We’ve all heard about the need to support small businesses, especially as coronavirus rages on.
But nonprofits have been often overlooked during this crisis.
“In most disasters — financial or otherwise — volunteers play a core role in response and
recovery,” Irv Cohen, chair of Social Venture Partners Tampa Bay said in an email. “But COVID-19 has been a triple-whammy on the social sector — disrupting event fundraising, hitting mission delivery revenue models and the kicker, it’s not safe for volunteers to engage the way they normally do to help a nonprofit deliver on its mission.”
Social Venture Partners, a national organization that connects nonprofits with business professionals to further development, opened its Tampa Bay office in 2014. This month, SVP created a website to show just how hard hit local nonprofits have been.
“I think they are probably getting lost in the shuffle and they all have increased needs,” Keera McGraw, marketing coordinator at SVP Tampa Bay, said in an interview with Tampa Bay Inno. “There are a lot of nonprofits that aren’t as visible (as large nonprofit organizations) and they have seen their needs quadruple. Losing volunteers, in-person events that would normally raise $20-30,000. I don’t think they are seen right now. Our hope is to make it visible in one place.”
According to the site, the total Tampa Bay impact clocks in at more than $10.2 million, with $9.3 million of that total coming from financial loss. Volunteers have lost a total of 36,000 hours.
McGraw is hopeful the website will be useful during the crisis and beyond.
“As the crisis ends, we thought the data would be good to use for recovery efforts,” she said. “You look at the site it shows over $10 million lost — being able to see that and use it for recovery efforts, and gauge what they’ve lost, helps the community, foundations and donors gauge how they can assist in recovery.”
The website, however, also serves to showcase opportunities still available within the region’s nonprofits, whether that be volunteering or bringing attention to nonprofits’ stories.
“Beyond connecting volunteers and community members with nonprofits affected, the project will also engage the expertise and financial support of not just the members of Social Venture Partners, but also key leaders in Tampa Bay’s nonprofit community, in addressing the needs that are discovered through the CARES program,” Cohen said.
This is the first Social Venture Partners branch to launch the website beyond its origin site in Cincinnati. There are plans to launch in at least a dozen other locations in the near future.
“I love watching them adapt to it,” McGraw said. “The nonprofit community is innovative. but not always the fastest changing. So, it’s awesome to see them adapting and changing so quickly.”
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