The Impact Of COVID-19 On Good Cause Fundraising

Here at Gatherwell, we’ve been researching how COVID-19 has affected charity and voluntary sector fundraising. The results paint a worrying picture, of good causes struggling to make ends meet in the face of ongoing restrictions and event cancellations. But there is hope for the sector in the form of online fundraising.

Through our One Lottery fundraising platform and other lottery partners, Gatherwell helps over 8000 good causes across the UK to establish a reliable and secure source of income by setting up their own online lottery. When the pandemic struck, back in March 2020, these causes were better prepared than most for the funding difficulties that lay ahead.

Our survey, (completed by over 1500 good causes at the end of 2020) shows the true extent of the fundraising challenge facing the third sector as a whole. It comes as no surprise that the COVID-19 lockdowns and enforced closures have been a major stumbling block for fundraising, but the true extent of the problem is staggering.

90% of good causes report their fundraising being negatively affected by COVID-19.

97% expect COVID-19 to continue limiting their ability to raise funds over the next 6 months.

Respondents told us:

“We’ll probably be forced to close the club. Great shame as our centenary year is 2024. Perhaps we will not make it.”

“Fundraising is a critical part of the charity’s funding. If further reductions in income occur, there is the potential for job cuts and, worst case scenario, we’ll have to close and the zoo animals euthanised if they can’t be rehomed.”

The timing of the coronavirus lockdown and subsequent restrictions coincided with the main fundraising season for most organisations. Countless income-generating events such as summer fayres and sports fixtures had to be cancelled, meaning that anticipated Spring/Summer funding boost simply didn’t happen in 2020. Ongoing restrictions throughout the year meant that other seasonal fundraising opportunities, particularly around Christmas, were also lost.

Good causes told us:

“Extremely difficult for us to survive the current period as we have ongoing expenses whether we are able to hold events or not.”

 “We have to look for new ways to keep the football club running so the children aren’t disadvantaged especially when football can help both physically and mentally.”

How does this impact upon charitable finances?

More than half of the good causes who responded confirmed that, apart from their lottery, they had been unable to do ANY form of fundraising during lockdown, with almost 70% not trying any new methods of fundraising.

If you wish to read more about the findings of our survey, “The Impact Of COVID-19 & Gatherwell Services To Good Causes”, you can read the full report here.

When the pandemic struck Gatherwell took emergency action and fast-forwarded fundraising plans to the good causes we work with. This provided much needed additional support at a time when many of our clients were unsure of the way ahead. With our support organisations were able to focus more on promoting their lotteries as a way of sustaining a regular income stream.

80% of survey respondents said that their lottery helped keep funds coming in during COVID-19.

Respondents said:

 “We’ll be promoting the lottery more! It has been a lifeline. Thank you from us all.”

“The support of the lottery has supplemented the loss of regular income.”

If you are interested in establishing an easy, year-round source of income that is run entirely online, then One Lottery is the solution. One Lottery is open to UK good causes including:

  • Charities
  • Small groups and societies
  • Sports clubs
  • Village halls and community venues
  • Theatres and Arts organisations
  • Schools and PTAs
  • Community Interest Companies

As an online fundraising solution with no set-up costs, One Lottery is COVID-safe, sustainable and risk-free. We provide guidance on how to promote your lottery, as well as free marketing materials and incentives to help you attract players.

To start your online lottery enrol now or call 01865 678879 for further information.

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