702 Nonprofit Professionals Tell Us How COVID-19 Is Affecting Nonprofit Events

KindfulMarch 23, 2020


We recently surveyed 702 nonprofit professionals to find out how the COVID-19 outbreak was affecting their events and fundraising efforts. We’ve highlighted some of the most interesting findings below. We’ve also provided you with resources in case you find yourself in a similar situation.

How The Coronavirus Is Affecting Nonprofit Event Plans

Nonprofit professionals are having to rethink events in a time of social distancing.

  • 87.6% respondents said they had planned to host an event in the next 3-4 months.
  • infographic 97% of nonprofit professionals reconsidered their event plans because of the coronavirus

  • Of the 615 who had planned to host an event:
    • 97.1% of respondents indicated that COVID-19 caused them to change or reconsider their event plans.
    • 68.1% had already canceled the event or were planning to cancel
    • 28.9% were still evaluating their plans
    • 2.9% were planning to move forward with their event without change

infographic 68% of nonprofit professional already canceled or were planning to cancel their event because of the coronavirus

How Nonprofits Are Changing Event Plans Because of COVID-19

Not every nonprofit professional has a plan to move forward after canceling an event.

  • Of the 419 who had canceled the event or were planning to cancel:
    • Only 50.6% had an alternative plan to raise funds in lieu of their event.
    • That means 49.4% did not have an alternative fundraising plan.

infographic 50% of nonprofit professionals did not have an alternative plan to their in-person event
Those nonprofit professionals who did have a plan were focusing their attention on virtual events and peer-to-peer campaigns.

  • Of the 212 who did have a plan:
    • 43.4% were planning to do a virtual event instead
    • 22.6% were planning to do a peer-to-peer campaign instead
    • 34.0% had some other plan in mind to raise funds in lieu of their event

Nonprofit Fundraising Alternatives To In-Person Events

And finally, some nonprofits were making other plans that did not include peer-to-peer campaigns or virtual events.

  • Of the 72 who were planning to do something other than a virtual event or peer-to-peer campaign:
    • 44.4% were planning to reschedule/postpone their event.
    • 31.9% were planning to do a direct appeal to raise funds in lieu of their event.
      • 39.1% of these planned to do a direct mail appeal
      • 13.0% of these planned to do an online or social media appeal
      • 4.3% of these planned to do an email appeal
      • 4.3% of these planned to do a radio appeal
    • 9.7% were planning to do a campaign other than a peer-to-peer campaign.
    • 17.4% were planning to apply for grants.

infographic fundraising alternatives to in-person events: virtual events, peer-to-peer campaigns, reschedule in-person event, other appeal/campaign, apply for grants

Event Resources For Nonprofits During The COVID-19 Outbreak

Fundraising: Wondering how to fundraise now that you won’t be able to connect with your donors in person? Watch this recording of a panel discussion we hosted called How To Fundraise During The Coronavirus Outbreak.

Peer-To-Peer And Virtual Events: Check out our peer-to-peer ebook on how to plan, promote, and execute your best peer-to-peer campaign. Nonprofit consultant Sandy Rees also shared some tips and ideas for nonprofits looking to make alternative arrangements for their fundraising events.

Communicating With Donors: No matter how you plan to move forward in the future, you’ll want to communicate effectively with your donors and supporters. Check out our recent post on How Your Nonprofit Can Communicate With Your Audience During The Coronavirus Outbreak. We’ve even included email examples there so you can see what other nonprofits and businesses are doing.

Infographic: To see a summary on how nonprofit events are being affected by the coronavirus outbreak, download our infographic.

For more COVID-19 resources on fundraising, events, communication, and more, check out our updated Coronavirus Resource Center.

Go To Coronavirus Resource Center »


Schedule a live demo with our partner Bloomerang, and we’ll show you how easy it is to create and automate reports, utilize online and offline fundraising tools, quickly integrate and access all your data, and ultimately create more time to engage your donors.

Filed Under:   Events