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Charities predict post-pandemic decline in giving

Melanie May | 26 April 2021 | News

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Research commissioned by the Covid-19 Support Fund, which was established by the insurance and long-term savings sector, suggests charities face further challenges over the next year and into 2022 with charitable giving by the public predicted to fall.

Four in 10 (40%) charities questioned said they expect fewer donations in the next year. An estimated 2.2 million givers intend to cut back the amount they donate post-pandemic, while around 1.6 million have already had to cancel a direct debit to charity.

The study findings also suggest that the way people give might change. Of those who do still intend to donate, more than one in ten (11%) are planning to donate more to smaller charities and causes post-pandemic. 10% want to support charities by gifting their time through volunteering.


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Colm Holmes, Chair of the Covid-19 Support Fund Governance Committee & Global CEO, General Insurance, Aviva said: 

“Our findings suggest charities could face a funding shortfall going into 2022 which could have serious repercussions on those who depend on their support.  Whilst we are on a roadmap to recovery, keeping charities afloat in these tough times is crucial in helping the nation build back better.”

Kerrie Eastman, CEO at Essex-based Streets2Homes, which runs a day centre for homeless people in the community, commented: 

“We’ve had many individuals and organisations show empathy towards our work during the pandemic and who have generously donated money and essential items to benefit the Harlow homeless community. Whilst it’s difficult to predict what the next year will bring, after giving so much during the crisis, we are anticipating a fall in donations from the public post-pandemic – many of our supporters are local people and small businesses who have and will continue to suffer the decline in the economy due to the loss of employment, reduced salaries and the impact the pandemic. As a small charity this is obviously concerning for us, but we remain optimistic.

“We have been fortunate to benefit from the Covid-19 Support Fund via the National Emergencies Trust and Essex Community Foundation. The funds we received allowed us to continue supporting those in need with essential services and also meet operational costs, ensuring our survival. As a result, Streets2Homes is still here and very much ready to reopen the doors to our day centre as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Gee Cook CEO of New Routes, a refugee charity in Norwich, agreed, adding: 

“The pandemic has affected charities up and down the country, and New Routes is no exception to that. Although it has been wonderful to see people in the Norwich community come together and support local causes over the course of the pandemic, as a small charity we have also noticed the impact that the prolonged crisis is having on people’s ability to give.


“Over the past few months we have definitely noticed a reduction in the number of ad-hoc donations compared to previous years, which can really add up for a small charity like ours. This makes our regular donors even more important, but we’re also seeing fewer of those coming on board lately.


“Large businesses are in a position to really help plug this funding gap. Our NET grant came via the Covid-19 Support Fund, and was massively important for us at a time when other sources of funding dried up. Without it we might have struggled to offer the services that our community desperately needs during this time.”