Charitable Donations in the Time of Covid-19

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.

James Poetzscher: Teen Founder of Checkmate COVID

Using Chess to Fight the Coronavirus

The Covid-19 crisis has brought the world to its knees, but it has also brought out the best in some. People old and young from all walks of life are doing what they can to help those who are fighting the pandemic and those affected by it. Some are supporting frontline healthcare workers by collecting and donating PPE, some are involved with food drives to feed the hungry, and others are raising funds to support these initiatives and others like it. So many people are doing their part by using their unique talents and the resources available to them to help humanity get through the biggest health crisis the world has seen this century. One of the inspirational people using the tools at their disposal to make a difference is James Poetzscher, a high school student with a love for chess and a compassionate heart.

The Humble Beginnings of Checkmate COVID

As lockdowns were implemented in countries around the world, schools and companies temporarily shut their doors, leaving people confined at home with a lot of time to pursue projects. James Poetzscher and two of his friends, Jack Jacobsen and Felix Kaye, spent a lot of this free time playing chess. Poetzscher and the two other intrepid teens decided to use their passion for the game to raise funds for Covid-19 relief efforts. They held an online chess tournament with 32 participants and gave the winner $100 of their own money to donate to a Covid-19 charity. This modest beginning turned out to be a huge success and led to further tournaments, eventually bringing in sponsorships from organizations like San Francisco University High School, Cathedral School for Boys, Solid Gold, Sabbatical Ventures, and Branson.

James Poetzscher

James Poetzscher

A Growing Initiative

Players from all over are now taking part in the online chess tournaments organized by James Poetzscher and the Checkmate COVID team. Links to tournament results are published on the organization’s website, and the winner of each tournament gets to choose to which Covid-19 charity the prize money is donated.





Charities approved by Checkmate COVID include:

James Poetzscher – Social Activism in Other Fields

Fast becoming known as a formidable young philanthropist, James Poetzscher is not only focusing his attention on using chess to fight the pandemic. He is also the force behind Greenhouse Maps, a website he created to track atmospheric gases using satellites. Having developed an interest in greenhouse emissions and satellite tracking at a young age, Poetzscher realized that there was very little information about this available online. After extensively researching the issue, he constructed a website that would provide quality tracking data. Since then, Poetzscher has been mapping global air pollution with the European Environmental Bureau and has published several papers on the topic.





10 Companies Giving to Covid-19 Relief

Shop These Brands That Give Back

Millions of people around the world are suffering with emotional and financial burdens caused by the coronavirus pandemic. While some businesses have had to close their doors, others that are still making ends meet have been opening their hearts and helping to raise funds for Covid-19 relief efforts. From grocery stores to dog food outlets to skincare and shoe brands, here are ten companies that are using their sales to help others.

  1. American Family Insurance – Since fewer people are on the roads and there are fewer accidents, insurance companies currently have lower costs. American Family Insurance is planning to return approximately $200 million to its customers through a $50 per vehicle insured initiative. foundation guide - brands donating to covid-19 relief
  2. Rhone – The activewear brand is donating 10% of all its profits to the Direct Relief Foundation, a nonpartisan organization currently assisting healthcare facilities with financial aid and equipment.
  3. Allbirds – This sneaker company has donated shoes valued at $500,000 to healthcare workers. It is also involved with the Better Together initiative through which a pair of shoes is donated to a healthcare worker for every pair bought. Shoppers can also donate a pair of Allbirds to a healthcare worker at a discounted price.
  4. SummerSalt – For every order of $125 or more spent in the store, the women’s swimwear, sleepwear and loungewear supplier donates $15 to No Kid Hungry’s Covid-19 relief efforts. foundation guide - brands who donate for covid-19 relief
  5. Backcountry – The sport and outdoor gear company has donated 9,000 masks to New York City’s Department of Homeless Services. It is planning to make yet another donation to the homeless and is raising funds through the sale of special-edition t-shirts.
  6. Thrive Market – Even before the pandemic, the online grocery store had an incentive in which it gave away a free membership to a low-income family, first responder, student, or veteran for every paid membership. Currently, all donations at checkout go towards groceries to those affected by Covid-19.
  7. Olivela – This skincare company supports No Kid Hungry and Save the Children, both of which are organizations helping to provide food to children who cannot attend school because of closures. For every purchase made, Olivela donates 20% to a family in need. foundation guide - brands that donate for covid-19 relief
  8. Otherland – This high-end candle company is donating 10% of all sales to food banks that operate in New York City.
  9. Chewy – The online pet supply store has donated nearly $3 million in healthcare supplies, pet food, and other products to animal welfare organizations. At the start of the pandemic, Chewy joined forces with the Humane Society of Broward County and has helped distribute more than $24,000 in food to local families.
  10. Boll & Branch – Shoppers who buy linen, pillows, mattresses, bath accessories, or gifts from this home store will get a 10% discount and an additional 10% will go towards funding the production of pillows and mattresses for emergency medical care facilities.

Donating PPE for Healthcare Workers Fighting Covid-19

Everyone Can Help Fill the Medical Supply Gap

As hospitals around the world are running out of personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks, gloves, face shields, protective gowns, and other key components, it is up to every organization, and indeed every individual, to do their part to help. PPE is one of the most important things hospitals need right now in the ongoing battle against the Covid-19 pandemic. It is the only way to protect healthcare workers on the front lines of the crisis. Currently, hospitals are working with strict rations and recycling protocols as they deal with shortages.

Foundation Guide - donating PPE for healthcare workers

What Is Being Done About This?

As supplies are dwindling, some doctors and nurses have started raising awareness of their plight on social media platforms with the hashtag #GetMePPE. Governments have started initiatives to spur on the manufacturing of PPE items. Large corporations have made bulk donations, and businesses including dentists, nail salons, and construction firms have donated their stocks as well. Companies with the appropriate equipment and employees are also being encouraged by governments to begin manufacturing PPE. In addition, volunteers across the globe are trying to help by sewing masks, and companies with 3D-printing equipment have been printing shields. Nevertheless, even with all this positive action, there is still a significant shortage of PPE. As a result, medical workers have even started reusing masks and improvising with bandanas, scarves, and plastic bags.

Fortunately, it is not only up to governments and PPE manufacturers to keep up with the drastically increased demand. There are so many people who can do something to help get these supplies to the workers in dire need of them.

Foundation Guide - donating PPE for healthcare workers

How You Can Help

If you have unused medical supplies, get in touch with your local hospital or clinics or search the internet for where you can donate them. Bear in mind that not all healthcare facilities accept homemade face masks for use by front-line healthcare workers. They may, however, use them for support workers like admin, reception, and cleaning staff. Don’t forget other first responders, like firefighters and police officers, who are often also directly exposed.

Even if you don’t have PPE to donate, you can still help by raising awareness of the situation. Sharing information on social media can allow for it to eventually reach somebody or a company that has supplies they can donate. Other ways to help include supporting initiatives like:

  • Project C.U.R.E – An NGO that is holding several donation drives in various cities while observing social distancing measures.
  • Find the Masks – A website with a map where people can find medical facilities in their area to donate PPE.
  • Operation We Can Sew It! – An initiative in which volunteers are sewing protective masks for a hospital in Colorado.

Only with the necessary gear can healthcare workers continue to safely care for Covid-19 patients fighting for their lives. Without these people, we may as well be entering a war with no soldiers. Protecting them must be a major priority for everyone.