186 Nonprofits Shuttered Statewide As COVID-19 Crisis Squeezes Minnesota
Nonprofits across Minnesota are shuttering at an alarming pace due to the COVID-19 crisis.
In the 12-month period between April 2020 and March 2021, 186 nonprofits in Minnesota filed paperwork with the Attorney General’s Office indicating their “Intent to Disband,” while countless others, while technically surviving, slashed their services to nearly nothing.
“We are seeing the shaking out of the smaller organizations,” Troy Linck, marketing manager for the arts advocacy group COMPAS in St. Paul, recently told the Pioneer Press. “We are at a crossroads.”
As of May 2020, the state boasted more than 9,000 nonprofits, but the ‘catastrophic’ losses across the sector have continued for more than a year. And a false sense of hope about the supposed end of the pandemic is further hindering organizations’ continued ability to fundraise.
“We might end up this year in a worse financial position than we ended in 2020,” Karen Kleinhans, CEO of Community Dental Care, told KAAL-TV. According to Kleinhans, Community Dental Care in Rochester has furloughed 95% of its staff to cut costs.
Some Minnesota nonprofits have reported record fundraising efforts despite the ongoing pandemic. The Channel One Regional Food Bank in Rochester collected $4.5 million in cash contributions in 2020 — one of the largest totals in its 41-year history.
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“It was amazing to see the sheer amount of people that helped us,” Jessica Sund, the organization’s Director of Development and Communications, recently told Med City Beat. “The response was insane. We got an incredible amount of donations from the community, then with CARES [Act] funding and local grants, the deficit went away just like that.”
A new survey released by CAF America found that less than 2 in 3 nonprofits are certain they can survive another 12 months, but Minnesota’s nonprofit leaders remain optimistic:
“We were nervous. We were nervous as nonprofits. What would it look like when we got to the end of this year?” Jennifer Woodford, President of the Rochester Area Foundation, told KAAL-TV. “Would we be able to survive financially? Would the donations dry up? And the answer was no.”
Donations can be made year-round to hundreds of Minnesota’s nonprofits through the GiveMN.org portal.