One of South Africa’s largest but least-acknowledged sectors stands to be hard hit in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and impact of the protracted lockdown.

The estimated 230,000 registered not-for-profit organisations (NPOs) that provide a wide range of services to marginalised communities and employ about 800,000 people are expecting, and are in some cases already experiencing, cutbacks in donations and other sources of income such as fees for implementing government programmes and corporate social investment (CSI) projects.

“We are in serious danger of losing many NPOs and the immense value of the support they provide to our poorest communities,” says veteran social activist Shelagh Gastrow who provides advisory services to NPOs and philanthropic foundations that donate funding to many of them.

NPOs now face serious challenges on all their funding fronts. These include:

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