Community-based organizations are struggling to meet the growing demand for services because of the economic fall-out from COVID-19. And it looks like things are going to get worse before they get better.
The number of COVID-19 cases is rising across the country and throughout the world. For the first time, the US reported more than 100,00 new cases in one day (Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center). Hospitalizations and deaths are also increasing, putting tremendous pressure on the healthcare delivery system. If the virus causes another shutdown, it could torpedo the job market again.
Unemployment, Loss of Health Insurance
We’ve seen industry giants like Disney and Allstate Insurance lay off or furloughing employees in the past months. The travel industry is still floundering. Hilton, Marriott, and United Airlines each laid off thousands of employees. The coronavirus resurgence is already putting a damper on holiday season travel.
As the weather gets colder, it only won’t be the travel industry that’s affected. Restaurants in many parts of the country will no longer be able to seat patrons outside, which could cause even more job loss, especially among workers who are already struggling to make ends meet. The poverty level has grown by 6 million people over the past 3 months, hitting African Americans and children the hardest, according to research conducted by the University of Chicago and Notre Dame.
The loss of employer-sponsored health insurance for individuals and families has already put stress on CBOs. While difficult to pin down because many workers who were laid off or furloughed were called back to work over the summer, the Commonwealth Fund estimates that 14.6 million workers and dependents lost their healthcare coverage. If that number continues to grow, CBOs will face a surge of clients seeking uncompensated care.
CBO Fundraising Efforts Could Suffer
I know a lot of people who donated some or all of their stimulus checks to food banks and CBOs. But as more people lose their jobs, they won’t be able to give to causes they would normally support. Many in-person fundraising efforts have been curtailed during the COVID-19 shutdown, and those who generously donate their time have not been able to do so. That puts more stress on CBO staff already struggling to serve vulnerable patients during the crisis.
It’s Not All Dark Clouds: CBOs Can Take Steps to Become More Viable
CBOs that just hunker down and try to weather the storm will be hard hit. It’s time to take action to solidify your financial stability. BLISS Cares, an Orlando-based non profit serving patients living with HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), needed to become more financially viable to meet the needs of its expanding community members. To learn how American Exchange improved BLISS Care’s enrollment processes increased revenue and allowed BLISS Cares to expand services, read the case study.