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From emergency appeal to ongoing crisis

A view on sustaining successful fundraising post-lockdown  

The nation’s charitable response in the past 8 weeks has been uplifting to say the least. Lockdown brought a renewed sense of community and goodwill epitomised in our weekly handclapping for the NHS and in our generosity to causes appealing for cash in a time of emergency. But as the sense of immediate urgency subsides and the handclapping stops, this generosity is easing too. So, what now for charities still in desperate need of ongoing support to make-up lost funding.  

In recent weeks we’ve regularly found ourselves having this conversation with senior charity marketers. Many questions arise, some bigger than others but perhaps the biggest question of all:   

For donors: what is your vital role in a world after lockdown? 

The emergency might be lessening, but the crisis is far from over. In many ways it has only just begun. Coronavirus has left our global, social and community structures severely damaged. There’s barely a charity that won’t need to react to this in its service delivery. From its effect on our mental health, employment and housing, to its impact on the safety of the most vulnerable in our society including the elderly, our children and animals. And all this, with severely depleted funds. 

In some parts of the world years of progress in international development threatens to unravel as vital programmes are halted and in others as human rights worsen. There’s barely a category in the charity sector that doesn’t face new challenges.  

So, for fundraisers, the most important thing to focus on now is digging deep into your cause to find your most compelling expression of your vital role in repairing the collateral damage left by COVID-19. Bringing this to the fore in your fundraising is your immediate opportunity to grow committed support in a giving market that is set to be more pragmatic and more financially stretched than it has been for decades.  

With more financial austerity will come less headspace for causes and more selectivity about which to support. In this climate causes that remain too complex, ideological or distant will struggle. It’s not that more complex underlying issues don’t matter. It’s simply that when it comes to the hard choices that consumers will have make about which charity most deserves their diminishing funds, we believe that those that are clear, simple, immediate and – most importantly – relevant to their donors’ view of the world now, will win out. 

To find out how Arthur are helping clients reshape their fundraising strategy for the coming months (and years) simply contact us at