Welcome to our May 2020 Monthly Briefing

This month:

  • Keeping your team motivated if they are working at home
  • YouGov survey finds that volunteering interest declined in April, but donating intention doubled among British people in April
  • CAF emergency fund paused after thousands of charities apply for cash

Keeping your fundraising team motivated and included while working from home

The challenges we are facing today are (for most of us) monumental and unique. Your team may be feeling isolated, anxious and/or discouraged at a time when we really need motivation. By helping people feel engaged and appreciated will enable them to stay focused and continue to move your organisation forward. Consider these points for keeping your team motivated and included.

Be available and communicate
Help your team members stay connected. Communication among employees will have changed during this turbulent time. The usual conversations and general chats you once had on a daily basis with team members might now be more difficult to come by. Have regular, positive communication with your team, even if it’s remotely by phone or video call to help them feel trusted and included. Remember to treat them as individuals – ask how they are on a personal level, for example how their family is – it doesn’t all have to be about work. Virtual meetings can be useful in building real connections. Remember to let people know that you are available at any time (if possible).

Don’t forget to praise
Praise and recognition are especially important at the moment. Give credit where credit is due and show your team that they are valued. It will mean a lot to phone somebody to thank them for their hard work or by sending some positive feedback by e-mail. You may be unable to offer financial incentives at the moment, but praise costs nothing.

Set some realistic goals
Even though your mission won’t have changed, your team’s priorities and responsibilities probably have. Your team members may have new routines which work for their arrangements and responsibilities, and you need to be flexible and understanding. If your team is now balancing home working with caring responsibilities, ensure they are being realistic and setting themselves a workload that suits their circumstances. Where possible, make sure your team isn’t wearing itself out by working long hours. Help them set some short-term goals. What can they achieve this week or this month and what can wait? You can link this work to your long-term goals. Remember, performance is judged on the output produced and the value delivered.

Encourage creativity and be inclusive
When attending virtual meetings, whether it’s a one-to-one or a group meeting, encourage your team to come up with new ideas and create an environment where everybody feels they can make speak up and make a contribution. Be honest about the challenges your organisation is facing and ask the team for any feedback and input they may have. By involving the whole team, you are showing how valued they are and thereby boosting morale and motivation.

Be transparent and manage concerns
Your team may have some real concerns now about your organisation, about their workload and about their roles. It’s important to be as open as possible and share as much information with them as you can. You may be under a lot of extra pressure now but try to avoid passing on this stress to your team. Be receptive to any concerns but focus on the facts, making a distinction between what you can control and what you can’t. Encouraging discussions and input will ensure trust on both sides.

By establishing new routines and habits you can provide some real stability for your team. Try and keep working life as consistent as possible. Make a real effort to help your team to adapt to the new “business as usual” as quickly as possible.


YouGov survey finds that volunteering interest declined, but donating intention doubled among British people in April

Third Sector reports that the poll of 10,000 British people conducted by YouGov found fewer people were leaving their homes to volunteer, but interest in donating to good causes spiked.

The number of British people interested in face-to-face volunteering during the coronavirus pandemic declined in April, but those interested in making financial donations to charities doubled, the results of a YouGov poll shared with Third Sector have revealed.

A report from YouGov’s Coronavirus Tracker, which polled more than 10,000 people across a four-week period in March and April, revealed an initial increase in the number of people willing to offer help during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the findings, the proportion of British people who considered offering their time to support people affected by Covid-19 hit a peak at the beginning of April, with more than one in seven (16 per cent) of respondents saying on 27 March that they were interested in volunteering.

But those numbers declined steadily over the following weeks before falling to 9 per cent by 17 April.
“There may be several reasons why the public are more reluctant to volunteer” the data company wrote in its report.
“Fear of catching Covid-19 has increased over the course of the study. Brits may well believe their attempts to help are doing more harm than good.”

Despite declining interest in volunteering in person, the data showed the number of people considering making financial contributions to charities doubled over the same period.

The proportion of people considering financial contributions to charities helping national Covid-19 causes rose from 8 per cent on 20 March to 14 per cent on 17 April.

The proportion of respondents thinking about donating to causes unrelated to the pandemic also increased, from 7 per cent to 10 per cent, and the proportion of people willing to participate in fundraising events doubled, from 3 to 6 per cent.

“While it could be simple belt-tightening, our data shows that those who’ve spent less money online recently are more likely to be willing to give money to charity in the next fortnight”  the report said.

The report also suggested that respondents who had spent more were also more likely to say they were willing to donate.


CAF emergency fund paused after thousands of charities apply for cash
The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) opened its Coronavirus Emergency Fund on 30th March, but applications were put on hold on the 5th April after more than 5,000 applications were received in the first week, according to CAF.

The fund was set up with an initial £5m but more than £40m was applied for.

CAF will continue to distribute the funds, announcing that it has granted over £1m through the scheme so far to 256 charities across the UK. The money is going out through rapid response grants of up to £10,000, and is designed to help small charities, non-profit organisations and social enterprises meet core costs at a time when incomes have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

CAF says it hopes to expand the fund in the future because of such high demand. A spokesperson confirmed that further donations to the fund had been received from businesses, CAF clients and members of the public.

Monica Brown, the head of charity advisory and programmes for CAF, said: “We have been humbled by the charities out there that are doing everything they can to continue to operate at such a tough time.”

“We are very proud to be able to offer some help to charities working so hard on behalf of people, causes and communities across the UK.”

“I am pleased to see that we have been able to get more than £1m in help to charities in a matter of weeks and it is our plan to grow this fund so that we will be in a position to help more small organisations to continue to deliver vital services in the weeks and months ahead.”


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Monthly BriefingMay 2020 – Monthly Briefing