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  • Writer's pictureJessica Halliday

Beyond giving: re-inventing the face of charity work

Genna and Anne Chege, the mother of New Hope Children's Centre

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;  

Occupational skills

  • 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.

Personal Skills 

  • 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'. 

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