Arizona Nonprofits See Staggering Losses Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

Arizona nonprofits

By Alicia Barrón

March 23, 2020

As of Friday, Arizona nonprofits reported a total loss of close to $30 million.

Nonprofits are meant to help some of the most vulnerable populations, but are now finding themselves in a vulnerable position. The economic impact of the coronavirus has put many in danger of shutting down.

A survey from the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits found that nearly 90% of nonprofits across the state have been or expect to be impacted by the coronavirus. As of March 20, they reported a total loss of close $30 million, according to the agency’s press release. 

Most of these losses are as a result of canceled events, and over half of nonprofits across Arizona said the pandemic resulted in a disruption of services to clients and communities. 

“Staggering” is the word Kristen Merrifield used to refer to the losses she has seen as the CEO of Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits.

“Long-range, we may lose nonprofits if we can’t sustain them,” she explained to Copper Courier.

Spring is usually the time for fundraisers, Merrifield said, but not this year. Any nonprofit that was a direct beneficiary of events now canceled due to COVID-19, like Spring Training, are seeing unimaginable losses. Spring Training games here in the Valley are one of the annual sources of revenue that some nonprofits depend on and those games are just not happening this year.

Merrifield said that while she understands things everywhere are shifting and changing, her request to Congress asks for relief to the nonprofits now or risk losing them altogether.

Now the hope is that Arizona Gives Day on April 7 will give nonprofits a much-needed financial boost. It’s an annual 24-hour fundraising campaign that’s completely online, conducted in collaboration with Arizona Grantmakers Forum

Merrifield said the timing of Arizona Gives Day couldn’t be better despite the dire circumstances nonprofits are facing.

Laurie Liles, President and CEO of Arizona Grantmakers Forum, added that, like many other business and industries, some nonprofits have already had to lay off staff. This comes at a time when there’s an increase in demand from the people who rely on them. 

“We want to make sure that our charities stay financially stable so that they can continue to serve the communities that need them,” Liles said.

While the fundraiser is set to a specific 24-hour period, those interested in donating can schedule a donation beforehand. Since 2013, people have heeded the call to help Arizona nonprofits to the tune of $17 million. In 2019, Arizona Gives Day raised $3.6 million, according to the Alliance of Arizona press release. 

Anyone interested in participating in Arizona Gives Day to keep nonprofits open and functioning can do so by going online and donating what they can to the nonprofit of their choice.

Though the homepage displays a large countdown to April 7, “early giving has started,” and participating nonprofits ask anyone who can to make a donation today.


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