Arizona Nonprofits Cautious About Returning to In-Person Activities

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          Nonprofits across Arizona, still reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, are assessing and implementing strategies about how to resume events, programs, meetings and in-office work. 

            An early fourth-quarter Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits survey to assess current individual behavior and preferences related to attending in-person events, as well as nonprofit organizational behavior and considerations of holding in-person events now and in the near future, generated more than 335 responses from individuals and 311 responses from non-profit. 

            Key findings:

·     63%of individuals are currently comfortable attending in-person events. 

·     Meetings: 47% of responding nonprofits have begun holding board and committee meetings in-person while 8% are still contemplating moving to in-person meetings. 20% of organizations are hosting these meetings in-person only while 80% are hosting these as a hybrid meeting with both in-person and virtual options.  

·     Events: 35% of nonprofits have held in-person events this year, 27% are scheduling or planning in-person events in the near future, while 38% of nonprofits are still contemplating holding in-person events. 59% of events were completely in- person, 45% were a hybrid of in-person and virtual. 

·     The majority of events being held have had less than 100 attendees.

·     Just over 10% of organizations are requiring proof of vaccinations or COVID negative tests.

“Even as the number of COVID-19 cases are declining as more people are vaccinated, there are still some very difficult choices being made about in-person events,” said Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits CEO Kristen Merrifield. “Nonprofits are being very creative in their strategic thinking relating to events, and are also factoring in concerns raised by both employees, sponsors, volunteers and supporters in their decision making. The fact is, these events are critical for nonprofits to generate much-needed funds for their operations and to fulfill their missions.”

Several respondents shared insight into their process and behaviors:

I can provide feedback that our number of new volunteers at each orientation has skyrocketed due to the fact that people have been saying we are one of the only places to volunteer. People are ready to get back to in-person.”
            “ Though my employer is holding in-person events, I would prefer that we do not. In the office we have certain requirements, like masks, which are not required for the events. It is irresponsible and dangerous. And unfair to employees who are seemingly protected in the office but are not afforded those same protections at events they’re required to attend.”

For more information about the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and to view a copy of the findings as reported, visit www.arizonanonprofits.org

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