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Covid-19 has brought many challenges for not for profits and their fundraising. Not least, is working out how to keep vital regular income coming in when fundraising activities like events and face-to-face fundraising have been stopped.
The not-for-profit sector is quick to adapt however, and these difficult times have led to innovation and creativity. Anecdotally we know many charities have explored new fundraising methods, tried new channels and shifted their fundraising strategies and budgets to better communicate and engage during this difficult time, to keep vital funds coming in.
Some have been proactive in their stewardship of regular supporters, contacting them not just to reinforce how valued their contributions are, but to offer new options for giving, in a bid to reduce attrition.
It’s also been heart-warming to see, despite their own challenges, people continuing their support for charities and good causes. This has been made very clear by the amazing totals raised by fundraisers such as Captain Tom, by appeals for NHS charities and others on the frontline of the pandemic response, and by virtual events such as the 2.6 Challenge and the Big Night In.
From our own figures, we know that the Direct Debit donation cancellations rate rose during March but settled back down to the more usual pre-Covid rate during April.
We know too however, that the number of new regular giving supporters has faltered with fewer sign ups, likely a combination of public uncertainty and major recruitment channels like face-to-face being stopped.
To investigate further, we’re launching a survey to help us measure how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted regular giving, and we’re asking charities of all shapes and sizes to take part.
With your help we can build up a clearer picture of just how the past few months have changed things and what this may mean for the future. We’d particularly like to know how you’ve had to adapt your regular giving approach both during lockdown and now in this initial recovery phase, and what strategies have worked to drive donations as well as mitigate attrition.
We will of course share our learnings with the sector, and we hope the insight gained will help us create a clearer roadmap to support charities in times of crisis and recovery.