Your Usual Charity Needs You

Posted: 18 April 2020 in Covid-19
Tags: ,

Grants-and-funding-440.jpgCaptain Tom Moore aged 99, raising millions for the NHS.  We salute his courage, and imagination.  And now there is a reported million new Corona-crisis volunteers.  These are great news stories.  But stories that hides a disaster for charities.  Yes, disaster.

Charities are expecting a 48% fall in voluntary income (Civilsociety News 31/03/20).  Income is collapsing as needs jump.  Charity shops are closed and staff/volunteers sent home.  Government is willing to fund 80% of the very modest salaries of charity staff, where staff are “furloughed”.  But as one charity finance manager told me, he could not claim the money because all their staff were still working.  That charity’s beneficiaries had not gone away.  Key services and support still had to be provided.

Charitable income is tanking, for four reasons:

  • Regular Donors. Income from their Standing Orders has dipped little, as they are the long term committed.
  • Churches. Income is falling as: [1] church congregations are not physically meeting, so additional collections for selected charities were not taking place; [2] churches own income is falling and so churches are postponing their own giving to charities.
  • Trusts and Foundations. Income here has largely stopped.  Mainly because their income has disappeared as shares crash, and dividends are frozen or cut.  Furthermore, some trusts and foundations are diverting reduced income streams to support UK Coronavirus needs (food banks, the homeless, hospices, local hospitals).
  • New charities. These are sprouting up to meet the UK Covid-19 need and draw in large amounts from impulse giving and the less regular givers.  And it is they who get the attention.

At the same time,  need is increasing.  Just from my own knowledge:

  • Covid-19 is just starting to spread in Haiti and Uganda. Many people hear about the numbers elsewhere and are in fear, as are their governments.  Prices of medical supplies in Haiti are putting substantial financial pressure on our hospital there.
  • Financial support for refugee camps in northern Uganda has been cut by 30% by UN agencies. Lockdown is breaking down the food supply chains within Uganda.
  • The ability to visit prisoners and support chaplaincies in UK prisons has suddenly stopped, because of Lockdown. But the psychological and spiritual need has suddenly jumped up because of Covid-19.

What to do?  For the kind of person who does not think about regular giving to meet regular needs, sure – go ahead and give to Covid-19 related causes.  The need is immense.  And give not just small change, but serious money.

However, periodic readers of my blogs are much less likely to be episodic or impulsive charity donors.  You are people of commitment (religious or humanist).  So the answer is – Give.  Do not divert your giving to feed the headline, give as normal.  Give more.  Or (as we are at the start of the new tax year) give the same, but bring it forward.

funding-update-logo-use-if-no-partner-logo-available_2.jpgI don’t think it matters to whom you give.  To say, Hope Health Action, Prison Fellowship, your local  cancer charity, mission, cat rescue, women’s refuge, advocacy group, etc.  They all are hurting.  Their clients need support now, as well as the future.

You know the slogan …
Stay home. Save lives. Protect your charity service

Bill

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