Bouncing Back will Require Nonprofits to be a Big Part of the Plan

by Marnie Taylor, president and CEO, OKCNP

As businesses, industries and economies start to re-ignite in Oklahoma, there will be a significant need for nonprofit services that will continue long after the economy gets back up to speed. With short-term record unemployment numbers, many families will still need everything from food assistance to help with housing, employment placement and services for children.

 Our nonprofits never truly closed. As we have said before, it became business as modified versus business as usual. More importantly, the needs never diminished. Instead they have increased, and they have increased as charitable donations have tightened. As we all return to offices and facilities, we will need for Oklahomans to continue to dig deep to help our nonprofits have the capacity to serve this incredible need.

 While much of our state’s economic health is measured by corporate outputs, manufacturing, production and gross product, the nonprofit sector is sometimes left out of that important equation. Our economy not only affects the charitable sector, but the health of nonprofits and philanthropy is a huge determinant on social well-being as well as the economy. Almost every person involved in a bounce back of our state’s economy will be touched in some way by our charitable sector. Without education, we won’t have the workforce available to our businesses. Without healthcare, we become sick. Without safety-net services, our citizens fall through the cracks. We need all sectors to be operating at full capacity to bring our economy back to a thriving state.

 Right now, nonprofits are determining how to do business safely and efficiently. However, the price tag for doing business as charities – just like our for-profit companies – has increased significantly, particularly with the increased expenses of sanitation, personal protective equipment and other safeguards for doing business. For the first time, hand sanitizer, masks and disinfecting wipes must be a conversation for finance committees.

 The great thing about Oklahoma is that we take care of one another. Oklahomans will frequent our local businesses. We will support our large corporations and industries. My hope is that Oklahomans will also support our vast array of local charities. For the state to truly bounce back and become even more resilient, our nonprofits should be front of mind for our citizens wishing to support the many missions of their choice.

 

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