Nonprofit Job Loss Climbing Amid The COVID-19 Pandemic


Monday, March 15th 2021, 5:03 am
By: Jordan Dafnis


The pandemic has impacted the lives of all Oklahomans and many people have needed extra help.

Nonprofits have stepped in, but many of those businesses took a hit as well and more than one million people in the nonprofit sector lost their jobs.

What people may not realize is nonprofits employ a lot of people.

According to John Hopkins Center For Civil Sciences Studies, nonprofits are actually the third-largest employer in the United States. So when they are suffering it means a lot of people in our community suffer, not just because those organizations can’t help or produce, but they also can’t maintain their employees.

Marnie Taylor, President and CEO for the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits says, “People think of us as oh those charities, and oh those little things but we are huge employers, so when you lose 8% of a sector that was 10% of the workforce it has a large effect on the workforce.”

Taylor says the arts industry has taken a major hit.

“The largest group is in the arts. Around 37, 38% almost 40% of nonprofit arts people lost their jobs,” she says.

These jobs require advanced degrees and advanced training and certifications to do the work necessary to meet community needs. 

The good news is these nonprofits had access to PPP loans in two rounds. The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits estimates nonprofits in the state received more than $150 million in PPP last year and expect a similar amount in 2021.

 But there are so many nonprofits that still need support as we head into summer. Oklahomans can help out these organizations by continuing to be generous.

 Volunteering is great especially once more people are vaccinated and there are more opportunities. However, monetary donations are essential to get the nonprofit workforce back in action, providing necessary services as well as things like the arts and different events.

 “I hate to say it but it is financial, it is money. Eventually, we will get back to where volunteers will be able to get back. You know they say, It shifts a little bit, but they value it at almost $28 an hour,” says Taylor.

Times are still difficult for many, but even if you can’t make a huge donation Taylor says every little bit helps.

“If everybody did what they could and if everyone thought about where their needs were... You know sometimes your passion lines up with the needs,” she says.

If you are looking for an organization to give to or volunteer with, you can easily do some research on the Givesmart OKC.