We had the pleasure of talking with Zahra, the Head of Fundraising at Children With Cancer UK. She gave some really great insights into the rollercoaster that is fundraising throughout Covid.
What is really interesting is the change management that she’s had to undergo. Not just with her donors, but within the organisation to keep it running. The ultimate balancing act to try and keep the charity running and make everyone aware they are living in a new world, along with running the day-to-day in a completely new landscape.
The luxury of planning ahead has been flipped on its head. The focus has been changed from planning months, years down the line to now. What can we do NOW to get our organisation through this. There were a few questions she kept at the forefront of her mind when navigating the charity through the murky waters of the unknown.
- Does it deliver income?
- Are our audiences interested?
- Will it help us stabilise for the future?
Those 3 points are so interesting because it is about income, but also engagement. What can you do to bring your audience closer and be invested in your charity? People were at home, surrounded by nothing but the four walls of our homes, so how can charities capture attention that they might not otherwise have had the opportunity.
And the need to look in the future. While everyone was taking the crisis one day at a time, we had to, organisations need to think ahead once the fight or flight mode passed and carve out a plan to stabilise the future. Zahra made great points and gave excellent insight into the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into keeping up fundraising efforts in the current climate.
Next up, we were lucky enough to talk to Maryna from SOS Children’s Villages International, to get her experience on a global perspective of fundraising. Her efforts are focused on Central Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and a few countries in the Middle East.
She mentioned that Covid-19 has disrupted the organisation’s typical fundraising efforts, as expected, in a massive way. They’ve needed to respond quickly to keep up communication with their donors, and families that the children were safe and were working around the clock to protect them. This is something that technology enabled them to do quickly and efficiently.
Front line workers, carers and social workers relied heavily on constant communication to assess the quickly changing situation. Face to face support needed the quick transition into digital. It was a lofty challenge, but it also was a catalyst to speed up digital fundraising. It forced a change that was coming.
Relationships were strengthened from donors to the vulnerable. Her charity found that reaching out now doesn’t just entail asking for donations, but doing a mental health check. It brought the community together within the charity.
It was invaluable to get Maryna’s take on fundraising and lived experiences!