Welcome to our April 2020 Monthly Briefing

This month:

  • What funding is available to charities during the Covid-19 pandemic?
  • Making the most of fundraising from home
  • Legacy Fundraising: The Only Constant is Change! – new research revealed

What funding is available to charities during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Banking group Barclays is one of the latest organisations to have launched a charity foundation to help tackle the impact of coronavirus and has committed £100m to it. The Barclays Foundation will be giving out half of the £100m in the form of direct funding for charities, while the other half is a commitment to match employees’ donations, including senior figures in the corporate pledging a third of their salary.

Charities Aid Foundation has launched an emergency fund offering one-off grants of up to £10,000 to small charities and social enterprises that are struggling during the current crisis. Organisations with a turnover up to £1m can apply.

The National Emergencies Trust has launched a coronavirus fundraising appeal to raise funds for local charities. The British Red Cross will be managing donations. NET will award grants and distribute money raised through a number of charitable organisations, for example local community foundations. It released the first £2.5m to community foundations on 26 March.

Martin Lewis, the founder of Money Saving Expert, has also pledged £1m to support small charities. In a statement, he said: “To try and help I’m going to release £1m from my personal charity fund to provide grants of £5,000 to £20,000 to small registered charities, or local arms of bigger charities, across the UK “to help with specific UK coronavirus-related poverty relief projects.”

Other available funding

In a time of increased pressure on the charitable sector, Civil Society News has collated some of the funding being made available for charities during the Covid-19 pandemic and their website provides links to the individual foundations.

Foundation flexibility

Several foundations are also offering flexibility in terms of adjusting reporting requirements. The Charity Commission has also said charities may be able to ask for extensions on filing annual returns.

Making the most of fundraising from home

As fundraisers we build relationships, engaging with all sorts of people. This social interaction has changed drastically with the emergence of the coronavirus. At this time your fundraising team will be under much more stress than usual. So how can senior fundraisers adapt to support their team, supporters and collaborators? John Green has worked in the voluntary sector for nearly 20 years. He is currently fundraising manager at The Jesuits and has a Masters in Voluntary Administration from South Bank University. Here he shares 5 tips for great fundraising with a home-based team.

1. Check the IT won’t break!
Even if it’s working fine now, a failure with a dispersed team will be more disruptive than usual. So, ensure it’s being backed up remotely and staff aren’t saving work to home PC’s both for security and GDPR. Check with your IT support what provision there is for a system failure.

2. Get organised
Review your fundraising plan and make sure it takes account of the changed situation for staff and supporters, you may need to update it and ensure the team is aware of the changes. And of course, if you’ve not got a plan, write one! Individual staff plans will be more important than ever, for themselves and fundraising managers.

3. Get personal!
Diarise time to phone or video conference staff, keeping the formal and informal conversation going will maintain good will and team cohesion. Make time to phone or email supporters and other funders, both to thank them but also to let them know you’re thinking of them.

4. Keep up to date
With fewer office interruptions now is the time to schedule a little daily CPD; look at UK fundraising or other fundraising resources online. Most fundraising databases have free online training or user groups to upskill you and your team. It also a chance to review contracts and service agreements to make sure they working hard for you.

5. Switch off
The temptation to keep working past your normal hours can be greater when you’re home working. So, make sure you do something completely different to switch off; do some exercise, read a book to your children, or perhaps if you’ve been inspired by Howard Lake on LinkedIn, play a piano tune.


Legacy consideration rises 10% in a year but not all charities are keeping up with the changing market.

According to the latest legacy research from fastmap and Freestyle Marketing, legacy consideration rose by 10% in the last year. The research also found that people are increasingly happy to write their Will online.

The report shows a changing market with charities of all sizes seeing and seizing the opportunity. However, with increasing competition for gifts, others risk losing out if they are unable to meet the challenge of growing their own market share. While some charities, such as Cats Protection and RSPCA have grown or maintained legacy consideration over the past year, others, including Cancer Research UK, Macmillan and RNLI have seen a drop.

Other trends include online Will-writing gaining traction, with 41% overall now happy to write their Wills in this way, up from 32% in 2018/19. This includes 51% of 50-59 year olds (up from 40%), 38% of 60-69 year olds (up from 24%), and 27% of those aged 70+ & up from 14% in 2018/19.

Georgina Hyman, Senior Legacy & In Memory Manager, Alzheimer’s Research UK, comments in the report:

“The insight and trends that fastmap and Freestyle have identified highlights just how far legacy fundraising has come. But we can’t rest on our laurels; it may be more crowded and competitive but the opportunity is bigger than ever before challenging us to make our charity, its cause and vision for the future resonate with supporters and prospects alike – if the legacy and brand team weren’t working closely before they really should be going forward.”


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Monthly BriefingApril 2020 – Monthly Briefing