A 2020 Survey of the Needs of Kenosha Area Not-for-Profit Organizations
In recent years, we have conducted periodic community needs assessment surveys to help us determine how we can focus our grantmaking. 2020 is different.
The coronavirus pandemic and the economic upheaval that it caused, along with the social justice protests and civil unrest in Kenosha, have challenged our community’s not-for-profit organizations – forcing changes to operations, straining budgets, and creating new processes of delivering services to their clients.
In November 2020, the Foundation partnered with the United Way of Kenosha County conducted an of our local not-for-profit organizations to better understand the impacts of 2020’s events on their operations.
Summary of Results
We found that despite receiving various forms of aid – such as a loan from the Federal Payroll Protection Program, grants from state and local sources, and emergency appeals – the local needs remain great.
Of the thirty-seven organizations that responded to the survey, we found 94% had canceled public, in-person events, including fundraisers, and 70% suspended programs. Additionally, 73% of the organizations now need to operate remotely and 67% needed to increase their use of on-line and digital platforms.
As a result of these changes, nearly over 85% of the not-for-profit organizations surveyed stated that they were in need of funds to cover their day-to-day operations. About 25% of the organizations need to upgrade their information technology – such as laptop computers, WiFi hotspots, and use of digital platforms like Zoom – not only for their staff but also for the families who benefit from their programs.
The on-line survey was conducted in early November 2020 – we received responses from thirty-seven (37) Kenosha area non-profit organizations representing the following sectors:
Question: How has the COVID 19 pandemic and the events of 2020 impacted your organization? What types of business disruptions have occurred?
Top responses (cited by 10 or more organizations):
94.6% (35 of 37 organizations) – Cancelled events, including fundraisers
73% (27 0f 37) – Needed to operate remotely
70.3% (26 0f 37) – Suspended programs
67.6% (25 of 37) – Increased use of on-line and digital tools and platforms
67.6% (25 of 37) – Change in the number and use of volunteers
54.1% (20 of 37) – A decrease in donations not associated with a fundraising event
51.4% (19 of 37) – Need to improve office infrastructure
48.6% (18 of 37) – Loss revenue from program fees
43.2% (16 of 37) – Decrease in communications/outreach with the public
35.1% (13 of 37) – Loss of major gifts
27% (10 of 37) – An increase in communications with the public
Question: What are your organization’s most immediate needs?
Top responses (cited by 5 or more organizations):
86.5% (32 of 37 organizations) – funds for general operations
29.7% (11 of 37) – information technology (IT) equipment infrastructure to support staff and operations
24.3% (9 of 37) – IT / equipment needs for beneficiaries (children, families, clients)
24.3% (9 of 37) – personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning, sanitizing supplies/services
18.9% (7 of 37) – volunteer needs
16.2% (6 of 37) – food and personal supplies for families
Question: What are the most pressing needs of your clients/constituents?
Top responses (cited by 10 or more organizations):
45.9% (17 of 37 organizations) – Mental Health Services
43.2% (16 of 37) – Education-related Needs (e.g. more access to tutors, creating Learning Pods)
37.8% (14 of 37) – Housing / Shelter Assistance
35.1% (13 of 37) – On-Line Access (e.g. WiFi Connectivity, Hot Spots, Computer Equipment)
35.1% (13 of 37) – Food/Meal Programs
29.7% (11 of 37) – Cash Assistance / Vouchers
29.7% (11 of 37) – Family Support (includes Protective Services)
Question: What type of support has your organization received since the pandemic began?
20 organizations (64.5%) report receiving a Federal Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan
18 organizations (58.1%) report receiving a grant from a state or local entity
13 organizations (41.9%) report receiving funds from emergency appeals or fundraising made by the organization
Question: If given an unrestricted grant of up to $5,000, what would your organization do to help fulfill a need and/or help it move forward on your mission?
Edited responses submitted by organizations:
• Help retain staff
• Relaunch live arts performances in Kenosha
• Stay visible…carry on outreach activities
• Provide awareness of our new location, hours, and services provided…funding to make up for loss of funds in annual memberships, training, and service contracts
• To assist programs that lost income due to COVID-19
• Pay down loans
• Marketing campaign to promote small businesses
• Personal care items for our personal care packets that we give out as well as feminine products for our period packs…laptops for a Legal Advice Program
• Purchase technology equipment and infrastructure upgrade to better provide virtual services for beneficiaries
• Emergency support for children who leave their home with none of their own belongings…purchase clothing and shoes
• Partner with residents, business owners, and community stakeholders (in the neighborhood where we work) to listen, learn, and lead together; reinforce a foster family support network in partnership with the county
• Re-establish services to key constituents
• Motel vouchers, gift cards, utility and transportation assistance
• Programs with clients most in need – housing programs perhaps providing vouchers to temporary housing; mental health and AODA recovery… to offer on-going peer outreach
• Remodel (the facility) to be clean and safe so we can reopen
• Create new space that will allow for separate offices for each staff person; to transition this house to administrative use, much restoration and IT upgrading needs to happen
• Invest in IT that would allow (our program) to be managed partially remotely without a loss in customer service
• To continue to build homes and hope here in Kenosha
• Offset expenses necessary for safe operation during the COVID-19 pandemic
• Establish an emergency fund to help with things like car repairs, immigration attorney fees, security devices for homes
• To meet these unprecedented needs are not typically in our operating budget
• Funds for general operations
• Continue our mission…which is mostly an after school youth mentoring program
• Purchase sleeping bags, duffel bags, thermal wear, hats, gloves, meals ready to eat, face mask, wipes, and hand sanitizer for beneficiaries
• Pay building expenses…as (funds are needed each) month for operating without anyone in our building