Consider supporters' wishes before restarting events, Chartered Institute of Fundraising advises

The membership body says organisations need to consider what is the right kind of event for the right charity at the right time

(Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
(Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Charities need to consider the appetite among their supporters before restarting fundraising events, the Chartered Institute of Fundraising has cautioned. 

Daniel Fluskey, head of policy and external affairs at the CIOF said although the government set out its roadmap yesterday for reopening the economy in England, it was too early for charities to start putting definitive plans in place for fundraising activities for the rest of the year. 

Although there was not yet any definitive guidance on when charitable organisations might be able to start running certain types of events, the roadmap was helpful in terms of providing a sense of where things could go, he told Third Sector

But he warned that even when the timescales become more apparent, charities must be having complementary discussions about what their supporters would feel comfortable doing. 

“The restrictions is one half of it, but the other half is to look at the appetite for what people want to do,” said Fluskey. 

“Would they want to come to that kind of event, and could we give them the kind of experience that we would want to, in terms of them having a good time, making the right connection with our cause and being inspired to donate?”

He said some people would be keen to get out and do things as soon as they can but other people would be reluctant or hesitant, for example if they were vulnerable or shielding. 

“So I think it’s going to be a very mixed picture in terms of what charities think it is right for them to do, and what people think is right, and what they are keen to be able to do,” said Fluskey. 

“It’s key to look at what you do over the year, think about what your supporters want, what kind of engagement might that be, and plan your events around what your supporters want rather than put a fixed timetable because you can run an event on that day.”

He said: “The key thing is that it is the right kind of event for the right charity at the right time – it’s definitely not going to be a case of everybody do this event in June.”

Fluskey said the roadmap was useful in terms of informing strategic decision-making rather than being a definitive manual in its own right of when things were going to be returning. 

“And of course it’s all subject to change, so we wouldn't want people to be putting in place plans that might need changing further down the line,” he said.

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