Supporting fundraising through the coronavirus crisis – what the IoF has been doing

Read our new findings on the impact on coronavirus on the charity sector. 

This briefing presents the key findings from a survey that was run by the Institute of Fundraising, National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Charity Finance Group to assess the initial impact of coronavirus on the charity sector. 

We know what a challenging time it is to be a fundraiser, with charities suffering steep and unprecedented declines in income. While fundraisers have been responding with new, creative, innovative campaigns and partnerships, we have been working hard as your membership body to try to ensure that we get the right support from Government and that the voices of fundraising charities are heard.


Collaboration across the sector

We are stronger together and when the charity sector stands as one, speaking up for our causes, organisations, and beneficiaries. So right from the beginning, we’ve been working collaboratively and collectively like never before, alongside NCVO, Charity Finance Group, ACEVO, and many others. At a time when individual organisations face huge challenges, we think it’s even more important that you see your sector infrastructure and membership bodies speaking up for you and working together. We’ll continue to work closely with other charity sector infrastructure bodies in a way and scale we haven’t seen before, to advocate for fundraising, for charities, and to influence and shape government policy on supporting the sector.

See here for details of which organisations are leading on different areas of policy activity.


Understanding the scale of the crisis 

One of the first things we knew we had to do was get a better understanding of how charities were responding to the social distancing measures, both in their fundraising plans and strategic decisions for their organisations. To be able to provide robust data to inform government on the financial impact, we launched a survey, partnering with NCVO and CFG to understand how coronavirus will impact charities, their services and their incomes. With the help of PwC, we have analysed the data provided by over 500 charities on the impact of the crisis on their organisations as quickly as possible. Thank you to all organisations that helped input to this work – it was hugely valuable and important.

The results of the coronavirus impact survey reflect the urgent new situation charities face as they re-forecast their income and take steps to respond to the huge challenges they face. The initial outlook is sobering – with organisations, on average, forecasting a decline in their voluntary income of 48%. The data provides clear evidence in support of our policy asks and make it ever more apparent that #EveryDayCounts for all the charities trying to weather this crisis and the individuals and communities that rely on them.


Making the case to Government for emergency support

We’ve met with officials in government, provided information and insight, and worked with civil servants as well as Ministers in Westminster to make sure they hear and understand the impact on the sector. With partners in the sector, we have been lobbying Number 10, the Treasury and DCMS hard to release emergency support for the sector, providing evidence of urgency at every opportunity through briefings and submissions. Read our asks and our letter to the Chancellor.

Over 300 MPs and Lords from 10 parties joined the sector’s call for a package of measures to support charities. Their letter was published in the Telegraph, with signatories including former Charities Ministers Nick Hurd, Rob Wilson, Ed Miliband, Ian Duncan Smith, General Lord Dannat and the Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell. And a DCMS Select Committee Inquiry into the impact of coronavirus on the charity sector has listened to the evidence about the pressing need for support. 

On 8th April, the Government made a welcome first step by announcing £750m of funding for the charity sectorRead chief executive, Peter Lewis', response to the announcement and see here for detail on the support currently available. 

Charity So White, the campaign group rooting out racism in the sector, has written an open letter calling on charity relief packages to have ring-fenced elements for BAME VCS Groups. We have added our voice to the letter.


Together with sector partners we launched a sector wide campaign

Initially branded the #EveryDayMatters campaign, we launched this campaign to build momentum behind our ask for an urgent package of support for charities. At the time of writing the hashtag has been used a total of 10.6k times – on average 750 times a day.

The campaign has gained traction with significant media coverage:

We continue to share insight with government as to where there are gaps in income and where services are under threat. On 24th April, the second phase of the national campaign was launched. The #NeverMoreNeeded campaign has been set up to make sure charities’ voices are heard and raise awareness of the work they are doing to help the country come through the crisis and recovery.

We will continue to lobby and campaign for the right interventions and support to get charities through this most challenging of times. As the situation progresses, our policy asks will evolve, and as we get through this crisis, we will also be looking at what the right policies and actions should be for promoting giving, championing fundraising, and working to get the most positive and supportive environment as possible for our members to succeed.

Last updated 24/04/2020.