Nonprofit workers struggle to make ends meet

By ELAINE INGALLS January 28, 2020

More than half of nonprofit workers in Santa Cruz County need to work more than one job to survive, according to a recent survey report.

The 2019 Human Care Alliance Nonprofit Wage and Benefit survey report shows that 62% of nonprofit employees cannot survive working one job. Second jobs include clerks at gas stations and grocery stores, serving and other hospitality jobs that offer flexible weekend hours, according to Raymon Cancino, CEO of nonprofit Community Bridges. About 55% of surveyed employees reported that their households and families go without basic needs because of their financial hardships, according to a Community Bridges press release. These could include dental and health care, food and other necessities, according to Cancino.

“I have to decide if I can afford food for the week or wait until all bills are met,” said an anonymous nonprofit employee in the press release. “Although health care coverage is provided at my job, I can’t afford the deductibles and co-pays.”

Both the 2019 survey and the first Human Care Alliance nonprofit wage survey conducted in 2016, found concerning trends of underpaid workers and the impact on basic standard of living, according to the release.