Op-Ed: Coronavirus impact devastating for non-profits

By Maria Pierson, CEO

If you are like most people, COVID-19 likely has your head spinning. Companies and organizations are concerned not only from a health care standpoint but also from an economic one.

Maria Pierson, CEO

Non-profit organizations are particularly vulnerable. Many are scrambling to cancel or postpone major fundraisers and high-profile events in the short term and have the added responsibility of trying to determine what to do about events one or two months now. That means they will face, in some cases, a major budget deficit. Or worse, they lose money on an event that was canceled too late and the venue is still charging them for food that’s been ordered or additional rentals that were brought in.

Then there are the facilities that are temporarily closing as a precautionary measure, thereby affecting ticket sales and admissions.

Non-profits fill a vital need in our community. The impact of COVID-19 could be devastating to them.

That’s why, as a community, it is up to all of us to ask how we can help.

Here’s what you can do:

Donate: Think of this as another Giving Tuesday. Even a small donation adds up to a big difference. There are kids, teens, students, the elderly and the underserved who depend on these services and programs from non-profits. Not to mention the added costs they have in precautionary and preventative disinfecting and cleaning of facilities. The trickledown effect is real.

Join a Board: You can also lend your help and expertise by joining the board of directors of a non-profit. Find a cause you believe in or an organization that you’ve been involved with in the past and take your commitment to the next level. Your expertise is valuable.

Attend Events: When events are scheduled or rescheduled, attend them. Buy tickets. Encourage your friends and colleagues to buy tickets. Become a sponsor – either with a cash or in-kind donation. Bid on auction items. Promote the event through your social media properties and send emails about the events to your contact list.

Go VisitGo to museums, take in a show, attend lectures and workshops. If there’s a gift shop, buy a birthday, anniversary or so-glad-it’s-over-gift. Your presence and your purchases will be appreciated.

We have always been a caring community. Now is the time for all of us to step and help our non-profit partners.

Maria Pierson is CEO of Pierson Grant, a public relations, marketing and social media agency in Fort Lauderdale that works with several non-profit organizations.

* Published in South Florida Sun Sentinel Opinion: https://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/commentary/fl-op-com-pierson-non-profits-coronavirus-impact-20200316-nooxxcajazc7nnm3haotlhrzd4-story.html