Discovering What Our Community Needs

Back in March, our quick survey of our schools, synagogues and partner organizations helped us identify their most urgent human and operational needs. After analyzing the data, Federation was able to prioritize a response and quickly direct dollars from the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. We provided substantial emergency financial assistance, food assistance, counseling, access to PPE and Covid testing, and other emergency services. We know it helped.

Now, nearly six months later, we wanted to learn how our organizations were doing — about COVID-19’s fiscal impact, impact on workforce, service challenges, technology needs, and anticipated scholarship needs. We received responses from 105 organizations, a 63 percent response rate. Here’s what we learned.

Many challenges remain for our partner organizations:

  • Fundraising, employee wellness, and morale are most named as “pain points”
  • 20% have had layoffs, only 9% anticipate future layoffs
  • 65% are in discussions about cutting back on programs or have already scaled them back.
  • 54% ended or predict ending FY20 with a deficit

And there are also some bright spots:

  • New partnerships have formed – Jewish Home Life and our Day Schools; Repair the World Atlanta and The Breman Museum; Jewish Grandparents Network and Blue Dove Foundation.
  • We are reaching new populations – single parents, essential workers, and some organizations are even reaching outside metro Atlanta to help.
  • Seventy one percent of our organizations received PPP assistance and the COVID-19 Emergency grants , which minimized the immediate impact on our organizations, but we are paying close attention as we look out at the next 12-18 months.