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THE BOOK OF COVIDENCE 1

Latest Research & Insights

What we are learning from these first few weeks of the Covid 19 crisis.

As people start to really try to get to terms with what’s happening in the sector and Working From Home, some very valuable lessons are being learned every day. And now the first wave of research since the crisis hit is being published and it’s great to have it. So we thought we’d share what we found most insightful.

Some good news

First up, a quick look at what commercial marketeers are finding from their consumer research (which includes our donors and supporters). The good news according to research from MCCP Dublin is that we are moving from shock to an adjustment phase and looking for the positives in the negatives. Consumers are re-evaluating what actually matters. We are using the time to connect, to learn and to unplug. We are checking our bills, focusing on essentials, deferring expenditure and showing more deliberate, conscious buying behaviour.

Impulse buying is gone and we are saving our money. We are also returning to 70s/80s hobbies. Knitting is back! MCCP’s clear advice to companies, especially the big brands, is that consumers need them to step up, be proactive and help out. They also need to move fast and that those in greatest need, need the greatest support. Companies that decide to stay in the shadows and fail to act will lose valuable brand equity.

We think this research is very helpful for corporate fundraisers to use as part of their pitch to corporate donors and prospects over the next 4-8 weeks.

A Pint of Plain Goodness

Here’s one example of a corporate stepping up. Earlier this week Guinness announced that it was creating a fund of €1.5m to support communities around the country that have been affected by Covid-19. Of this, €1.2m will go to support the thousands of bar staff who have lost their jobs, while the remaining €300,000 will go towards assisting vulnerable elderly people around the country through a partnership with the charity ALONE.

There is much work to be done

There were also three very interesting pieces of research from the not-for-profit sector (all three from the UK). About Loyalty have launched a Covid-19 tracker and found amongst other things that 30% of people say they intend to stop or reduce their donations, but older donors say they are going to stick with their current charities through Covid-19. So all is not lost, the majority of donors will continue to support you.

The Institute of Fundraising, National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Charity Finance Group ran a survey to assess the initial impact of coronavirus on the charity sector. On average, for those charities that re-forecast their income, they now expect to see a decrease in their voluntary income of 43%, and 31% of total income from the previous year. Here’s hoping those estimates don’t come to pass, as based on our ballpark estimate of voluntary income in Ireland that would result in a loss of €300-400m in a full year.

NfpSynergy ran a short omnibus survey and found some interesting insights, including that only half of the public (53%) consider charity information trustworthy – around the same as family and friends. By far the clearest thing that the public think would be helpful for charities to do is provide day to day support for at risk people (64%), followed by funding or carrying out medical research (41%) and providing volunteers at hospitals (40%). In times of crisis, the public are aware of the need for charities; this perhaps suggests that charitable giving is not likely to be first on the list of cutbacks.

There is one simple conclusion to be drawn from this research. Now, more than ever, charities need to engage with their donors in an honest, consistent and regular way.

Another useful piece of research is the 2into3 report Fundraising in a Time of Crisis: Lessons from History.

Stay Safe.
From John, Susan, Charlie and Alan and all the team at Persuasion Republic.

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