17th November 2021 - Fundraising in a Pandemic and beyond....


What has changed and what lies ahead?

Covid-19 certainly hit us all in 2020 and is still ongoing as I write. It has changed many things in the last 20 months but one thing is for sure - fundraising has become more challenging for many charities. The lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 meant that many events - both outdoor and indoor - were cancelled. This raised considerable challenges for charities who had a large slice of their traditional income coming in from events.

For some, they moved quickly to online events which were quite hit and miss from what I have seen. For others, they decided to write off 2020 expected income from events and either reduced their expectations on what they could deliver as a charity and consequently reduced their budgets or reached out to their supporters or to the government emergency funds that were set up in 2020. It had been a time of both stress and innovation and I'm sure there are many stories still to be told once we move 'beyond the pandemic' - whatever that means.

(As an aside, I think Covid-19 is here to stay and will become something like the flu and that we will all get a winter jab for both flu and Covid).

Looking forward, it seems that one old chestnut of fundraising has found a new lease of life - grant giving trusts and foundations. Many charities have turned to them in the hope of plugging gaps in their fundraising. But it's not guaranteed income and the only way I can see it being sustainable in the long term is for more people to set up new trusts and foundations. I hope this happens as I do see an increased interest in philanthropy among wealthy individuals.

This leads me on to what I think will be another growth area in the next few years - major donor fundraising. But this is a delicate area and has to be done correctly in order to bear fruit - relationships are key. One last thing to note is that legacies (money left in someone's will) are predicted to increase too. Get that right, and you will be in a good position fundraising-wise. 

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