Letter to the editor of Financial Post, Ottawa Citizen
Letter to the editor:
Re: Charities hoarded cash and failed to address crises during COVID: Report (Headline)
Publication date: August 6, 2021
The narrow analysis described in the article paints a misleading picture about COVID-19 and Canadian nonprofits and charities. Using cash position at a specific moment in time as the sole lens of financial health is problematic. We wouldn’t look exclusively at sales figures to determine the value or profitability of a company- and certainly not in a pandemic. As organizations are struggling to meet rising demand for services, they may have received support from donors, foundations or government that will be spent as in-person programming ramps back up. It will take a year or more from now to see a complete picture.
Secondly, to suggest that charities are not innovating is inaccurate. According to recent data from Imagine Canada, almost 80 per cent of organizations have increased innovation and experimentation during the pandemic in order to adapt their services and programs. Close to 70 per cent prioritized supporting immediate challenges due to the pandemic over work that builds their long-term capacity.
There are many remarkable stories of what organizations have been doing to serve communities in the transition from crisis to recovery. The pandemic is not over, and our economic future is still uncertain. However, our sector will continue the vital work we do to ensure our communities are great places to work, live, and play.
Bruce MacDonald, President & CEO, Imagine Canada, 65 St Clair Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, ON M4T 2Y3
Cathy Taylor, Executive Director, Ontario Nonprofit Network, Suite 300, 2 St Clair Avenue East, Toronto, ON M4T 2T5
Read Imagine Canada's Sector Monitor reports tracking the impact of the COVID-19 crises on Canadian charities:
- "New study shows recovery will be challenging for some Canadian charities" - August 2021
- "Ongoing impacts of the covid-19 crisis on the charitable sector" - February 2021
- "Charities & the COVID-19 Pandemic" - May 2020
and the Ontario Nonprofit Network's survey in collaboration with l’Assemblée de la Francophonie de l’Ontario:
- "COVID-19: State of the sector one year later" - July 2021