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COVID-19: the coronavirus fundraising appeals

Inevitably charities have started to launch fundraising appeals as planned sources of income and giving disappear as ‘social distancing’ and other forms of self-isolation are required of us all.
The following list is simply intended as a collection of some of the first to launch.
Some are emergency appeals to make up for lost income, while others are appeals to support the charity’s work helping those suffering because of the pandemic and its primary and secondary consequences.



Child.org logo
Even new charities, digitally savvy, with social-business-like approaches to income generation can see that their income is under threat. Child.org is one such small charity that has diversified its fundraising income across pub quizzes, walking tours (which the charity runs for thousands of tourists a year), and Charity Concierge fundraising at music festivals. It has also impacted sales of the Charity’s Ride Africa cycle ride (taking place in November). 

Ali Wright delivers child.org Feminist Walking Tour outside Buckingham Palace

Ali Wright delivers child.org’s Feminist Walking Tour outside Buckingham Palace. This is one of the charity’s sources of earned income.

Ellie Dawes, Fundraising and Comms Manager said that their forecasts show that the charity could lose out on anywhere between 40-80% of their income this year. She said:
“We’re reaching out urgently to our supporters with this appeal, because we’ve just seen the vast majority of our sustainable income sources vanish overnight. We’re asking for donations but also contacts, ideas, any way in which our extended Child.org family may be able to help. 

“Child.org has always aimed to raise more of our money from enterprise – that means quizzes, tours for tourists, fundraising at festivals, cycling trips to Africa. We know that the possibility of replacing a fraction of that income by reaching out to our small network of loyal supporters is very low – but we’re exploring every opportunity at the moment and every pound raised will help us mitigate the damage.”

Video appeals

Urgency is often best conveyed in person so, if online, video is the choice, and charities are already using that for their appeals.



So many appeals, especially from small charities

Very quickly the volume of appeals grew so that it was easy to draw up lists of them:


Appeals to government on behalf of the whole sector

The government has moved first to support for-profit businesses and employees. It has been slow in offering financial support on a similar scale to the charity sector, despite urgent lobbying by many charities and sector umbrella bodies including NCVO, Institute of Fundraising and Charity Finance Group.


Other appeals

Not all appeals are emergency or existential appeals. 


Appeals from other organisations

The pandemic is causing all kinds of groups and organisations to shut down of course. This includes groups that might not spring to mind such as the local recycling/reusing network Freegle which is shutting down for six months.