Charities in 2021 faced wild ride as COVID pandemic tested limits

Charities in 2021 faced wild ride as COVID pandemic tested limits

At United Against Poverty Orlando — where 400 people a day turn for food, rental aid, job training and other help — Executive Director Nancy Robbinson describes a sort of financial whiplash.

“If you were in a social-service type program like ours where you’re helping people, 2020 was a crazy year. I really think people were sitting at home, afraid, unable to go out and do things, and they just wanted to do something to help,” she said. “So they took the money that they would normally spend on vacations and gave it to nonprofits. People were so incredibly generous.”

But 2021, she said, has been another story.

“I think early in the year people thought, ‘Oh, everything’s back to normal,’ and they spent that money on vacations or home improvements or buying whatever. … We’ll make it this year only by the skin of our teeth.”

Specifically, the would-be deficit is being covered by two government grants — from the city of Orlando and Orange County — and two donors whose hefty stock market gains led them to double and even quadruple their usual yearly contributions. Together, those four checks amounted to over $500,000, just under a third of UP Orlando’s annual budget.

DEC 30, 2021  5:35 PM
Please click here, to access the full article.