The nonprofit sector: impact and results


Friday, 16 October 2020


Fundación Alvaralice

By: Sandra Alzate – Executive Director at AFE Colombia

Nonprofits have been key in addressing the various challenges generated by the COVID-19 emergency in Colombia and in the world. The not-for-profit sector has been an undeniable ally for both the public and private sectors from an immediate care-giving role, contributing to assistance in food and medicine, to supporting public and private alliances for economic recovery in different territories.

The Association of Family and Business Foundations—AFE Colombia—in its role of supporting its associates by influencing public policies that affect the non-profit sector and by connecting its network of collaborators with the work of the nonprofits, has continued monitoring the situation and main challenges that Colombia has had to face in these six months of the pandemic.

The nonprofits associated with AFE have donated more than 250 billion pesos [1]. These donations include those given by the affiliate companies to their foundations, as well as donations in-kind, logistical support, technical support and physical resources. However, these figures are not minor, if we consider the estimate made by Candid [2], where it is estimated that the nonprofit sector has donated more than 10.3 billion dollars globally as of May 2020.

The support of our nonprofit associates has been focused on various fronts: the delivery of food and basic necessities, strengthening of the health sector, virtual education, peaceful coexistence, income generation, and other areas like collective action intended to affect public policy.

It is important to have in mind that this effort has been made despite the fact that the COVID-19 health emergency has greatly impacted the operational abilities of the nonprofit sector in terms of financial limitations, changes in the dynamics of meetings and the generation of alliances, difficulties in accessing various geographical areas, increased cost of the supply chain, and increased operating costs, among other factors. According to the information reported to the AFE, to date, foundations have responded to the emergency in at least 26 departments of Colombia.

The regions where the work of foundations have had the greatest impact are: Antioquia (17 nonprofits), Valle del Cauca (14 nonprofits), Bogotá (10 nonprofits) and the Caribbean region, mainly in Bolívar (9 nonprofits), Atlántico (8 nonprofits) and Magdalena (7 nonprofits). At the national level, 16 nonprofits have announced initiatives.

These are some elements related to the current panorama of the nonprofit sector during these six months of the pandemic. It is important to emphasize that the AFE, in its collaborative role in the sector, will continue to connect and strengthen the work that its affiliates carry out daily to reduce the gaps and impacts that COVID-19 has left on the economic, social, and cultural fronts in Colombia.

[1] Santo Domingo Foundation: 100 billion pesos, Promigas: 22 billion pesos delivered to Fundación Promigas, Surtigas: 224 million pesos, Fundación Bancolombia: 6 billion pesos, WWB Colombia Foundation: 6 thousand million pesos, World Food Program, in coordination with the Caicedo González RioPaila Castilla Foundation: 270 million pesos.

[2] Nowski, T. O’Flanagan, M. and Taliento, L. (2020) “A Transformative Moment for Philanthropy”, available at:

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