62% of Nonprofit Workers in Santa Cruz County Need to Work More Than One Job to Survive

January 28, 2020 1:01 PM EST

WATSONVILLE, Calif., Jan. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent survey of nonprofit workers in Santa Cruz County conducted by the Human Care Alliance (HCA) identifies key trends in wage inequality found in government funded and contracted nonprofit service providers. Across every survey indicator, nonprofit workers fall short in comparison to county wage data.

The escalating costs of housing and persistent low wages heavily influence nonprofit workers and result in implications distinctive to this sector. According to the survey, 62% of nonprofit workers report that they must have more than one job to support their families. "I am living paycheck to paycheck. I need a second job and I am exhausted," explains a nonprofit employee. Over half (55%) of those surveyed report that their households and families are going without basic needs to survive due to financial hardship.

Ironically, this wage inequality is contributing to the systems of poverty that nonprofits are working to alleviate. However, the most troubling result of wage disparity is that nonprofits must consider shifting their business models to reduce services where government funding levels do not provide enough support to serve both clients and their employees.

"Government's inaction to address the growing poverty problem in Santa Cruz County is only contributing to the growing statistics," says Community Bridges' Chief Executive Officer Raymon Cancino. "As nonprofits, we have limited ways to manage this growing crisis without expansion of funding."

Full survey results can be found at

About HCA Wage Equity Study

The Human Care Alliance (HCA), with financial support of Community Bridges and the Volunteer Center, conducted the 2019 Wage Equity survey. The survey was administered in April 2019 and includes data from 214 Santa Cruz County employees from 30 nonprofits. Survey results allow stakeholders committed to maintaining services to identify pervasive wage inequity on a broader scale and examine the significant fiscal and societal impacts on service outcomes.


Interviews are available with Community Bridges CEO, Raymon Cancino and Executive Director of the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz, Karen Delany. Also available are supplementary stories from individual nonprofit workers and nonprofit program directors.


Community Bridges envisions a thriving community where every person has the opportunity to unleash their full potential. Together, our family of 10 programs delivers essential services, provides equitable access to resources, and advocates for health and dignity across every stage of life.


The Human Care Alliance (HCA) is a membership organization made up of nonprofit agencies that provide health and human services throughout Santa Cruz County. HCA's policy agenda centers around three primary areas; strong and safe neighborhoods throughout Santa Cruz County, economic and social justice and health equity. 


The Volunteer Center connects people and partners to resources that transform our community and our lives for good. 15,000 local volunteers are connected to causes they care about each year, contributing $10 million in labor and $500,000 in crowdsourced funding each year. 

Contact: Amy Hanley (831) 688-8840 ext 285 [email protected]

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SOURCE Community Bridges

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