Nonprofits in rural areas suffer during coronavirus quarantine

Duluth News Tribune report on the impact of the coronavirus quarantine on nonprofits…

Kate Barr is the president of Propel Nonprofits, which serves organizations in Minnesota and surrounding states. She described this past month like weathering a storm.

“There’s a shared experience of this kind of fast-paced change; it’s just like standing on a beach and waves are hitting and hitting and hitting. And so leaders of nonprofits are frankly having to react to those waves as they hit,” she said.

Recognizing that it’s even tougher on nonprofits in rural Minnesota…

Barr pointed out that nonprofits in rural areas often face additional technological and communications challenges in serving clients spread over a large geographic area.

While fundraising events are canceled, Barr said the need for some nonprofits’ services are increasing. Food shelves remain open and busy. Mental health and counseling services have shifted to telehealth, which cuts down on travel in rural areas but requires reliable home broadband access.

As for museums and groups focused on the arts and education, some have gone dark for now, or have postponed their season openings. Many have gone digital as they try to chart a new course.

The article offers no solutions, just a hint of hope…

“The people that we work with in the arts world, they’re the creatives — and if anybody can come up with ways to adapt (it’s them). I have great faith that they’re going to respond.”

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