Fewer in-person charitable events held during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will likely lead to increased competition among non-profit organizations seeking 2020 donor support, according to a new study by consultant DickersonBakker.

From May 29 to June 22, DickersonBakker conducted a nationwide survey of the giving intentions of 1,079 donors across 44 states in cooperation with some of America’s largest non-profit organizations.

Overall, U.S. donors appear to be optimistic about the economic recovery in the coming months, according to Paul Virts, who headed the research and discussed the findings in a press release announcing them. He also noted that more than a third of those surveyed reported their financial situation was better than last year.

“Nearly two-thirds expect the economy will rebound by the end of 2020 or by the middle of 2021 at the latest,” Virts said. “Only a small minority—nine percent—say they don’t expect the economy to recover to pre-pandemic levels for a very long time.”

The survey of mid-level and major donors—those giving anywhere from $1,000 to $1 million-plus per year—found that six out of 10 respondents expected their giving to stay at the same level as last year, and that one in four respondents expected to increase their charitable gifts in the second half of 2020.

Only one-in-six donors expected to give less, and fewer than one in 20 anticipated a substantial drop in their giving for the rest of the year.

That’s good news for the nation’s 1.5 million registered non-profit organizations. However, the fall fundraising season will likely not generate huge crowds of donors, according to the study’s findings. 

More than 40% of major donors surveyed said they won’t attend a big in-person gathering until there’s a vaccine. About 80% of donors expressed a willingness to meet one-on-one with fundraisers, or attend a small event at their church or in someone’s home, as long as social-distancing and other measures were in place.

Given those restrictions on fundraising, Covid-19 will produce “winners and losers” in the annual competition for donor gifting, said Derric Bakker, president of DickersonBakker.

“In this environment, donors are clearly being more vigilant in their giving, and nonprofit fundraisers who are complacent in presenting a strong case—or who are not attentive to donors’ needs—will likely pay a price,” he said in a press release.

Founded in 1985, DickersonBakker is headquartered in Ashville, N.C.