Over the last weeks I've been approached by several clients wanting to know how best to support the people and charities affected by coronavirus. Obviously donors have different priorities depending on their passions and where they live. But I've attempted to put together the most universally applicable summary I can for anyone who is considering giving, large amounts or small:
1 To get money where it's needed quickly and easily donate to the National Emergencies Trust
The NET was (perceptively!) established last year as a way of fundraising for emergencies in the UK, and delivers the money raised via a network of local partners (in this case the network of Community Foundations). These partners are really experienced and effective at getting small and medium sized grants into the bank accounts of local charities providing care for children, older people, carers, people with health problems, people experiencing addiction, domestic violence or homelessness.
The great news is that the UK Government is matching all donations to the NET (up to £20m) so a £100 donation with Gift Aid could be worth £225 to local community groups. NatWest/RBS group is also match funding; so if you bank with them check out the "My Rewards" section of your banking app to find out more.
2 Find a local charity and give an unrestricted gift
Research by charity body NCVO finds charities will lose around £4billion this year - so the government's welcome £750m is still going to leave a big gap. And that's at the same time as a huge increase in demand for many charities such as mental health charities, foodbanks, domestic violence charities and others. hundreds of charities have already closed down and will never reopen. So whatever your favourite cause is - health, the arts, education or community organisations - now is the perfect time to send a donation that they can use to pay staff, pay the rent, and make sure they are still there for the next twelve months and more, when millions of people will need their services more than ever. Charities that rely on ticket sales (e.g. arts organisations), visitors (e.g. museums and heritage sites), fundraising events (e.g. hospices) and charity shops are particularly hard hit at the moment.
3 Take this opportunity to rethink your charitable giving
If you want to make a long-term difference it's really important to have a strategy that builds relationships between the causes you love and your whole family. Why not spend some time in your household, or on a wider family Zoom call, talking about what really matters to you, what you value most and what kind of legacy you want to leave in your community.
We can help you build a strategy that involves everyone and ensures that your gifts make the most impact for the longest time.