Two-thirds of charities expect decrease in challenge donations due to social distancing

The figures come from a survey of almost 2,000 fundraisers carried out in May and June

Socially-distant fundraisers (Photograph: Ken Jack/Getty Images)
Socially-distant fundraisers (Photograph: Ken Jack/Getty Images)

Almost two thirds of charities believe social distancing measures will lead to an overall decrease in events and challenge donations, according to a survey.

The Status of UK Fundraising 2020 Report, produced by the software provider Blackbaud in partnership with the Institute of Fundraising, also found that more than half (56 per cent) of respondents believe their event fundraising will be impacted long term. 

The survey of 1,990 fundraising professionals, conducted in May and June, found that 65 per cent of respondents believed social distancing would lead to a decrease in the money raised by events and challenges. 

Two-thirds (66 per cent) of respondents said they believed their organisation was coping well in response to Covid-19, but 29 per cent said they were not confident that they would be able to continue post-lockdown.

Researchers found that 44 per cent of respondents said they anticipated a positive increase in online donations while social distancing measures remained in place.

In spite of this, less than half (44 per cent) were found to be willing to innovate and try new fundraising methods following the pandemic and less than a quarter (24 per cent) were very confident that their organisation would be able to adapt their fundraising. 

More than a quarter (26 per cent) said they had failed to meet their fundraising target as a result of the pandemic and 27 per cent said they had experienced a year-on-year fall in income, while 24 per cent said their income had remained static.

Despite this, 66 per cent of respondents said they were either fairly confident or very confident that their organisation would financially recover from the pandemic.

Dan Fluskey, head of policy and external affairs at the IoF, said: “Given that vast swathes of fundraising activity has not been able to take place since March, it is not surprising that fewer organisations would report income growth this year. 

“However, the extensive effect of Covid-19 on financials will only be fully reflected in future research where we can take a longer view. 

“Unsurprisingly the challenge that Covid-19 presents for charities and the associated economic cost are front-and-centre of people’s minds when thinking about the years to come.”

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