CVII scale
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Charity Sector

Will their resilience sustain effective transformations?

Whilst respondents in this group, those who consider themselves charity supporters, volunteers or donors, had the greatest concern for the welfare of the organisations contacting them, they also as individuals showed significant resilience in the numbers that see themselves as managing and optimistic in 6 months.

As with other respondent categories, those that scored the highest need for service development were in the 18-25 age category. Young people throughout the survey are consistently negatively impacted by CV19 and are looking for transformational change from organisations. Whilst, by number, this group forms a lower proportion of charity supporters, some of the verbatims indicate there may be an opportunity to reach this group, not only in service provision but through volunteer activation.

The pandemic is recognised as having put some charities in full public view, as well as creating an enhanced awareness of the reliance many people have on donated services from not for profit organisations. This creates two potential waves of momentum for charities.

Firstly their supporters seem to be typically more resilient than others. This will in part be reflective of the demographic (retired are highly indexed in this group), but also that the needs of those who are natural charity supporters are less consumption driven and more self sufficient. This could mean that charities can expect donation levels to return or at least can validly ask their supporters not to deprioritise this part of their personal budgeting.

At the same time, charities have a period of time, which may be significant, certainly months not weeks, where more individuals are both aware and have seen the benefits of charitable work. Some careful targeting, perhaps through advocacy campaigns, could see a broadening of support with the opportunity to bring new donors and supporters into their database. More specifically, this supporter acquisition could be focused on volunteer activation, with a new group of people having experienced volunteering after the pandemic.

The exposure to digital platforms amongst the, typically older, charities audience, could also create opportunities to make more services more accessible, with a consequential wider perceived impact on societal wellbeing.


It is clearly a challenging time for not for profit organisations with a perceived risk of losing donations as an economic downturn impacts society. However, there are waves of momentum to access new supporters and volunteers if they are able to take advantage of a broadly optimistic supporter base, new ways of accessing services and better awareness of charities’ contribution to society.