At a time when charities are Never More Needed, they are facing a significant funding gap. Traditional funding streams such as events have been cancelled and lockdown has seen charity shops close their doors. Over 51% of Scottish charities said they had lost income from fundraising and 42% from trading since March, while one third said they had a decrease in volunteers.
Scottish society needs a thriving voluntary sector to support people when they need it most and so do Scottish businesses. Here are some ideas about how to support charity or community partners through Covid 19 and beyond.
Many charities need unrestricted income right now that they can spend on the things that matter most. Your business may have sponsored specific projects for the charities you support, but freeing up your donations will help ensure charities have the flexibility to direct the money to where it is most needed right now. If you normally give at a particular time of year, consider making your donations as soon as possible, many charities need the funding now. If your organisation is a funder, take a look at SCVO’s guide to best practise for funders during Coronavirus.
While financial support from corporate organisations is always welcome; the professional skills and knowledge of employees can be just as valuable to charities. You might consider offering staff some time off to volunteer – it could provide them with valuable management or people skills that will serve your organisation well in the future. Corporate volunteers can donate their time to help manage, shape and guide charities through the coronavirus crisis. Social Good Connect is a new social enterprise that helps businesses embed corporate volunteering.
Your staff may not be able to do physical activities like bake sales and marathon runs but you can still encourage them to get creative and boost morale with some virtual fundraising. Check out this list of ideas.
Support Payroll Giving and encourage your employees to donate through their salaries. Payroll Giving is a national scheme that enables employees to give through their salary before tax. That means every pound donated will only cost your employees 80p, or 60p if they are a higher rate taxpayer. Find out moreabout Payroll Giving.
Lots of charities and social enterprises across Scotland provide goods and services that your businesses needs from media companies to web development to IT Support. Using your buying power to help your local community to thrive will reap long-term benefits for your business. Visit Social Enterprise Scotland to find out more or, if you work in Aberdeen, ACVO runs a programme to link up businesses and not-for-profits for mutually beneficial business opportunities.
Employment & skills development
Are you recruiting? Have you considered working with a charity to help recruit future leaders? The Princes Trust offers a range of ways for businesses to support young people into employment.
Work with your charity partner
Speak with your charities to understand the new challenges they are facing and consider how to support them better. Maybe they’d like to have your business expertise on their board, or perhaps a strategy development day with your senior management team.
Do your research
Think about what kind of society your business needs to survive and thrive? Can you identify emerging groups within the communities you operate and align your strategy with them?
Shout about it!
Don’t be coy – promoting your work with a charity or community group is promoting the group. We need everyone to know these services #NeverMoreNeeded than right now.
Here are some suggested social media posts:
- “We recognise [Insert charity name] is #NeverMoreNeeded so we’ve given staff time off to volunteer with it.”
- “We’re working in partnership with [Insert charity name] to help develop its fundraising strategy because we know its work is #NeverMoreNeeded than right now.”
- “Our staff told us [Insert charity name]’s work supporting [insert beneficiaries] is #NeverMoreNeeded so we’ve donated £X”.