Nonprofits in the Troy community are feeling the continued pressure of the poor economy, lack of volunteers and supply chain issues caused by COVID-19. The annual Taste of Troy fundraiser, pictured here in 2019, was canceled this year for such reasons.

Nonprofits in the Troy community are feeling the continued pressure of the poor economy, lack of volunteers and supply chain issues caused by COVID-19. The annual Taste of Troy fundraiser, pictured here in 2019, was canceled this year for such reasons.

Photo provided by Cindy Stewart


Nonprofits see difficulties due to economic, supply chain issues

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published December 21, 2021

Photo provided by Cindy Stewart

Photo provided by Cindy Stewart

Advertisement

TROY — With a long backlog of materials that weren’t able to be properly shipped due to COVID-19 and other resources not being as available during the pandemic, economic woes and supply chain issues are common throughout the country.

While this is hitting some businesses hard, nonprofit organizations also are seeing issues for the same reasons, including groups based in and operating in Troy.

Ridgedale Players board President Sandra Deering said nonprofits all over the community are feeling the pinch and having to confront a lack of resources or slow delivery times.

“I think we’ve definitely had supply chain issues,” she said. “We got a grant last year that we used to upgrade our soundboard and lighting, and there was a long delay in getting the materials delivered. We needed a converter, for instance, and that took four months to get.”

Other nonprofits also have had to watch their budgets closely, since there is less money coming in and more people asking for help.

“We’re seeing those problems,” said Karen Greenwood, the board chair of the Troy Community Foundation. “We are so small since, when COVID started in May of 2020, one of the things we did was buckle down on our costs. We only have two employees and got rid of our offices. We are relying on our volunteers. Even then we had to cut down on our expenses because people aren’t able to give as much.”

Greenwood added that she has seen the staffing issues affect the Troy community far beyond her own organization.

“The nonprofits we work with, like the library and nature center, I know are all having employee issues,” she said. “The nature center hasn’t been able to do a lot of programming because they lost revenue and haven’t been able to bring their full staff back.”

Deering said that the lack of volunteers is likely caused by many people not having the time or resources to volunteer because of economic concerns.

“We have less volunteers since people are so unsure of how stable their finances are right now,” she said. “A lot of people are working second jobs or taking extra shifts to cover money they weren’t getting before because the economy is still struggling, so they don’t have as much time to volunteer their time at organizations like ours.”

COVID-19 made fundraising for the nonprofits difficult, a matter that is still being felt now.

“We also saw a lack of corporate sponsors,” Greenwood said. “On Troy Family Daze, there were a lot of businesses that wanted to hold off on sponsoring because they were still uncertain about their own fiscal position. It’s not so much a problem with resources as it is a problem with money and fundraising.”

The Ridgedale Players have experienced an extra difficulty, since they also have to rely on members of the public to be willing to go out and attend their shows.

“We had lower attendance at our golf outing in May because of COVID,” said Deering. “Participation was about 50% of what it usually is. So, we weren’t able to fundraise the way we usually do. Ticket sales also have been impacted for similar reasons. It’s very touch and go right now.”

Deering said the supply chain issues can be partially alleviated by buying local and not relying on interstate or international shipping, but many local businesses are seeing problems on their end as well.

“Buying local has helped, since you don’t have to wait for things to be delivered, but some local businesses are having problems of their own getting the materials they need delivered,” she remarked. “Delivery and availability is tough for everybody right now.”

Despite the lingering issues, Greenwood said she thinks things will soon be looking up.

“I’m actually optimistic, because we are still able to do great things,” she said. “I still see people wanting to spend money locally. We are hearing good responses for next year, so, hopefully, as things are getting better nonprofits will be bouncing back as well. People are still nervous about this new variant, but we are seeing prices stabilizing, and economists say this isn’t going to last forever. 2021 was better than 2020, and, hopefully, 2022 will be better than 2021.”

Advertisement