A letter to our members
We pull together in times of crisis, and the past few weeks has shown us how tightly the charity community can pull together in times of need.
For the past week fundraisers in Scotland have been working tirelessly to get their operations in shape, cancelling large events from last Monday and making tough decisions that will ensure that all our people - staff and beneficiaries - are safe.
At IoF Scotland and in our communities, we’re hearing from fundraisers that their operations have ground to a halt and we’re already seeing the impact on our finances - income from our immediate events, galas, and public fundraising might need to be put on pause for the wellbeing of everyone.
But our services are needed by the vulnerable more than ever.
At our Chair’s charity, Bobath Scotland who support people with cerebral palsy, they are hearing from even more people seeking the charity’s services for the first time. Families seeking specialist advice on their risk from Coronavirus. Like so many, Bobath has had to move quickly to move their services online and on to the phone. I’m sure you’re all adapting in similar ways.
We want to hear about how you’re doing this, please keep in touch with IoF Scotland and let us know.
In times of need, we’re working on getting the work done and reaching those in need. There are so many examples from the sector of collaboration to delivery programmes.
For instance, SCVO has created a Coronavirus Community Assistance Directory to support others in response, which collates offers of help or requests from across the country.
There are examples of funders and charities working together too: following the decision to postpone Kiltwalk, organisers The Hunter Foundation pledged to not only pay out the funds they normally contribute ahead of the event, but to top up all funds raised by 50%.
But despite every effort being made to make it work, we do need the support and backing of the Scottish government. We are starting to see that now. Last week they made available £350 million to help people who are most affected by coronavirus.
This is down to the fantastic work of Aileen Campbell, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, and her colleagues in Scottish Government. We’re pleased to have a government that sees the immense importance of the work charities do, and it will help us deal with the immediate pressures.
But it’s important to ensure that they remain receptive and continue to hear voices of fundraisers as the situation develops. What might the long-term impact be on our organisations, and what will help us mitigate them?
The IoF has been working with sector partners to assess the financial impact that coronavirus will have on charities, thank you to all who took part, it will directly help inform our asks of government and identify the support the sector needs.
We also have a blog series sharing guidance on how to approach fundraising activities during coronavirus, and we want to hear from IoF Scotland members on how you have been affected.
And if you’re looking for guidance, the IoF information page on coronavirus is constantly updated, and our policy team is on hand to help fundraisers (including non-members) navigate any questions you have on coronavirus and fundraising activities, please contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s stay in touch,
Michelle Cook Head of IoF Scotland
Virginia Anderson Chair of IoF Scotland