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Making A Difference During COVID-19

In this informative piece, whatCharity CEO Tiia Sammallahti explains how the pandemic has impacted the charity sector, as well as what we can all do to try to combat its effects. Charities are calling on businesses and self employed professionals to support them, through offering funding, resources, and skills.

Social Value UK and whatcharity.com are currently sharing blogs on each other’s websites, take a read of SVUK Operations Manager, Catherine Manning’s latest blog here: Let’s Talk Impact #2: How To Get Started


Tiia Sammallahti talks making a difference on Jazz FM Business Breakfast

Charity Stats Since The Outbreak Of The Pandemic

  • Mid-sized charities are desperate for resources from business to stay afloat during economic uncertainty
  • 30% of charities surveyed have closed and 60% have reduced their key services
  • 4 in 5 charities have had their funding negatively affected by coronavirus
  • Over half of charities say they need strategic help to navigate this unknown period
  • whatCharity.com launched this online dashboard so that charities can tell businesses their most urgent needs, from funding, to products and services – with transparent information provided on all listed charities to ease the due diligence process.

whatCharity are connecting charitable causes with like-minded businesses and calling on company leaders to rethink how they support charities during these turbulent times.

Charities report losing millions in grants and donations collected through fundraising. Even with the chancellor of the exchequer announcing £750m in new funding, many feel not enough is being done to keep charities operating.

New findings from whatCharity’s research show COVID-19 as having a considerable impact on charities providing essential services.

88% of charities have seen their fundraising affected and two thirds (62%) say it’s had a significant impact on their organisation.

The survey of 227 decision makers, representing all sizes of UK charity, shows that half (51%) say they need strategic support to navigate these unprecedented times. Three in five charities (60%) have reduced services and beneficiary work and a third (30%) have closed because of COVID-19.

How Businesses Can Help

As coronavirus puts pressure on individuals, the economy, and society as a whole, more can be done by businesses, without having to donate money. Businesses can play a key role for struggling third sector organisations, by providing their in-house expertise, products and skills pro bono to local charities.

“The COVID-19 crisis has caused charities to lose millions of pounds due to the cancellation of fundraising events and the loss of vital grants. All of this comes at a time when their beneficiaries are likely to be most in need of support.

“Today not all business are struggling but the challenge might be knowing how to help charities during this economic uncertainty. There is no doubt that companies have vital skills, services, products and funds charities are crying out for. Employee fundraising doesn’t need to stop, there are things that can be done in the the virtual world. We see this as an opportunity for businesses to innovate and build partnerships with third sector organisations. 

“Through the whatCharity platform companies can see within minutes if there is a charity that they can support through their products and expertise. Whether businesses lend a hand with strategy and planning or coaching charities to take their services online – they can act as a lifeline to the UK’s struggling third sector during this difficult time.”

– Tiia Sammallahti, CEO of whatCharity

Charity Case Studies

Oak Leaf

Oakleaf is the only mental health charity in Surrey working as a social enterprise to provide vocational training for those suffering from mental health issues. £2,000 (or equivalent) would cover the costs of one front-line staff to deliver their adapted package of remote support for one month, including the technology, time and expertise.

“We are working around the clock to ensure that our hundreds of clients can access support over the phone and via video during these difficult times. With many funding streams vanishing our financial security is at risk and we run of having to close if things don’t change.”

– Jennifer Clay, Fundraising and Partnership Manager at Oakleaf

Peterson’s Fund For Children

Peterson’s Fund for Children has been helping families for 10 years by providing funding for bespoke therapy, equipment and respite care otherwise unavailable through the NHS to those with severe mental and physical disabilities. The charity improves the quality of life for the individuals in order to maximise their individual growth and potential.

“We are now providing broader family support because of the COVID-19 crisis to ensure each family has enough food. Special diets and the loss of family income due to furloughing is putting a strain on lots of families. Furthermore, because of the risk of infection, families cannot go out because of the increased risk to their loved ones.

“We are looking for volunteers who can help with purchasing and delivering food. We’re also looking for businesses that can help us use social media to ensure we’re reaching as many families in the local area as possible. For example, a business that can donate £3,000 and support with social media would help us feed more local families in need of our support.”

– Charlene Peterson, Director, Peterson’s Fund For Children

Click here to view the whatCharity COVID-19 response dashboard.

Any questions for whatCharity, get in touch here.

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