Struggles continue for Colorado nonprofits navigating the pandemic

Sep 20, 2021

Nonprofit CEOs to meet for roundtable discussion

DENVER — Nonprofits play a vital role in building strong communities. Colorado has more than 20,000 in the state.

A recent study by the Center of Disaster Philanthropy found a prolonged recession could result in the closure of 38% of nonprofits in the United States. Other reports indicate a majority of nonprofits say they have, at the minimum, struggled through the pandemic.

“Business and community are important to make Colorado strong, especially coming out of a pandemic,” said President of the Colorado Business Roundtable Debbie Brown. “Profits and purpose go hand in hand.”

COBRT is set to have its annual View From The Top event at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, which happens to be a nonprofit organization itself. Leading nonprofit CEOs will meet to have an in-depth conversation on managing through crisis and the vital connection between business and nonprofit communities.

“I think the intent of the event is to show that nonprofits are really just businesses that don’t pay taxes,” said DMNS President and CEO George Sparks. “Everything else is the same with nonprofits. We have strategic plans, visitors. We have major accounts.”

Despite the obvious struggles, generosity has outplayed the pandemic in some cases.

“I’ve been simply thrilled and awed by the generosity of our donors,” Sparks explained. “They really helped us get through this past year and a half.”

Obstacles remain for many of the thousands of nonprofits in Colorado.

“We’re in this together,” Brown said.

Sparks has a message for his fellow nonprofit leaders too.

“Hold your heads high. We’ve done some amazing work during this COVID experience,” he said. “I think we can continue to do that. Hopefully we can emotionally lead the citizens of Colorado out of this pandemic.”

According to our partners at the Denver Post, the nonprofit sector employs about 14% of the U.S. workforce. Nearly half of them work for nonprofit hospitals and universities.

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