On 28 January, the Institute launched a web survey to assess the short-term impact of the tsunami appeal on your organisations and to identify fundraisers' concerns about the longer-term implications of such a large-scale appeal. Nearly 300 organisations took part in this survey and we are immensely grateful to those of you who contributed.
The results are now available. Members of the Institute and survey respondents have been sent the full report, and a summary version is available online at the Institute's homepage.
Although it's too early to identify the long-term effects of the tsunami appeal on UK charities, it's clear that fundraisers are largely concerned about how the tsunami appeal will affect their bottom lines, but recognise the longer-term, sector-wide benefits of such a large-scale fundraising initiative.
Whether charities have seen negative or positive effects on their income, there is overwhelming feeling that the public's reaction has been generous, understandable and right. The challenge now is for charities to capture the giving momentum and sector-wide positive attributes of increased awareness of charities and of Gift Aid in a big enough way to override any negative impact of reductions in donations.
Within this survey, we asked you what you would like the Institute to do to best support your organisation over the coming months and thereafter.
Your answers indicate that you would like us to play a role in promoting trust and confidence in the voluntary sector, committed giving, Gift Aid and best practice.
The public face of much of the Institute's work is intended to improve trust and confidence in charities. From our day-to-day promotion of best practice to our core role in the development of a robust self-regulatory scheme for fundraising and the Charity Bill more widely, these activities all have the ultimate aim of driving fundraising standards ever higher and increasing trust and confidence beyond the sector.
The Institute is particularly keen to promote committed giving within the sector and among donors. Two examples of this are our work in promoting the new Payroll Giving Grants programme - a core project that aims to encourage regular, reliable charitable donations - and lifetime legacies (see below).
As for Gift Aid, we are in discussions with the Treasury about the need for a major promotion of tax-efficient giving. In the meantime, we'll be doing all we can to get the message out to donors to keep giving to the causes they care about.