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Nonprofit Organizations in Central Florida

Nonprofit volunteers

When Crisis Calls,
Who Responds?

In its most recent 211 Crisis Assistance report in nonprofit, the Heart of Florida United Way of Central Florida reported that nearly 5,000 assistance calls related to COVID-19 had been received since January, along with more than 500 eviction assistance calls in one week alone in mid-August.

How does a community respond to nonprofit organizations?

Now, more than ever, the nonprofit sector of our community is needed to support and enhance both the economic prosperity and quality of life of the people and businesses of Central Florida. During this current economic downturn, consider just some of the ways nonprofit organizations are called upon to do what either the private sector or government sector cannot or will not do:

  • The family of five whose parents have both been furloughed through no fault of their own.
  • The small business owner whose business has been shuttered for three months, who can’t make payroll and needs to navigate the complexities of government grants or loans and find other ways to keep the company afloat.
  • The single parent who has missed three rent payments, with eviction looming.

According to the Florida Nonprofit Alliance, more than 18,000 nonprofit organizations are poised to assist those in the seven-county Central Florida region, which includes the counties of Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and Volusia. These organizations employ nearly 136,000 people, with revenues totaling more than $23.8 billion. 

Does the size of this sector surprise you? Our goal for this recurring series is to shine a spotlight on not only the work but also The Business of Nonprofits. We’ll explore:

The differences and similarities between nonprofit and for-profit businesses.

Profiles of leaders making a difference and the impact they have in their neighborhoods, their counties, the region and the state.

How the private sector and the government sector can help these organizations build better communities — what they need to survive and thrive in these uncertain times. 


Shelley Lauten is a longtime Central Florida advocate, most recently serving as the CEO of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness. She’s been a small business owner, a regional convener and a corporate leader and believes it takes all sectors of a region working together to generate growth and prosperity for all. 

About the author

i4 Business

i4 Business

i4 Business magazine has become one of the most trusted voices for and about the Central Florida business community. Each month through our print and digital platforms, we provide access to meet, to learn from and to learn about some of the incredible entrepreneurs and business leaders who are shaping our region.

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