Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

How coronavirus is inspiring people to do good and help

How coronavirus is inspiring people to do good and help

The first global pandemic of the 21st century has generated plenty of antisocial behaviour such as panic-buying groceries, but it is also inspiring very many people to step up and do something helpful.

Here are just some of the many examples we have spotted. We’ll add more as we spot them.


1. Corner shop kindness

This was one of the first to be featured widely. Corporate giving by a small business helping its local community and the people it serves and knows by name.


2. Good cheer

We’ve clapped for our underfunded, severely unprotected NHS staff and all their “low-skilled” colleagues, but BrewGooder now gives us the chance to donate a four-pack of its beer to someone working in the NHS. And just as importantly we get to send a personal message of support.



There’s more good cheer from Guinness, stepping up to support bartenders across the UK who have lost their jobs.



3. Do it yourself

Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK is a network of local groups which have sprung up within a week to provide mutual aid and community care across the country. The movement has been spread and developed primarily through social media, and demonstrates a widespread sense of a need to do something positive.

People in many different countries are simply doing it themselves to set up local, practical groups to bring help and support to their neighbours.


Others are using their skills to match services with people who need them, not least food and supplies for vulnerable people.



Many people have discovered another easy way to give. If you’ve booked theatre tickets for performances that will now not take place you can join all those who have decided not to ask for a refund but donate the sum instead.


4. Volunteer

Sometimes all it takes is a clear ask for a very clear and urgent need. On 24 March the NHS called for 250,000 volunteers “to help up to 1.5 million people who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus because of underlying health conditions.”

In two days 670,000 people volunteered.

It will be fascinating to learn how many of these people are volunteering for the first time and who now might get a taste for voluntary work from now on.


4. Major gifts

Many individuals have made major gifts, donating cash or resources. Some business people are backing up the good deeds by acting decently towards their employees too.




Sir Tom Hunter is matching the £720,000+ donated to the appeal set up following the news that The Kiltwalk will not be taking place this year.



Some people are giving up a proportion of their salary to donate to charity:


5. In memory

Families and friends are doing their best to cope with grief by setting up in memory funds and tribute campaigns.


6. Corporate giving

Some companies or shops are probably doing their first corporate giving. They’re doing so because they can see need and inspirational people, so not all support will be directed at charities. And not all support will be financial: sometimes it is simply offering their service for free.


Just looking through some of your warehouses can prove timely:


7. Celebrity and influencer fundraising

Food writer Jack Monroe has launched a crowdfunding campaign for foodbank charity The Trussell Trust. Its target of £10,000 has already been surpassed, and stands at £16,675. 

Footballer Paul Pogba used his March birthday to raise funds for Unicef, offering to double the one-day target of £27,000 if it was reached.

If you’ve got a following online you can find that you have the ability to inspire them to give to a cause. 

The San Antonio-based author Shea Serrano used Twitter to help some of the low-wage and hourly workers who were already desperately needed tips and shifts because of the coronavirus outbreak. In three days he raised $10,000. For individuals, not organisations helping them. All he needed as proof of need was screenshots of student-loan statements and overdue medical bills.

And here is his original tweet:


Fitness expert Joe Wicks, who is getting the nation’s children (and adults) moving at 9am each morning, has pledged to donate all the income from these videos on his YouTube channel will be donated “straight to the NHS, to support the real heroes right now”.

According to The Guardian “in the first two days alone, Wicks’s YouTube channel had notched up more than 5m views.”



And here is what he has gone on to achieve:

A large number of musicians are donating their services to perform for One World: Together at Home which will be streamed live on 18 April. It isn’t a fundraising event itself, but aims to recognise and thank the world’s healthcare workers and other key workers, but is in support of the UN and WHO’s COVID-19 Response Fund.




More examples of doing good








Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

Get free email updates

Keep up to date with fundraising news, ideas and inspiration with a weekly or daily email. [Privacy]

* We do not share your email or personal details.
" />