It has been nine months now since the pandemic began its furious disruption of life in Northern Michigan. With more than 11,000 cases and 196 deaths, the virus has had a palpable impact on the region’s 17 counties. The impact of COVID-19 has received considerable attention, but much of this focus has been on its impact on the for-profit sector.
Yet Michigan’s nonprofits have been disrupted as well, and they are fundamentally important to the quality of life in Michigan. They make our communities a better and more enjoyable place to live (e.g., TART Trails, the State Theatre, and the Old Town Playhouse), but they also provide an important safety net for our most vulnerable residents (e.g., Goodwill Northern Michigan, Safe Harbor, and Manna Food Project). Further, and no less important, Michigan’s 50,000 nonprofits employ 10.6 percent of the state’s nonfarm workforce.