Fundraising and the implications of COVID-19
The full impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on public fundraising is not yet clear. What is clear is that the impact is not uniform and is ever-changing. Many charities have had to cancel planned fundraising appeals, and the uncertainty of when in-person activities will resume is causing sweeping changes to many fundraising strategies.
The Alliance conducted research into the impacts that COVID-19 is having on our members, and the findings echoed many similar surveys. Bond recently found that 50 of the 116 organisations wouldn’t survive longer than six-months without additional funding. Whilst the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) in partnership with the Charity Finance Group and NCVO estimated a loss of 48% of voluntary income, with a third of charity income lost.
We heard about estimated loss of income from public fundraising ranging from £4,000 in this financial quarter, to £30,000 from just one event. Many members also reported the wide ranging impacts of having to close charity shops and noticed a decline in regular giving.
However, there were some silver linings. Some members reported a rise in one-off donations and many members applauded the creativity of their supporters to co-ordinate digital fundraising initiatives.
Here are some examples of how our members are getting creative with their digital fundraising and challenge events:
- WasteAid hosted a digital safari in Lake Naivasha in Kenya to mark Earth Day
- Mercy Corps launched a #givingit up appeal asking supporters to donate the costs of things like unused gym memberships or cinema tickets to their COVID-19 resilience fund
- Together in Sport Rwanda launched a #challengemecampaign asking supporters to undertake any challenge or suggest challenges for the charity's founder to complete, to raise money for their emergency COVID-19 food appeal
- The Three Charities Walk is raising money for Friends of Chitambo as Richard Vallis undertakes a sponsored walk 100 times around his garden
- The Mamie Martin Fund has created a stay at home cycle challenge to cover the distance between Blantyre and Tarbet
- The Global Concerns Trust are dressing up as 26 different animals to create an animal alphabet as part of their fundraising challenge
As the world adapts to the COVID-19 outbreak there are plenty of ways to boost your digital fundraising, including:
- Convening digital giving rooms through Zoom or Microsoft Teams (Hilary Clinton raised $2m in one evening using Zoom for the 2020 presidential campaign)
- Making the most of digital giving or crowdfunding platforms
- Utilising technologies like virtual reality and offering virtual tours
- Focusing on audio by advertising appeals through podcasts, streaming services or applying for the BBC Radio 4 Appeal (listen to member SLA’s recent appeal marking International Women’s Day)
- Using the new functionality social media platforms have developed, including Instagram’s live donations and TikTok’s donation stickers
- Taking part in social media campaigns such as the 2.6 challenge created by JustGiving and the UK wide #nevermoreneeded campaign (you can download visual materials from the SCVO website)
- ‘Furlunteering’ or ‘furlough swapping’ which allows furloughed individuals to volunteer their time to charities
How members can access furthering fundraising support from the Alliance:
- Attend our interactive webinar for Alliance members on 11 June 2020 with fundraising trainer Bill Bruty about how to use digital fundraising research tools to gain funds. Spaces are limited to 20, so sign up soon to avoid disappointment
- Join the Funding Working Group on 23 June which will focus on COVID-19 and the institutional funding landscape with consultants Rachel Haynes & Jaymie Duke. Members can book their space on the website and join the discussion in the meantime on the Alliance Community in the dedicated discussion thread
- View our funding updates page for current opportunities open to Scotland-based organisations. You can also sign up for RSS email alerts to be notified of the latest opportunities in real time
- Read our series of resources with further information about COVID-19 and fundraising within the resources section of our website page