resourced.

Many are completely overwhelmed with need and some will face dismantling of programs.

And so now, we ask you to help. Consider how you might support our state’s ecosystem of nonprofit organizations as they directly focus on the work at hand. 

Every nonprofit you care about needs your financial support right now. Please consider both sustaining your current levels of support and an increase to help these organizations weather the crisis and continue important work long into the future.

Our community is being called upon. Will you join us in rising to the challenge?

Originally published in the Triangle Business Journal in collaboration with Lori O'Keefe, CEO of the Triangle Community Foundation, and Jeanne Tedrow, CEO and president of the N.C. Center for Nonprofits.

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