Survey: The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on SF Bay Area LGBTQ Organizations

The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout have presented sudden and significant challenges in diverse sectors across the country, including Horizons’ own community. To identify the specific effects of the pandemic on nonprofits, Horizons distributed a survey to a sample of organizations on its mailing list in October 2020. We conducted a preliminary analysis of a subset of respondents that included only Bay Area LGBTQ organizations, 61 of which took the survey. Additional analysis is forthcoming in 2021.

The takeaway is clear. 

Bay Area LGBTQ organizations have been significantly impacted by the pandemic. Individual and institutional donors alike must step up their support, especially for smaller-budget organizations and those focused on people on color (POC), to fill gaps in revenue resulting from the pandemic.

The pandemic and resulting recession have led to programmatic cuts, even as demand for services has risen, especially among LGBTQ POC organizations.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than half of LGBTQ orgs (52%) have needed to reduce programs already, with an additional 18% reporting it as a possibility in the next year. At the same time, 39% report an increase in demand for services, which rises to 58% among LGBTQ POC organizations.

Has your organization needed to make programmatic cuts, or do you plan to?

how Has demand for your organization’s services changed?

LGBTQ nonprofits, especially smaller-budget ones, have been hit hard by falling revenue.

The impact on revenue from individual donors has been mixed, with smaller-budget organizations more frequently seeing declines.

58% of organizations report a decrease in revenue from individuals, while 21% have seen an increase. Organizations with budgets under $250,000 report decreases more than organizations with budgets over $1 million.

How has revenue from individuals changed?

Although far from every organization has benefited, many have received key support during this time from foundations and/or the government.

The majority of organizations received some sort of COVID-specific funding from foundations and/or the government: 62% received a grant from Horizons; 42%, another foundation; 29%, the city/county; 14%, the state; and 51%, the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Did your organization receive support from foundations or the government?

Access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has not been equal.

While all organizations with budgets over $1 million received a PPP loan, only 19% of organizations with budgets under $250,000 received one.

Did your organization receive a PPP loan?