Your Business Should Help Struggling Charities. Here’s Why
COVID-19 is not only affecting businesses, but charities too. Helping them is a matter of compassion, as well as business savviness.
We know that businesses worldwide have been hit hard by the pandemic.
But charities are no different — yet they received little or no press coverage. And when the media is silent, we believe that there are no problems.
However, for many charities around the globe, the reality is quite different.
That’s why I want to focus on how nonprofits have been affected by the COVID-19 in this article.
I’ll outline a few reasons why charities will either face bankruptcy or have considerable financial issues in 2021.
We’ll also look at how your business or organization could help and why it should, even if you’re currently struggling yourself.
How Has COVID-19 Impacted Charities Around the Globe?
Charities aren’t doing well. In fact, coronavirus left one in 10 UK charities facing bankruptcy last year.
In May, around a third of charities from the UK and Australia believed that they could survive less than 6 months without additional support. Around half said that they could last for less than a year.
On a global scale, 2 in 5 organizations reported that their financial position had deteriorated in September 2020.
There are 5 main reasons why many charities are either facing bankruptcy or have considerable financial issues:
#1. No street fundraising
As health issues escalated and people started spending more time indoors, there was no point in asking for donations on the streets.
In addition to that, the target audience for many charities shrunk. Many people who’d otherwise at least consider donating lost their jobs or had to cut their spending on a large scale.
#2. Goods and services have to be delivered (virtually), but that’s not always possible
Charities work with marginalized groups. A lot of people who fall into that category have restricted or no access to the Internet.
This makes communication between charities and those in need challenging.
On top of that, charities now have to deliver the goods to their proteges, instead of having them come and pick up the goods themselves. The cost of delivery puts an additional strain on the already-stretched financial resources.
#3. Canceled or postponed fundraising events.
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions related to mass gatherings and movement, many charity events ended up being postponed or straight-up canceled.
This robbed charities of their most profitable activities throughout the year.
#4. Growing needs
On top of the old ones, coronavirus created new needs and increased the demand for services that charities provide. Nonprofits have to distribute even more help to those in need.
Consider this example from the 2020 NPC report: social housing providers now have to provide food and entertainment for residents who can’t go out, on top of already providing them with a roof over their head.
#5. Lower involvement
Charities largely rely on individuals and institutions for financial and hands-on help.
However, due to the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy and regulations, it became outstandingly hard for charities to get the help they desperately need.
The number of on-site volunteers has to be regulated, while institutions and businesses are closing their wallets as they focus on the survival of their own organizations.
Why Should I Help Charities When My Own Business Is Struggling?
One reason to help charities that struggle is empathy. Another is business savviness.
Brand activism has never been more important than in 2020. In fact, it became one of the most popular marketing trends that will continue to grow in 2021.
The question is: why?
How does brand activism and, more particularly, associating yourself with a nonprofit organization help your business?
Improving your brand’s reputation
Showing you care about charities (and their causes) demonstrates your values to your customers.
They’re more likely to think of your organization as “one of the good guys” and associate your brand with positive values like integrity, care, and compassion.
Forming an emotional connection
When you’re vocal about human suffering and social issues, you show your audience that there are real people behind your organization — people with feelings and empathy for others.
And, after all, people buy from people; not companies.
Brands often seem detached from what an average person experiences in their everyday life.
Publicly helping charities tells your audience that you understand their struggles and makes your brand more relatable.
How Can My Business Help?
Use your platforms to raise awareness about an issue or struggles that charities are going through.
Keep in mind that making one post on social media doesn’t really count as “raising awareness”.
Instead, create a content strategy to ensure you regularly publish content related to a particular cause. This will also help form a link between your brand and a good cause in your customers’ heads.
Make in-kind donations
While charities became kind of notorious for rejecting certain donations, such as old clothes, medical supplies and food are always welcome.
During the pandemic, it became even more important to equip those in need with proper nutrition and medicine to decrease their chances of catching the virus.
Make financial donations
While all forms of help are appreciated, what charities desperately need at the moment is direct financial help. Without funding, charities will struggle and, most likely, fail to adapt to the new normal and survive.
Whether you’d like to make a donation as an individual or on behalf of your business, Charities Aid Foundation gives details on how to donate financial resources in both cases.
You could also consider directly donating to your local charity or a charity that aligns with your brand’s values.
Organize virtual fundraising events
If you’re not in the position to offer financial help yourself, you could instead organize a (virtual) fundraising event.
You’ll probably end up spending some money on organization and marketing but think of it as an investment.
Fundraising events are good PR and have positive effects on your staff’s mental health and mindset.
Lastly, let’s not forget that the lack of helping hands is one of the biggest problems for many charities right now.
Many long-term volunteers decided to hit pause because they either fear catching the virus or transferring it to others.
However, if you and your colleagues take all the necessary precautions, volunteering could be a wonderful team-building opportunity that’s simultaneously making a positive difference in the world.