Charities face a grim future and even the threat of closure in the coming months if not urgently helped and given money to float, many warn.
Thousands of charities are in a difficult position to appeal to public funds or face bankruptcy as fundraising events are canceled or postponed and donations are reduced or dried up, thanks to the coronavirus outbreak.
Their financial difficulties will worsen the ability to provide vital services to the public as the corona virus emerges, the Charities Aid Foundation states.
Across the country, charities are losing millions of pounds because they find they are unable to carry it out during the peak fundraising period, which usually begins last month and ends in September.
Last year during the peak fundraising season (March – September), charities generated around £ 435 million in donations, but during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, many will be closed as donations dry up
It is at this time that charities generate the most income for the vital goals they support, such as poverty, saving animals or providing end-of-life care.
YouGov estimated that between March and May 2019, £ 435 million was donated to charities through sponsorship.
The London Marathon, which will run on April 26 this year but has now been postponed to October 4, raised £ 66.4 million for charity last year alone.
There are huge losses for charities
How to help charities during coronavirus blocking
1. Donate digitally: Many charities have enabled their websites and apps to accept donations.
2. Donate by phone: If you are not digitally skilled, there are many charities that still accept donations over the phone, such as Heart of Kent Hospice.
3. Donate via social media: If it’s your birthday, you can make charitable donations on Facebook.
4. Donate via your banking app: Certain banking apps allow you to make donations.
Kids can even donate money through the GoHenry app, which allows them to donate small amounts to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
5. Online shopping: Amazon will donate 0.5 percent of your store’s net purchase price to charities of your choice.
Likewise, Give as you Live is an online service that allows you to shop in over 4,200 stores and give to charity for free.
6. Support charities in supermarkets: Some charities or social enterprises like The Big Issue have successfully moved their inventory to stores like Sainsbury’s that are still open to the public.
A CAF survey of 271 charities held late last month found that 37 percent said they wouldn’t be able to operate in their current form for six months without additional help – from the government or elsewhere.
Due to fundraising deficits, some charities are now using government job retention policies known as leave.
CAF’s figures showed that 26 percent fully agree that they should make use of this scheme, but the concern is that 47 percent said it does not apply to them because they now employ more than ever need, despite streams of revenue drying up.
Ceinwen Giles, director of partnerships and evaluation and co-founder of Shine Cancer Support believes that charities should be able to continue working while staff are fired.
‘If you are on leave, you can no longer do work for an organization, but of course we do not generate income for us, but we support young adults with cancer.
“We are not only concerned with our income, but also with what we can do for beneficiaries.
Cancer doesn’t stop because of Covid-19. People are still being diagnosed and struggling to get the same care.
“Not that the doctors don’t want to give it, but it’s a difficult time, of course.
“As a typical small charity, we’re looking at a £ 90,000 gap in the budget.
“But for us that is the difference between paying our employees, surviving or not.
“Many charities that are really struggling do not earn tens of thousands but tens of thousands and that has dried up.”
We closed 14 stores, losing £ 500k
The Heart of Kent Hospice has had to cancel its charity Bluebell Walk, which has had it for 30 years, and generated a lot of essential financial aid for the charity
Sarah Pugh, CEO of Heart of Kent Hospice, says the charity has had to close 14 stores, making a total of half a million pounds.
She told This is Money: “We had to close, but the costs continue as we extend our teams and pay rent. We have had to cancel or postpone all our events.
“A government grant is 20 percent of the expenditure, but the rest all comes from community fundraising, but all of that has been affected by the corona virus and most have disappeared.
“Companies that have supported us before have gone into survival mode and have not been able to offer as much as they used to. But how amazing they tried to help in other ways.
“We had to raise £ 324,000 every month and that has just stalled. Until life returns to normal, we don’t expect to see these levels for a significant amount of time.
“We launched our emergency call yesterday to donate as much as possible.”
Fewer people can give
In addition to losing money by canceling or postponing events, charities also lose money from the public because some lose their jobs or see an income cut.
When CAF asked people about their willingness to give more to charity due to coronavirus, only five percent said they were likely to donate more, while 17 percent said they were slightly more likely (22 percent in total).
Conversely, 15 percent of people said they would donate less to a good cause than usual.
Susan Pinkney, head of research at CAF, adds, “Like every other facet of British life, charities struggle to keep their doors open and provide vital services.
“These results tell us that many of the smaller charities that help communities in the UK may not be able to continue. Some of them told us that the timing is a matter of weeks. ‘
We try to get loyal subscribers and sell them in the store
The Big Issue sellers normally sell the social enterprise magazine on the street, but since they no longer can, they are now sold in stores
The Big Issue, a social enterprise, had no choice but to stop selling its 2,000 street magazine vendors to earn an income last month. To help them, it has instead appealed to the public to sign up to the magazine as subscribers and also sell copies in Sainsbury’s and McColl.
The magazine is sold in stores for £ 3 and 50 percent of the net proceeds go to their vendor support fund.
Ruth Law, spokesperson for The Big Issue, said: “We need 60,000 people to subscribe for three months. We have less than usual, but the regular subscribers would help us with the lost income. ‘
Support is still not enough
A number of larger charities, banks, municipalities, other organizations and individuals have intervened to provide financial support to struggling charities.
CAF itself has set up a £ 5 million Coronavirus Emergency Fund, which will provide one-off grants of up to £ 10,000 to small charities, organizations and social enterprises, while the National Emergencies Trust in partnership with British Red Cross fundraising is now £ 16million has picked up.
Other participants included The Arts Council and Third Sector Resilience Fund (Scotland), which donated £ 160 million and £ 20 million respectively.
Meanwhile, the Steve Morgan Foundation Covid-19 Emergency Fund has committed £ 1 million to charity and profit making in Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales for the first 12 weeks.
However, this is not yet sufficient. A CAF spokesperson says, “Our fund was created out of money given to CAF for these types of events that we use. But we are oversubscribed and will probably have to pause applications very soon.
“The need is far greater than what is currently available, despite the very generous support that companies and people have given so far. It is difficult and there have been some fantastic donations, but the consensus is that it is still not enough. ‘
We had to fire our employees
Ceinwen Giles, director of partnerships and evaluation and co-founder of a small charity called Shine Cancer Support, says she’s seen a big dip in donations.
She explains, “We get most of our donations because of mass participation events like London Marathon and many runs and activities and all of these events have been canceled.
Ceinwen Giles, director of partnerships and evaluation and co-founder of a small charity called Shine Cancer Support, has had to make tough decisions and laid off some employees
“No one is allowed to go outside, so we’re struggling to come up with other events we could do. We do not have large grants or wealthy private donors, we are a small charity and have four full-time employees and some staff.
She adds that the charity has no choice but to fire some of the staff. “We fired two employees this week, and I look forward to getting fired next week, and two others are getting an income of 80 percent.”
Essentials for small businesses
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