How charities are coping with COVID-19


Charities around the world have been deeply affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Just like all other organizations depending on other people to donate money, charities have seen their resources dwindle recently.

This is a direct result of the economy coming to a standstill, charities being frequently called into action and people losing their jobs and donating power. What is more, most charities were having trouble staying financially stable even before the pandemic started. Once it did, their predicament became even grimmer.

Uncertain Prospects

Most charitable organizations are facing an uncertain future and they know it. Almost 9 out of 10 organizations, according to this infographic on the impact of Covid-19 on charities, are worried that they won’t be able to maintain a financially stable organization. Of those, 37.5% are very concerned that they will manage to make ends meet in the immediate future. Only about 2% of charities are not concerned that Covid-19 will have any effect on their sector.

Those numbers speak volumes and you don’t need to be an expert to see where charities could be headed. In fact, 4 out of 5 charities feel that their 2020 revenue will be lower than they had previously expected.

This makes for some grim reading. What is more, one really fears that people who depend on charities helping them will be in a very difficult situation in the next couple of years.

Factors Contributing Towards This

Charities find themselves in so much trouble right now because the need for their services and assistance has never been so pronounced. People struggling with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are in constant need of help and all types of charities are involved.

For example, homeless individuals are finding it hard to get the food and shelter they need. Physical distancing measures make it extremely difficult for charitable organizations to provide these.

The normally packed homeless shelters are now a real health hazard and there are not many other ways in which homeless people can get the help they need.

Similarly, social distancing measures are also taking their toll on normally well-off individuals too. They might be able to meet their daily needs, but the psychological effects of lock-down measures shouldn’t be underestimated too. Charities working in this sector have seen the need for their assistance skyrocket and are having tough time helping everyone.

This increase in the need for charities’ services has had a huge financial effect on the charities themselves. They have had to spend their entire yearly budget in only a few months and there seems to be no end in sight.

In the past, they could have organized various in-person fundraising events, but that’s impossible these days. What is more, the fact that governments have had to help unemployed individuals and down-on-their-luck small businesses eliminates under source of funding for charities too.

Non-Covid-19 Organizations at Greatest Risk

People who normally donate to charities have continued to do that, but have shifted their focus to topical Covid-19 organizations. This is completely normal, but has left other charitable organizations in dire need of help.

The most notable shift happened when it came to religious charity organizations. These have seen a drop in funding from 45.1% in 2019 to 40.1% in 2020. This will probably have an adverse effect on these organizations and unfortunately they are not alone.

Charities helping malnourished people worldwide were expecting to see their donations increase in 2020, but that is unlikely to happen. Similarly, clean water initiatives and animal shelters have found it hard to operate in the new reality.

Billionaires are helping out but will that be enough?

Billionaires such as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates have seen the need to help charities and have reacted promptly. Dorsey has donated $1 billion of his hard earned money to various Covid-19 relief funds, while Bill Gates is focusing most of his $250 million towards finding a vaccine for the coronavirus.

Other American billionaires such as Jeff Bezos and Michael Dell have donated to various Covid-19 related emergency funds too. Similarly, Indian tycoon Azim Premji and Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin have done their part to help Central Asia and Eastern Europe respectively.

However, it still remains to be seen whether this will be enough to alleviate the situation for the majority of charities. As things stand 2020 and 2021 will test most charity organizations to the extreme.