Short-Run Effects of Covid-19 on the Nonprofit Sector

50 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2023

See all articles by Stephanie Karol

Stephanie Karol

University of Michigan

Jennifer Mayo

University of Missouri


This paper studies the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the U.S. nonprofit sector. Using a difference-in-differences framework, we leverage variation in the timing of charities’ fiscal years, finding that government intervention helped keep charities afloat during the pandemic. On average, government grants rose by $975,000, while private contributions fell by $380,000. Despite the net increase in their contributions, charities exposed to the pandemic lost employees and made fewer program expenditures than non-exposed charities. However, charities which had Paycheck Protection Program loans approved during the first year of the pandemic fared better than eligible charities without approved PPP loans.

Keywords: Nonprofit sector, COVID-19, Paycheck Protection Program, fiscal policy

Suggested Citation

Karol, Stephanie and Mayo, Jennifer, Short-Run Effects of Covid-19 on the Nonprofit Sector. Available at SSRN: or

Stephanie Karol

University of Michigan ( email )

Jennifer Mayo (Contact Author)

University of Missouri ( email )


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