The whispered question continues: How many nonprofits will shut their doors because of the COVID-19 crisis? In July, we released an analysis that attempts to offer an answer to that question at the national level in the United States.
Of course, we can’t predict the future. Instead, we ran a set of 20 distinct scenarios to understand a range of possible outcomes. We’ve been gratified to see that analysis cited throughout the media and the nonprofit community. But we also recognize that national data is only of use in general terms. Most nonprofit activity is rooted in place: actual people in actual communities.
Accordingly, my colleagues Carol Brouwer and Anna Koob have re-run our analysis at the state level. This new data offers a sense of the geographic distribution of economic fragility across the nonprofit economy.
Our analysis indicates the District of Columbia is poised to lose the most nonprofits per person and Utah the fewest. The following table ranks all 50 states plus D.C. from greatest to least per capita closure. The highlighted column indicates an average across scenarios of how many nonprofits would go out of business because of the current crisis. This list is based on the same methodology we used for our national analysis.
For readers who want a closer look at the data, we have also prepared a spreadsheet with all 20 scenarios for each state and D.C. This file includes the most dire and most optimistic scenario by state as well as the number of nonprofits we analyzed in that state.
|State||Rank in per capita closure||Baseline (median)||# of nonprofits closing (median scenario)||Additional nonprofits lost because of crisis (net median)|
|District of Columbia||1||265||473||208|
It is not unusual for nonprofits to close their doors. The pandemic may add thousands of organizations to that turnover. Just how much remains to be seen. Viewing the data at the state level helps us begin to understand the consequences of nonprofit closures in communities across the country.
Notes on methodology: The full methodology can be found in the original post. Some 950 of the nonprofits in our original set are located in U.S. territories. We included them in our national analysis but not here.