Charities Reporting Fundraising Difficult During COVID
With so many good causes for us to support, charity fundraising has always been a challenge. Donors and sponsors only have so much financial help that they can give when times are good, so the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on fundraising has been catastrophic. For many charities, the pandemic has brought struggles from all sides – with reduced fundraising income on one hand, and an increase in the demand for services on the other meeting to bring one in 10 charities to the brink of bankruptcy.
Smaller, local charities have been particularly at risk, with as many as 13% of such organisations expecting to fold as financial pressures mount. These charities have largely been unable to take advantage of the Government’s furlough scheme as this would affect the provision of services, effectively closing the charities for the duration of the pandemic.
Large national charities have also been significantly affected, with household names like National Trust and AgeUK reporting shortfalls of £200m and £42m respectively, forcing such charities to draw-down from financial reserves.
Research from NCVO indicates that charities will continue to see a drop in income over the next financial year, with income raised via trading activity decreasing by around 20%, while almost half of the charities surveyed are seeing an increase in service usage.
With charities filling gaps that Government services don’t quite reach, especially at local grassroots level, is looks like recovery could run well into 2022, if not into 2023.
While the outlook may look somewhat depressing, the news isn’t all bad. Donations to charities in the first half of 2020 were up on the same period on 2019, and many charities saw an increase in volunteer numbers. Additional government funding was made available to charities, though this was limited to those involved in COVID relief efforts, and not the charity sector as a whole.
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