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Online Donations to Foodbanks Showing Signs of ‘Compassion Fatigue’

Donations to foodbanks via crowdfunding websites have declined in May and June after peaking at the beginning of the lockdown, according to data from the University of Kent.

Professor Peter Taylor-Gooby and Dr Tomas Petricek from the University of Kent gathered information on donations to foodbanks via crowdfunding websites GoFundMe, Just Giving and Virgin Money Giving using data-scraping software.

They found that in February, before the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, fundraising appeals for foodbanks raised about £8,000-£10,000 a week. From early March, the figure started increasing very quickly, going from £50,000 a week at the beginning of the month to £1m week after 23 March, when the national lockdown was imposed.

After that initial peak, donations to foodbanks via crowdfunding websites started to decrease. They amounted to about £600,000 a week in early May and fell to £125,000 a week in early June.

‘Level of support is falling’

The research is partial, because it does not look at other donation channels, such as direct donations via foodbanks’ websites, corporate support, or donation boxes in supermarkets, among others. The crowdfunding websites are scraped every two weeks, so some short-term appeals could also have slipped through the research net.

But it suggests that donors are showing signs of “compassion fatigue”, decreasing their levels of support at a time when need is likely to increase further, the authors of the research have said.

Peter Taylor-Gooby, professor of social policy at the University of Kent, said: “The findings indicate how the amount raised took off in step with the numbers of coronavirus cases and the numbers claiming out of work benefits.

“The results so far show great and unexpected public generosity. Many people gave money to help vulnerable fellow citizens. But the level of support is falling. As the numbers of cases declined from April onwards, so did the income from the appeals.

“Official statistics show that, although the pandemic is in retreat, the number of benefit claimants continues to rise. All commentators believe even more people will lose their jobs as furloughing is wound down and the recession bites home, with a possible further impact from Brexit. Demand for food parcels will rise further. We can expect more urgent appeals for funds.

“Pandemic is widely seen as a common threat. Will people be as generous when we move into recession and very high unemployment? The indications of compassion fatigue are disturbing.”

To read the full Civil Society news click here.

Source: Civil Society News

Ray Lock: There’s A Lot The Charity Sector Can Learn From Military Charities About Data

It’s times like these you give and give again. Foo Fighter’s lyricist Dave Grohl’s song about ‘love and hope and compassion’ is an apt description for a sector whose heart is defined by a desire to help people lead better lives. When it comes to my own sub-sector (Armed Forces charities), rather too often we’re perceived as being in competition and uncollaborative.

Both accusations are unfair, and our pandemic response might even offer an example to other sub-sectors.

At the heart of our sub-sector lies Cobseo – the Confederation of Service Charities. A membership organisation of some 300 charities with a board of permanent and elected members (such as SSAFA, The Soldiers’ Charity, Help for Heroes), it compares in some ways to the United Nations. It has no executive authority, but gains its strength from the willingness of its members to subordinate their own individual concerns for the greater good of the whole. It helps that the chair is a distinguished retired officer, used to dealing with devious and obfuscating political leaders (abroad of course) and therefore well able to take uncomfortable truths to the Whitehall corridors of power. Like the United Nations, it has been tested in times of crisis.

When, in common with all charities, those supporting the Armed Forces community were faced with an overnight fall in voluntary income at the start of lockdown, Cobseo was able to use the research that we (Forces in Mind Trust) had commissioned from the Directory of Social Change over a period of seven years.

To read the full Charity Times article click here.

Source: Charity Times

Public Fundraising Can Return But Under Restrictions Say Regulators

Charities’ public fundraising can resume amid the government’s easing of Covid-19 lockdown measures, according to guidance released by The Fundraising Regulator and Chartered Institute of Fundraising.

But the umbrella bodies have warned charities need to ensure they comply with latest government and devolved administrations’ restrictions around social distancing and avoid staging events that are likely to attract mass gatherings.

The guidance has been prepared by the two organisations after talks with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.

“The recent changes to lockdown restrictions in England mean that public fundraising may return,” said the Fundraising Regulator.

“It is important to remember that some methods of fundraising, such as community fundraising events involving large groups of people, or mass participation events, cannot safely resume under current social distancing rules.”

Two sets of guidance have been released. The first covers the overarching principles which should be applied to all fundraising methods. While the second offers specific advice on public fundraising, including door-to-door, street and fundraising on private property.

For fundraising to return safely, it is important that organisations carefully consider the risks associated with each type of fundraising activity they carry out. New guidance from @FundrRegulator and @IoFtweets highlights the issues you should consider
— FundraisingRegulator (@FundrRegulator) June 26, 2020

“I want to be clear that public fundraising activities should only resume if it is safe to do so,” said the Fundraising Regulator’s head of policy Priya Warner.

“It’s the responsibility of individual charities to exercise judgment about when and how to resume fundraising, and this should only be when thorough risk assessments have been carried out, and informed decisions based on each individual organisation’s unique circumstances have been made.”

Daniel Fluskey, Chartered Institute of Fundraising’s head of policy and external affairs, added: “Public fundraising activities have been rightly on hold during lockdown, but with the return of non-essential shops and other businesses resuming activity, it is appropriate for charities to be thinking about how they can restart fundraising in a safe and responsible way.

“This guidance sets out the key considerations that organisations need to be thinking about as they plan their return to fundraising activities in line with social distancing requirements.”

Source: Charity Times

Age UK Sandwell – Supporting Veterans

The service is available to all veterans, aged 50 and over, whether they served in the Army, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy or Merchant Navy, in Regular or Reserve forces and includes time spent during National Service.

How we can help:
We can help with a broad range of matters, including:
• Managing at Home – support to access services enabling you to live independently at home, understanding your housing options, ensuring you have enough support at home and accessing aids and adaptations.
• Money – We can ensure that you are claiming all of the welfare entitlements available to you, including relevant service related benefits and grants. We can also advise and review other money matters such as utility bills, pensions, tax and bank accounts.
• Safety – We can help with accessing equipment and adaptations in the home, assist in accessing local authority support services and direct you to other services and age appropriate products.
If we are unable to help then we can put you in touch with someone who can.

Get in touch:
Emma Humphries – Community Support Manager
Tel: 07426 713 788 or 0121 437 0033
This is a completely free service and funded by – Because Veterans Should Not Be Forgotten Supporting Veterans

Why More Charities Should be Using LinkedIn

Charity Digital News examines why engaging with LinkedIn’s audience of conscientious professionals should be part of all charities’ social media strategy.

LinkedIn is an effective social media platform for the voluntary sector. But too often it is being ignored by charity marketers in favour of more familiar platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Even when LinkedIn is used, it can be seen as an afterthought, with content for other, more personal style social platforms merely copy and pasted in.

But it is a mistake to ignore LinkedIn’s engaged and professional focused audience and the distinct social media marketing advantages it offers.

Here we will examine the benefits of using LinkedIn for charities and how it can help in their wider social media strategy.

Understanding LinkedIn

According to research cited by LinkedIn, almost all (96 per cent) of UK business to business (B2B) marketers use the platform for content and six out of ten describe it as “highly effective”. Around eight out of ten of all their leads for new business come from LinkedIn.

Knowing more about LinkedIn, its audience and functions are key for charities in harnessing this marketing power.

The platform is primarily used for professional networking, which means its user base is highly engaged, keen to network and receptive to social media marketing campaigns. They are a B2B group of professionals who want to see relevant content for their job and are eager to learn from other professionals across a wide range of sectors.

The right content

Creating strong content that appeals to this professional user base is key. This includes recruitment announcements, such as board appointees and new hires. Promoting the work of your volunteers and firms that are volunteering or fundraising for your good causes is also effective.

Blog posts used on charity websites can also be repositioned for a LinkedIn audience.
Links to interesting, professional articles, that will assist a wide range of people in their job, are also of interest.

Be warned though. This audience is not interested in personal content. So, while a cute picture of your CEO’s dogs may work Instagram, it is less likely to appeal to LinkedIn’ users.

In addition, political news that is not relevant to people’s working life is not welcome by this audience. Such issues can also be divisive in the workplace. Treat them as such on LinkedIn.

Instead, LinkedIn users are looking for content that can help in their job and working life. This is why recruitment opportunities can be so appealing.

The quality of LinkedIn’s audience is clear, but the platform also has the quantity of audience to back up its use in marketing. As of May 2020, it boasted more than 690 million users, across 150 countries. Around half are regular, active users each month.

Source: Charity Digital News

Get Creative or Lose Supporters, Charities Warned

UK charities risk losing vital supporters if they don’t ‘get creative’ and allow donors to have more creative freedom, fundraising experts have warned.

Studio Republic, the designers behind the 2.6 Challenge – which was launched to replace the postponed London Marathon in April – and fundraising experts, Funraisin, have urged charities to adapt to the ‘new normal’ and allow supporters to be involved in fundraising in a more creative way.

The comments come as part of a white paper on the future of fundraising, which was launched this week to demonstrate why creative methods of fundraising such as the 2.6 Challenge, which raised £10m for 3,000 charities, are vital for the sector to combat ‘donor fatigue’.

Fundraising has taken a hit over the past few months as major events have been cancelled and charities have been forced into finding new ways to raise much-needed money.

Captain Tom Moore – a 100-year old veteran who raised millions for NHS charities by walking laps of his garden – demonstrated how the general public are increasingly drawn to more creative ways of raising funds.

Studio Republic and Funraisin said collectively, they’re aiming to ‘break-down the current conditioning of limitations’.

“Once the dust settles, the new normal will be a hyper-congested market and an economy under immense pressure,” Funraisin COO, Keith Williams said.

“Charities will not just be competing as a sector for donations, but will be competing with every other consumer good or service. Charities are the pillar and essential for every corner of the community.

“The 2.6 Challenge and other campaigns during the pandemic have proved that creativity & technology effectively engage fundraisers. Where the world has redefined what matters, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to make the world better.”

Studio Republic director, Fleurie Forbes-Martin added: “Fundraisers have seen and experienced a more flexible way of supporting causes close to their heart and they won’t want to revert back to the rigidity of traditional methods.

“Now it’s up to charities to meet these new fundraiser expectations head-on. The second half of 2020 is an opportune time to invest in the sophistication of planned events and campaigns.”

Source: Charity Times


Coronavirus: Spending on Frontline Services in Decline as Income Continues to Fall

DeclineSpending on frontline services is in decline as charities battle with an increase in income loss, new research has shown.

In a survey conducted by ACEVO and researches at the Centre for Mental Health, more than half of charities (54%) said spending on frontline services has worsened in the last month.

The organisations surveyed 124 charities for the second consecutive month on financial changes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Charities were quizzed on new business and donation income, cashflow, FTE number of employees, reserves and spending on frontline services.

The overall score for June sat at 42.8 out of a maximum of 100, which is deemed a negative score, showcasing the financial deterioration among the sector.

A score of 50 means no change, and a score of 100 means every area has improved.

The score is, however, higher than April’s score of 30.8, suggesting that although challenges are worsening, it’s at a slower rate.

New business and donations were worse for 40% of charities responding; 36% reported worse cashflow and 44% reported that reserves had got worse.

Furthermore, in a new development, the number of charities reporting spending on frontline services was lower than the previous month increased sharply from 30% in April to 54% in May.

ACEVO said these findings suggest that charities that have been relying on reserves to maintain frontline services are now having to reduce their activity at a time when they are never more needed.

“In April, the chancellor announced emergency funding for charities to support the relief effort but much of it is yet to reach charities,” Kristiana Wrixon, head of policy at ACEVO said.

“This money was always too little, and it is now also too late to stop charities from being forced to scale back frontline services at a time when they are never more needed. The government needs to act urgently to increase funding to charities and civil society groups in order to reduce the risk of further harm being caused to people and communities that have been hardest hit by the pandemic.”

Source: Charity Times

Dawn Austwick to Step Down from National Lottery Community Fund

National Lottery Community Fund CEO Dawn Austwick has announced that she will be leaving the organisation at the end of this year.

Her announcement follows seven years leading the National Lottery Community Fund’s work, during which time she has led the creation and implementation of its Strategic Framework: People in the Lead.

Austwick decided to step down earlier this year, but put her plans on hold to steer the Fund through the onset of Covid-19.

Tony Burton, Chair at The National Lottery Community Fund, said:

“I am sure I speak on behalf of us all in recognising Dawn’s immense service in strengthening the Fund over her seven years. Her passion and commitment has paid dividends and never more so than in the way we have been able to respond to communities in the midst of a national crisis. Her leadership will no doubt leave a positive mark on communities across the UK as the country emerges into recovery and rebuild.”

Dawn Austwick, CEO of The National Lottery Community Fund, commented:

“After seven years at the helm, and with a significant birthday approaching, it is time for me to seek out new adventures and a different lifestyle.

“I will leave the Fund at the end of the year in excellent shape and will be very sad to leave my wonderful colleagues and Board, but excited about what might lie ahead. I remain passionate about the work we do helping people and communities to thrive and fully and energetically committed to leading the Fund through the next few months.”

Source: UK Fundraising

Active Black Country Survey

Active Black Country are launching a survey that aims to understand better the changes in residents activity habits over the course of the last 3 months and are inviting organisations and individuals to complete their survey.

They would like to develop an insight across 5 main areas:

1. To understand how, if at all, habits have changed, for the better or worse in relation to activity
2. To understand the extent to changes to levels in physical and mental health
3. To understand the extent of any behaviour change
4. To understand, in relation to ‘already actives’, how did they maintain activity levels and what had to change
5. How will people build any new habits into a post-Covid lifestyle, such as active travel

Following analysis, a Black Country wide report will be produced that collates all the main findings. In addition, if response rates allow, Local Authority summary papers will also be produced.

The survey takes around 15-20 minutes to complete. One respondent will be selected at random to receive £200 in vouchers towards physical activity equipment. We’ll be distributing across our networks and social media channels. We would greatly appreciate your assistance in sharing the survey across your networks using the link below.

Source: Active Black Country

Six Ways Digital Helps Charities Fundraise on a Budget

If your charity is dealing with a sudden restriction in funding, you’re not alone – charities around the UK are reporting that they expect to lose a third of their total income on average as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with 83% saying they will need access to emergency grant funding to survive.

But while the situation is unprecedented and worrying, in 2020 charities also have unprecedented opportunities to fundraise and spread the word about their cause on shoestring budgets thanks to digital technology and social media.

Here are some ways digital can help stretch your fundraising budget that little bit further:


Social media channels represent a cheap or even free opportunity for charities to reach a wider audience, forge valuable relationships and build an engaged community of fans. According to the 2019 CAF Giving report, one in seven people who donate using a website or app do so through social media.

But how do you manage the constant flow of social media posting and responding, with limited resources and time?

Social media management platforms such as Hootsuite, Buffer and TweetDeck can help charities automate a lot of the hard work behind scheduling content and understanding metrics to get the most out of their posting – we’ve covered a few of them here that feature free plans.

Google offers charities the chance to compete for free advertising space as part of its Google Grants programme, with over £7,500 a month in grants offered towards search engine marketing that can help your charity’s donation ask be seen.

To read the full Charity Digital article click here.

Source: Charity Digital

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