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The Implications of COVID-19 for Emerging Leaders in the Nonprofit Sector

Mary Cancellieri
Mary Cancellieri
Faculty Advisor(s)

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in drastic changes related to how nonprofits operate. Leaders have had to navigate reorganizing programs and resources. According to the Independent Sector, almost a million nonprofit jobs have been lost, and it is estimated that seven percent of nonprofits have or will close down because of the pandemic (October 2020 Report). Yet, issues surrounding inequality, health and livelihood, climate collapse, population and migration, extremism, war, and corruption have become more evident and even more crucial for nonprofit organizations to address. Now that the initial disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic is subsiding and more information about the last year is being revealed, this is the time to reflect and think about the future of the nonprofit sector. How did nonprofit organizations navigate the uncertainty of the last year? What can emerging nonprofit leaders, fundraisers, planners, and evaluators learn from this experience? This study explores these questions and seeks to  contribute to the conversation of how nonprofits will operate after this pandemic in an ever-changing environment. 

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Mary Cancellieri is a senior from Huntersville, North Carolina pursuing her degree in Nonprofit Management and Community Leadership with a concentration in Fundraising & Resource Development and a minor in Professional Writing. During her time at Salem College, Mary has collaborated with nonprofit organizations such as HandsOn NWNC, Healing Transitions, and LoveOutLoud to explore best and next practices in volunteer management, evaluation, and leadership. She has currently volunteered over 120 hours as a writing consultant at the Salem College Writing Center, and will continue to volunteer until she graduates in December of this year. Post-graduation, she plans to enter the workforce in North Carolina and offer her skills as a grant proposal writer.


I am so pleased that you are tackling this topic--it has been on many of our minds over the past year. I appreciate your multidisciplinary approach to this issue.

Submitted by Paula_Young on Tue, 04/13/2021 - 20:20 Permalink

Really great job, Mary! Such important work, and I am so glad you are invested in it.

Submitted by Amy Rio on Thu, 04/15/2021 - 18:21 Permalink