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First findings of Covid Impact Monitor revealed

First findings of Covid Impact Monitor revealed

The first findings of the Covid Impact Monitor have revealed that charities saw emergency revenue quadruple in 2020 compared to 2019, while regular giving held up and online giving surged. Recruitment levels collapsed however, while retail income dropped 94%.

The full Covid Impact Monitor results will be released to the sector on 27 January at a free online event, which charities can sign to up here.

The Covid Impact Monitor is produced by Charity Benchmarks – a joint venture of Open and Freestyle Marketing, which has tracked charity income and performance through the pandemic to develop a data-driven insight into the impact of Covid.

The Monitor provides participating charities with tailored reports into their 2020 performance and highlights which activities have been negatively, and in some cases positively, impacted by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. The data allows fundraisers to take action to improve their fundraising. They can also explore what 3,200 fundraisers are achieving for their own charities and how and where charities are focusing their spend, their resources and their strategies.

Participants of the study include: The Children’s Society, Stroke Association, RNIB, Christian Aid, Macmillan, Guide Dogs, Oxfam, and British Heart Foundation with several more household names joining the study this month and supplying full data for 2020.

The first phase of the report, which analyses income and expenditure for Q1 – Q3 in 2020, has uncovered insights into a range of fundraising methods – including the performance of emergency campaigns and the ‘domestication’ of this form of fundraising activity.

The research also uncovered a significant increase in non-emergency cash-giving which doubled in both Q2 and Q3 of 2020 – driving improved ROI and cost per acquisition for cash donors.

Q4 results are currently being submitted by participating charities and analysis of the entire year will be presented in a revised version of the report in April.

As a result there is still time for more charities to join the study, and receive their own personal report as well as inclusion in the full 2020 results.

The first phase findings will be shared at the webinar on 27 January, at 1pm, with Open’s James Briggs and Freestyle Marketing’s Allan Freeman live online to share the data and answer any questions from participants. They will also be joined by RNIB’s Alex McDowell.

James Briggs – co-founder, Open, said:

“In times like these it’s so important to get a robust, data-driven view of the market and what’s going on. The results for Q1 to 3 have been illuminating and I hope they help our participants – and the wider sector – understand the challenges and opportunities that the situation presents.”

Allan Freeman – director, Freestyle Marketing added:

“We’ve got an amazing study an amazing group of participants – representing £1.5bn of income in 2019 and almost £900m in Q1-3 of 2020. But we really want as many people as possible to get on board this month. We have a window where people can submit data and get their own report and I’d urge anyone who’s interested to get in touch as soon as possible.”

Charities wishing to find out more information about participating in the study can contact Mark Foster at


Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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