Think tank New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) lists greater awareness of digital and the popularity of online fundraising as aspects of the Covid-19 lockdown charities can build on long-term.
Charities need to build on their ramping up of digital skills amid the covid-19 lockdown, according to think tank NPC.
In considering the future of charities after Covid-19, NPC Chief Executive Dan Corry details the negative and positive changes for the sector.
The voluntary sector’s increased use of digital by staff, volunteers and their beneficiaries has been among a number of positive changes for charities to embrace long-term, he said.
“A breakthrough in our use of digital technology has been forced upon us,” said Corry in a blog post.
“But except in cases where digital delivery is impossible, this has been mostly for the best.
“I’m not just talking about endless staff Zoom meetings, but about learning how technology can help all sorts of people, what works and what does not, how to use it to identity need and organise ourselves towards those needs. And of course, how to help those who lack the tech.”
The increasing popularity in digital fundraising, particularly for NHS charities, is another aspect of the current pandemic that the voluntary sector can build on.
Online fundraising successes
Corry said: “The public, despite worrying about their jobs, have continued to give generously, although it seems digital crowdfunding for NHS charities is more popular or just more visible and accessible than giving to everyday charities.”
NHS Charities Together’s Covid-19 appeal has raised £83.6m so far. Among the most high profile fundraising campaigns has been Captain Tom Moore’s 100th birthday sponsored walk. This has raised £31m for NHS Charities Together to date.
Building on such positives and making “bold” decisions will be crucial to helping the charity sector progress post-lockdown, Corry said.
“The difference in where we go will be largely determined by the appetite of charities, government and funders for embracing real change and progress. Will they be cautious and shelter in their respective safe spaces? Or will they be bold, and take risks?
“Charities and funders need to think through their strategy. And the sector itself needs to embrace the positive change and fight to stop a slow slide backwards as much it can,” he said.
Among the negative aspects of the pandemic for the voluntary sector Corry lists is the financial problems charities are facing. “Many of the worst hit will be the community charities serving people most affected by coronavirus”, he added.