In this free online resource, experts look at the impact of COVID-19 on the UK charity sector and offer some important advice to charities looking to develop a long-term strategy
This article is sponsored by Blackbaud Europe – leading providers of cloud software for social good.
Social media has been quick to point out that 17 November 2020 marked the one-year anniversary of the first recorded case of COVID-19. Within that year, we’ve seen 49% of charities launch an emergency appeal, 75% try virtual fundraising for the first time, and a quarter of fundraising professionals working remotely for the first time in their current role.
It’s been essential to be more reactive – with plans put in place weeks ahead as opposed to months or years – and adapt to the fast-changing environment that we have found ourselves in. As a result, it’s likely many of us have had to pause our longer-term planning but, with news of a vaccine recently announced, it’s important to start looking ahead and think about what life needs to look like beyond COVID-19.
We’re entering a ‘new normal’ and our needs, along with that of our donors, have changed.
Every charity has its own strengths and weaknesses and in order to create a long-term strategy it’s important that you first begin by identifying what yours are.
In order to help you do this, Blackbaud has launched a new e-book – Fundraising Focus: Looking Beyond COVID-19. The e-book is divided into five core chapters with each chapter written by a different charity sector expert on an area that they believe is a key priority for fundraisers in the year, or years, ahead.
The idea is not to give you five different big priorities, but for you to use the practical advice and professional opinions in each chapter to determine which areas your organisation needs to adapt, innovate, or grow in order to have a successful 2021.
Digital and virtual opportunities
‘Virtual fundraising’ or ‘virtual event’ may feel like 2020 buzzwords, but the reality is that virtual events were popular with fundraisers long before the pandemic and some charities were already successfully engaging with them – great examples of this are Miles for Refugees and Operation Bletchley.
Sally Falvey, Head of Corporate Marketing at JustGiving and Blackbaud, opens the e-book by sharing some of the activity that we’ve seen not just over the past nine months, but over the past few years.
Sally also shares some of the key trends that we’ve seen, as well as five key steps to creating impactful events, both during and after the pandemic.
Culture and values
Fundraising is the main way that people learn about the work of charities, which is why it’s imperative that your communication, inside and out of your charity, reflects the communities that you represent.
Within Fundraising Focus, we share two chapters which concentrate on your charity’s culture and mindset. In the first, we hear from both Lizzie Ellis, Policy and Information Officer at the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, who shares 11 vital questions that you need to ask yourself if you are seeking to create an authentic culture of inclusion, diversity, and equality.
The second chapter is contributed by Fruzsi Kozma, Community Fundraising & Events Manager at WWF-UK, and it explores the practical ways that you can adopt more sustainable practices. In a year which has seen David Attenborough join Instagram to implore younger generations to take better care of the planet, this feels like a subject that many of us could benefit from knowing more about.
COVID-19 has changed more than just our office set up. It’s also shifted the skills required (and expected) from leaders. To build a strong team, your charity may need to review the skills that it invests in.
Zoe Amar shares the four key qualities needed to turn a good leader into a great one, as well as tips for how you can develop employees and volunteers into strong team members who challenge you to rethink influence and power.
With the right advice, we know that charities will be able to create a long-term fundraising strategy which enables them to succeed beyond the impact of COVID-19. Whether one, or all five, of the e-book’s chapters resonate with you, we hope that it gives you the confidence and clarity needed going into the new year.
Fundraising Focus: Looking Beyond COVID-19 is available to download