Covid-19: Will Charities Sink or Swim?

According to a survey by the Association of Fundraising Professionals conducted in May 2020, over half of the non-profit charities that responded expect to see a decline in the coming year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As strict lockdown restrictions were implemented around the world, many charities were unable to carry out work that requires being face-to-face, and donations and volunteering are plummeting. The stark reality is that most charities now have to do double the work with half the money. And it could get worse. Over 72% of respondents expect that fundraising efforts beyond 2021 will continue to be seriously affected by the pandemic.

Are All Charities Struggling?

Only 30% of human service charities expressed that they anticipate an increase in fundraising in 2020. Some organizations reported that there is a possibility that individual donations would rise in the coming years, but it is also likely that contribution from corporations and memberships will fall dramatically. Overall, economies across the globe are shrinking, and with that, so is generosity. Unless major international economic reform happens in the near future, it is unfortunately likely that most charities will suffer, just like most other businesses. And many will shut their doors indefinitely. With this in mind, charities are scrambling to remain viable.

Foundation Guide - charities struggling due to covid

Current Focus

Nearly half the charities reported they have had to intensify their fundraising efforts and activities because of a drastic increase in needs related to the pandemic. When asked in what type of fundraising they plan to engage and on which areas they intend to focus, over 80% stated that their attention would be on donor retention and stewardship, i.e. activities related to establishing new connections and cultivating existing relationships with donors. Other areas of focus commonly mentioned include improving technology and the organization’s online presence. This includes hosting virtual events, launching email campaigns, and making online donation portals available and known to the public.

Staying Afloat in Stormy Seas

Since the demand for food and other types of relief has drastically increased, most nonprofits are now forced to get creative to make ends meet. This involves joining forces with other organizations, conducting larger appeals, and attempting to access emergency government grants. Charities that rely on shopfront collections have had to rethink their approach to take their fundraising efforts online. Not only are collections now being made online, but volunteers are also learning how to contribute digitally, instead of being there in person.

Foundation Guide - charities struggling due to covid

This May Be a Reset and an Opportunity

Even with all the challenges the pandemic has brought to the world, it has also made people more socially conscious. This has placed humanity in a unique position to make a change. Now is the ideal time for those fortunate enough to have weathered the storm with their finances intact to help those who have not. If you are able to, please consider setting up monthly donations to your favourite charity.