COVID-19 has been a crisis, unlike any other. Small businesses have had to shut their doors, and many companies have shifted to a work from home system. Health care systems are stressed, with many COVID patients taking up ICU beds, while routine screenings and other treatments have been postponed, sometimes for months.
In many ways, COVID-19 has made the average person more aware of the need for charity. But the how of that has changed during the crisis. For example, early on, people were keen to volunteer. Volunteer jobs during the pandemic have included making and delivering masks for frontline workers. But since the crisis began in March, volunteerism is significantly down.
Somewhat counterintuitively, that may be a good thing. It shows that people are taking messages about the importance of social distancing and PPE compliance to heart. They know that by being out of the house too much, they risk becoming a carrier. They are listening to advice from the government and medical specialists when it comes to staying at home. Luckily, these people have found other outlets to do good. Charitable giving has not dipped.
Furthermore a quarter of people who give to a charity say that they plan to increase their donations. Meanwhile, a further 55% say that they intend to continue to provide at the same level as before the pandemic. This is excellent news for the non-profit sector and the people they serve. It also shows that enthusiasm for helping hasn’t gone down. People are just careful about how they help.
COVID-19 has placed new challenges in front of organisations that work in the medical sector. It’s also affected those that work with homeless or at-risk populations. For example, it’s more complicated than ever before to house people temporarily in shelters due to the risk of COVID spreading. Charities are having to find ways of creating stable groups in shelters that can quarantine if needed.
Alternatively, they are seeking donations to provide people with hotel vouchers or items such as tents and blankets. During COVID-19, the demand for services like food banks has also gone up. Charities have had to implement new procedures and limit the number of volunteers allowed to help deliver these services. Increased giving has enabled them to weather the storm.