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Statewide COVID-19 survey details the deep and disproportionate impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Texas nonprofits

Texas Nonprofit Leaders' COVID-19 Impact Report Cover


AUSTIN, TEXAS – A statewide survey on the effects of COVID-19 reveals that Texas nonprofits—a sector tied to 1 in 8 jobs in the state— are facing many challenges due to the pandemic, with some Texas nonprofits being hit disproportionately hard.

Key survey findings include:

  • More than half (58%) of organizations have suffered severe reductions or a complete loss of volunteer support—a critical workforce for nonprofit service delivery.
  • The pandemic has also affected the paid workforce of Texas nonprofits, with Black-led organizations experiencing disproportionate human resource impacts.
  • Nonprofits have faced significant changes in revenue because of COVID-19, including declines in individual donations (68.5%) and fee-for-service earnings (68.3%).
  • Texas nonprofits not serving major metropolitan areas were more likely to be experiencing a number of operational challenges, such as the cancellation of major fundraising events (74.3%), disruption of services to their communities (67.6%), and workforce-related challenges (56.9%) than organizations serving the Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth regions.
  • Texas nonprofits (43%) have faced an increased demand for services with organizations serving LGBTQ+ communities (52.2%), communities of color (52.6%), and low income-income households (52.2%) as well as those led by Latinx leaders (53.4%) facing the greatest strain.
  • Black-led nonprofits (50%) are facing the greatest risks to organizational sustainability and longevity—a direct result of funding disparities and inequities.
  • Unfortunately, some nonprofits—especially those serving rural communities—have not had equal access to relief and assistance programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
  • Nonprofits leaders feel the greatest support from their boards of directors (67.6%) but do not feel very supported by corporate partners (19.9%) or elected officials (20.5%).

United Ways of Texas and OneStar Foundation in partnership with the Center for Nonprofits & Philanthropy at the Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government & Public Service released this second statewide survey to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect organizations across the sector.

“All across Texas, nonprofits are providing critical support to those impacted by the pandemic, and at the same time facing unprecedented challenges in sustaining their work. While some issues are being faced consistently across the state, this survey revealed some nonprofits are being hit harder, such as those led by or serving historically underrepresented groups, those serving rural communities, and small organizations with budgets less than $100,000. Now more than ever, we need Texans to come together in support of our nonprofits,” said Chris Bugbee, President and CEO of OneStar Foundation.

In addition to survey results, the report also provides ways that policymakers, philanthropy, and business leaders can ensure all Texas nonprofits have the capacity, resources, and flexibility to best serve their communities now and well beyond COVID-19.

“During times of disaster, Texans look to nonprofits for support, and certainly during this pandemic, we have seen Texans increasing reliance on the state’s nonprofit sector for necessities. This survey demonstrates how Texas nonprofits continue to step up and support Texans in need, even when their own organizations are struggling.” said Adrianna Cuellar Rojas, President and CEO of United Ways of Texas. “We hope these findings encourage policymakers, philanthropy, and business to consider the role they can play in supporting Texas nonprofits to survive the pandemic in order to keep supporting Texans in need.”

Every day, nonprofits touch the lives of all Texans while also playing a vital role in the state’s economy and provision of services. Texas nonprofits continue to meet increasing community needs resulting from COVID-19 while also meeting their missions and driving community impact forward.  Now more than ever, Texas nonprofits need additional support to ensure they can continue providing essential services to communities across the state.

Find the report on the Built for Texas website


United Ways of Texas
As an association of independent United Ways across the state, UWT leads and supports our network toward a vision of being United for a Future where all Texans thrive. To achieve this, UWT strives to build nonprofit organizational capacity and enhance the impact of community-based nonprofits across the state including United Way. This includes nonpartisan advocacy and policy focused on improving the health, education, and financial well-being of individuals and communities. Learn more at

OneStar Foundation
OneStar Foundation was created to support the State of Texas by strengthening the nonprofit sector, encouraging civic engagement through service and volunteering, promoting innovative strategies to address local issues, and facilitating public-private partnerships to expand the reach of the sector. As the Texas State Service Commission, OneStar administers a portfolio of $18.7 million in federal grant funds for AmeriCorps Texas programs. OneStar also has been designated by Texas Governor Greg Abbott to raise and distribute funds to eligible organizations working on the ground to support the economic recovery of Texas communities impacted by COVID-19. Learn more at

Center for Nonprofits and Philanthropy at The Bush School of Government & Public Service
The Center for Nonprofits and Philanthropy (CNP) supports a vibrant nonprofit and philanthropic center in Texas and beyond through high-quality research, professional outreach, and engaged learning. Center outreach activities support the effective management of nonprofit organizations by bringing the most relevant research and scholarship to nonprofit professionals through workshops, seminars, and conferences. Our courses balance practical skills preparation and challenging curriculum with supportive faculty. The CNP team, including Dr. Will Brown, director, and Nicole Collier, research associate, engages in cutting-edge research covering a range of topics and informs our understanding of nonprofits and philanthropy, including work on the previous
Built for Texas report.

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