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COVID-19 and the Charitable Sector

Women with mask
Knowledge and Resources for Charities and Nonprofit Organizations During COVID-19

Insights and resources to help navigate the pandemic and the expected economic downturn. Find out how Canadian charities are responding to COVID-19 and how  to meet the needs of your nonprofit organization. 

Latest News & Insights
Headline news and our latest insights on the impact of COVID-19 on the charitable sector.

The Imagine Canada Sector Monitor: Charities & the COVID-19 Pandemic details the experiences of charities since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the impact of physical distancing, mandatory closure of non-essential businesses, and myriad other changes to the operating environment.  

Download the Sector Monitor to understand:

  • The impact of the pandemic on the financial health of  charitable organizations, and the size of these shifts in comparison to the 2008/2009 economic downturn;
  • Changes in the demand for charitable services and associated effects on organizational capacities to respond to COVID-19; 
  • The types of organizations and income streams most impacted by the pandemic; and,
  • The extent and the kinds of innovation being used by charities to adapt to systemic changes.
COVID-19 threatens to devastate Canada’s charities

Charities face billions in lost revenue, drastic service disruption to essential community services and massive layoffs disproportionally impacting women. A worst-case scenario involving six months of enforced isolation, and the more severe economic downturn that would result, means the sector is projected to lose $15.6 billion in revenue and about 194,000 employees.


COVID-19 has impacted charities across the country as they try to pursue their missions amidst dual health and economic crises. Our research shows that 42% of charities have created new programs and 54% have transitioned in-person programs online since the beginning of the pandemic.

Federal Government Resources
Relief measures made available to Canadian nonprofit organizations.
Changes to the CEWS

Changes have been made to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to broaden the reach of the program and make it easier for eligible employers, including charities and nonprofits, to access much-needed support during this time of crisis. The following are some significant changes that were made to the CEWS in July, which are effective as of July 5, 2020

Federal Government
Relief measures for the sector

The sector has been advocating for relief measures to help charities and nonprofits weather COVID-19, and we're starting to see results. We've created a summary of Federal Government COVID-19 programs that apply to the sector, and will regularly update it as more programs are announced.

Early Alert
The Latest Government Updates

Each week, we're curating parliamentary updates and sector advocacy news that affects the sector, including government announcements related to COVID-19 economic relief for charities and nonprofit organizations, and any new data, reports, and stories that keep you informed as the crisis unfolds.

Fundraising Resources
To navigate the changing landscape, resources to help in your fundraising and donor relations.
Events, Guides, and Article for Fundraisers

Our team has compiled an evolving and comprehensive list of articles, resources, upcoming digital events, and guides to assist fundraisers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Grantseeker Monthly
Practical tools and advice for every fundraiser

Each issue includes learning opportunities and resources, as well as grants and job opportunities. Stay up to date with the latest trends, tips, and stories to fuel your fundraising success at every stage. Join the mailing list now!

Collective action in the nonprofit sector is more important than ever

We need your help to ensure the sector emerges strong from the COVID-19 crisis. By becoming an Imagine Canada supporter, your donation of $15/month would help to strengthen our advocacy and research efforts, helping us to raise our voice for the sector. We're currently focused on fighting for significant funding to be made available to charities—many of which are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 outbreak—to avoid a financial crisis that would jeopardize the charitable and nonprofit sector in Canada. Your support today will allow us to increase our advocacy efforts to ensure that our sector can continue to serve the people and communities you care about most.