Skip to content

A New World

CV-Landing page - April

As the coronavirus upends every aspect of life, America has never needed nonprofits and foundations more.

Across the country, organizations are rising to the challenge with breathless speed, reimagining how they operate so they can protect their workers, clients, volunteers, and others who depend on them. Grant makers have joined forces to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into response efforts and to cut red tape and restrictions on grants made when the world was radically different.

But as the deadly disease ripples through communities nationwide, sending the economy into a tailspin and perhaps forcing extended periods when we must stay physically apart, it’s not clear that all nonprofits will survive. All but the ultrawealthy may soon be too financially strapped to keep giving generously. And the volunteers who power so many organizations might disappear for good after a prolonged ban on helping others in person. Still, even those facing tremendous stress are determined to keep fighting. As Amy Thomas, managing director of a St. Paul, Minn., theater that focuses on the experiences of African Americans, told us, “We are adept at facing the unknown — literally, the blank canvas, the empty stage — and improvising when and where we need to.”

In the following articles, we explore the key changes you can expect as society counts on the professionals who dedicate themselves to advancing the common good. Here’s what is coming.

A version of this article appeared in the April 1, 2020 issue.