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  • Louise Erskine

6 ways your employees can use their skills to support charities through #COVID-19

What do charities need right now, more than ever? Funding.


Some charities have lost their entire annual income overnight. Cancellations and postponements of fundraising events, such as the London Marathon - a vital source of unrestricted funds - have hit charities hard. Charity shops are closing, nature reserves have shut their shops and cafes, and the long term projections for donations have slumped based on the economic outlook.


But they also need skills. If big business is struggling to deal with the fallout from COVID-19, many with people who work on business continuity, risk management and contingency planning for a living, imagine how a small charity with just a handful of part-time staff might be coping right now.


So, what can your employees do over the coming weeks and months?


1 REIMAGINING FUNDRAISING

To get through this, charities will need to target various sources of funding, from individuals to foundations to businesses. Engage your employees to come up with creative and innovative ideas for the short and long term. Ideas, campaigns and content, compelling elevator pitches, audience reach strategies etc. are all in high demand.


2 BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING

You might think ‘bit late for that’ but small charities may only have basic risk registers - a good starting point, but not enough to respond to such unprecedented events. Your employees can help in planning for the immediate, medium and long term ramifications and ensuring that charities can continue to support those most in need.


3 EVERYTHING FINANCE RELATED

Small charities are often hand to mouth with minimal reserves. Your people can help with forecasting and re-modelling based on the current landscape. Knowing the financial outlook will be the basis of all decision making so it’s critical they get this right.


4 EVERYTHING HR RELATED

HR capacity, particularly in small charities, is often low at the best of times. The challenges presented by remote working, asking people to take voluntary leave, redundancies, motivation, engagement and wellbeing, are real for every business and every charity - the skills of your employees are transferable to the charity sector.


5 TAKING IT ONLINE

It won’t be possible for every organisation, but many could deliver their programmes and services virtually, ie. mentoring or befriending. Having the right set up, converting manual delivery to online content, creating user-friendly experiences, coming up with innovative ideas for interactive content and ensuring online security are all pressing issues that your employees can support.


6 CRITICAL FRIENDS

CEOs and senior leaders need a sounding board and critical friend. In these times the objectivity of someone not attached to the charity, ie. the trustees, can be really valuable. Redundancies, restructures, changes in services, prioritising geographies or demographics, mergers, are the tough but realistic questions. Your employees can support by helping charities work through these the scenarios.


We’re working with lots of charities to find them #VirtualVolunteers to support them through these tough times. Whether your employees can give an hour or a day, or if you'd like to scope what's possible, please get in touch: louise@careervolunteer.co.uk.


If you already have a Charity Partner of the Year or similar, be sure to reach out and offer your support.



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