A couple of months ago, if you were asked what would have the biggest impact on the fundraising sector in 2020, you would probably have a very different answer...
Coronavirus will have a significant impact on sectors across the board and fundraising will certainly not be exempt from that. But in what ways might the pandemic impact on your ability to raise vital funds for your charity and how can you face these challenges in an attempt to overcome them, or at least mitigate the risks?
One of the outcomes of the pandemic will be a reduction of income for large swathes of the population. Those on zero-hour contracts or working in the service industry, to name just a couple, will find themselves with significantly less disposable income over the coming weeks and months, and as such, charities will likely see a marked drop in donations from this demographic. There will also likely be a drop in corporate giving as more and more employees are working remotely and thus, not available to run the fundraising events that often generate the funds for these donations. With this in mind, charities will need to prepare to make sure they are as ready as they can be to continue their work with reduced resources.
Seek advice on social media
Many fundraisers are taking to social media to offer support to other fundraising professionals worried about how to proceed considering the pandemic. In light of this, we have decided to turn The Fundraiser Facebook page into a place where people can post their concerns, challenges and solutions to any number of issues. Other members of the community can try to help in whatever way possible by posting about their experiences and what they are doing in response to the pandemic. So, join our community of fundraisers by liking our Facebook page.
One of the most obvious fundraising streams that will be heavily impacted are fundraising events. With an increasing number of mass events and social gatherings cancelled or postponed, charities stand to lose a large about of potential donations. If you have had to cancel any events, and may find yourself in the position of having to refund any donations, Section 11 of the Fundraising Regulators Code of Fundraising practice gives advice on how to deal with this.
One possibility to consider, is if any of your events can be changed to take place virtually. Alternatively, there are other forms of fundraising events that can take place entirely online. Already, the video gaming sector has received a huge boost in sales, with gaming an activity perfectly suited to social distancing. Fundraising events that are based around gaming marathons have become increasingly popular over recent years, and with so many people self-isolating and spending more time at home, it could be a potentially lucrative fundraising stream in these uncertain times. You can find more information about charities running fundraising events based around gaming here.
Speak to your supporters!
What is most important currently, though, is to make sure you are in regular contact with your supporters to ensure they know the situation you are in. Many of them may even try to help you through these difficult times. There have already been reports from numerous charities about supporters donating the money they are saving from working from home, or not requesting refunds for tickets bought for galas or charity events. Your supporters will want to help you through these difficult times, but for them to do this you need to be in contact with them, so they know about the problems you are facing. Trust in your supporters and the passion they have for your cause, and many will come to your aid.
We wish you and you charity all the best in this difficult, uncertain time.