The COVID-19 pandemic began in certain parts of the world in late 2019 and had covered the overwhelming majority of the planet by early 2020. Governments, individuals and companies all face challenges and issues that they never expected to have to combat. It was (and is) a scary and stressful time for many, but there are some emerging stories and statistics that shine a light on some of the good that came out of so much tragedy. It turns out that corporate giving has increased during the pandemic, with more businesses supporting charity and important causes. Let’s look at the interesting ways these funds are being injected into charitable causes.
How Charities Struggled During the Pandemic
Lockdowns and restrictions have crippled many aspects of the way that we all lived prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Charities were no exception to this rule. They were hit with the combined factors of an inability to hold some of the fundraising events that they typically held in person, and by a donor base that had to worry about their own jobs and financial stability. It is not easy for individuals to be charitable with their donations when they are not sure if they will have a paycheque coming in to cover their own expenses going forward. However, these were not the only issues that charities faced.
Demos.co.uk published a research paper about how charities have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that research notes that there has been a major uptick in demand for charitable services:
Direct Covid consequences: the immediate increase in demand resulting from the pandemic – including mental health and domestic abuse support. The Refuge Helpline experienced a 120% increase in calls over one night in April, for example.
People are desperately in need, and they are leaning heavily on charities to help fill in the gaps where other organisations simply cannot. Therefore, it is not exactly shocking that many people are calling upon those charities in their time of need. The problem is, those charities only have so much capacity that they can offer to the public, and they are being stretched very thin as it is. Couple this with issues in the supply chain and it is increasingly obvious that charities can’t do it all on their own.
Businesses Supporting Charity: Corporate Giving During COVID-19
It was simply unacceptable for companies to stand by and watch all that was unfolding and not at least attempt to do something to stem some of the worst issues that people were facing. The corporate sector has actually done quite a bit to step up to the plate and attempt to help as many people as they possibly can. They have done so through a multi-faceted approach meant to help plug the holes that other organisations simply could not help with. Here are some examples of businesses supporting charity during the pandemic.
Obviously, one of the most direct ways that companies can help is by injecting money into existing charities that need it. Many of the largest companies have actually increased the number of charitable donations that they have made during the course of the pandemic. It is their hope that by doing so, they can help prop up charities that have been struggling. There is still a lot of work left for those charities to do, but they won’t exist at all if they do not receive financial support from the corporate world.
One of the most urgent and pressing needs felt across the entire United Kingdom was the need for personal protection equipment (PPE). Dsc.org.uk reports that many companies ramped up production of PPE to help meet this emergency need:
In response to the immediate demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) across the UK, companies stepped up to donate or produce PPE for healthcare providers and frontline workers. A great example of this was Kingfisher plc (which includes B&Q and Screwfix) which donated £500,000 worth of masks, goggles and visors to the NHS.
Some companies were not even in the business of making PPE before the pandemic, but they stepped up to fulfil the need when their country called upon them to do so.
Donations of Physical Space
The COVID-19 stay-at-home orders have produced an abundance of available office space as millions started to work from home in order to remain apart from one another and clamp down on the spread of the virus. Many businesses supporting charity have decided that it is in their best interest to donate some of that office space to those in need. Many of the donations have gone to non-profits or charity organisations. This has been particularly prevalent among companies that do not intend to bring their workers back to the office any time soon.
As you can see, the business sector has not been shy about doing charitable work during this pandemic. In fact, they have come up with a variety of different ways to tackle some of the biggest problems that the country and the world are facing. They have sought the best methods to alleviate as much of the strain from the system as they possibly can, and people are taking notice. It is nice to see more businesses supporting charity — and that the profit motive is not the only thing that these companies think about. It is clear that as we move out of the crisis, it is more important than ever that their mission is more than just making money.
New Initiatives in Corporate Giving
As businesses seek to find ways to support society as part of their wider mission, new initiatives are being sought to implement this and meet business goals. The best initiatives are those that create an impact by supporting charity, while also improving business performance.
Views For Change provides brands the opportunity to embed donations into their advertising campaigns so that campaigns create a social impact, but also improve marketing metrics. Message us or book a demo to see how you can embed corporate giving into your advertising campaigns.