Supporting charities during challenging times
As individuals, businesses, organisations and societies; we have all been left vulnerable by the financial impacts of COVID-19. Charities and Not-for-Profit Organisations are no exception to this, and many are struggling to deliver on their purpose at a time where demand has increased, but revenue is low.
The Australian Centre for Social Impact believes that, "most charities are experiencing significant losses of income as a result of service disruption, falling income, rising demand and higher costs caused by the global pandemic". These losses not only threaten the charities themselves but also the many individuals, groups and communities who are recipients of these services.
So the question is then, how do we, as individuals, ensure and protect the all-important work of charities at a time where we are also struggling financially? The answer to this is that it is time to re-invent our thinking towards charity work and get creative in how we connect with charities.
Harnessing the power of your interests and skills
On a personal level, I often get asked how I manage to be so heavily involved in charity and social causes? This involvement doesn't necessarily occur through financial giving, with my involvement predominately coming from participation and skills-based volunteering.
Despite COVID-19, in this year alone, I have managed to participate in two national fundraisers. One a walking challenge, the other a ration challenge, both completed from my own home without physically having to attend any fundraisers. Moving forward, as charities continue to adapt their approach to fundraisers, there will be more opportunities to participate in this way.
On a more regular basis, I use my interests and skills to assist charities in their work; an example of this being me writing this article right now. Often we don't realise or recognise just how large of a contribution our skills can have. Whether it be an occupational skill, personal skill or talent, all can enhance the work of charities. For example;
Marketing = Develop marketing/advertising campaigns for the charity, grow the engagement of the charity, create marketing materials and communications
Graphic Designer = Assist charities with the visual impact of their service through logo design, brand development, marketing materials and website/social media advice
Finance = Develop financial reviews, reports and budgets. Maintain bookkeeping and provide expert knowledge and money strategies to charities to ensure they remain viable and prosperous well into the future
Researchers = Help charities identify new ventures and projects. Help charities measure their impact, how they are tracking against their goals, provide quantitative data and identify data trends of the charity
Human Resources = Recruit and coordinate volunteers, organise training, support the safety and wellbeing of volunteers involved with the charity
Events Management = Run events and fundraisers for the charities, map out the logistical side of events, use connections and networks to source out event spaces/catering/equipment/resources/special guests
Influencer = Use your established platform to raise awareness and promote causes
Fashion Designers = Produce clothing and accessories that can be used by the charity at events or for volunteers
Trade = Complete maintenance work on service facilities or assist with building needs at events
Caterers = Preparing food for events/fundraisers as well as in house charity events and transporting and delivering this food.
Organised = Assist in the administration side of the charity
Imaginative = Think of new, innovative ideas for the charity especially in terms of Covid-19 and how to provide socially distanced and save events
Persuasive = Get the support of businesses whether this be through their support in sponsorship, monetary donations, donating prizes for competitions or the donation of supplies
Leadership = Oversee and lead charity staff and volunteers in their daily work and at events/fundraisers
Confidence = Deliver public speaking for the charity and publicly advocate on behalf of the charity
Music = Perform at charities events and fundraisers or teaching these talents as part of workshops hosted by the charity
Photography = Photograph the daily work of charities to share with audiences as well as photographing events/fundraisers
Writing = Write blogs, newsletter, grant proposals for the charity
Art = For client-based charities and services, teach these arts as part of educational programs and workshops
Drawing = Create drawings and illustrations for marketing materials or donate these drawing as prizes for competitions
Quite literally, the list could go on and on, but the point is that there are skills and talents every one of us has that is hugely regarded and required by charities. At a time where keeping charity costs low but still meeting demand has never been more essential, donating these skills and talents is cost-effective for both ourselves as individuals well as charities.
In the words of Alice Hocker, 'Your greatness is not what you have, but in what you give'.