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  • Writer's pictureHayley Studer

Assisting Nonprofits During COVID-19 Using Furloughed Employees

I was talking to a friend today who is employed by a nonprofit I support and I asked about the impact COVID-19 was having on their organization. They are heavily reliant on volunteer groups for one of their programs and unfortunately, many of the groups (including mine) had to cancel or reschedule due to the travel and gathering restrictions.

That conversation got me thinking about the long-term effects for both their organization and the surrounding community due to the reduced volunteers. I quickly Googled “the impact of COVID-19 on Nonprofits” and not surprisingly, saw several articles about nonprofits going from focusing on sustainability to survivability. The article that impacted me the most was CNN’s opinion piece by John MacIntosh, Managing Partner of SeaChange Capital Partners. John ended his article discussing the importance of the nonprofit work, especially as we rebuild post-COVID-19, and challenged us to be better prepared in the future.

So, what does that mean in the context of furloughed employees, social determinants of health, corporations, and nonprofits? It comes back to why I started achi – to connect various business sectors to solve problems. Right now we have health systems and corporations needing to furlough employees to reduce expenses, and we have local nonprofits in need of volunteers to help continue their vital services in the community. The key is connecting the two and preparing both for a better future.

There is a three-way benefit to this approach. First, a furloughed employee may now have something purposeful to do and can continue to feel like they are contributing to the greater good. The health system, if a nonprofit, may be able to count some of the volunteer hours from employees (if they are remaining on payroll) towards their Community Benefit requirements. If the company is for-profit, they may be able to count the volunteer hours as a charitable donation to help offset income taxes. Either way, by incorporating this plan into the furlough process for employees, you help increase employee engagement and loyalty, thereby reducing costly employee turnover. Finally, for the nonprofit, it helps connect them to a potentially new corporate partner and can solidify local support by tapping into a new source of volunteers, which will help strengthen it for the future.

There can be good things that come out of this current crisis, even from hard decisions like furloughing employees. Let’s be the change and create some positive outcomes that benefit everyone and strengthen our communities for the future. Now is the perfect time to look at innovative solutions to current challenges.

For more information about ways achi can assist with your furloughed employees, please download our flyer.


About achi

achi is a holistic care management company that lowers overall expenses by actively engaging people and connecting them to organizations to address the social determinants of health. Through innovative partnerships, cross-sector collaboration, and creative solutions, we equip organizations across multiple industries to educate the people they serve and connect them with resources to improve their lives from the ground up. By partnering with health systems, educational institutions and corporations, achi empowers lasting transformation in individual lives—resulting in an overall healthier population and data to transform our healthcare payment models. To learn more about achi and its mission, visit

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