How are Irish charities responding to the fundraising collapse from Covid-19?

Warning that fundraising collapse may see up to half of all charities shut this year

Many charities have been forced to cancel parts of their fundraising programme this year and are running alternative events that comply with social distancing rules.

Many charities have been forced to cancel parts of their fundraising programme this year and are running alternative events that comply with social distancing rules.

 

Charities operating in Ireland are among the many sectors struggling due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Many have been forced to cancel key annual funding raising events due to the restrictions, often leading to an acute funding shortfall.

The Wheel, the national association of charities, warned in May that up to half of the charitable organisations operating in Ireland may be forced to close within six months.

However, in response, some charities have created alternative sponsorship events and also issued renewed appeals for direct, online support.

Below is a selection of some of the larger charitable service providers and their fundraising plans for the rest of the year.

Irish Cancer Society

Who they are: A community of survivors, families, patients, friends, nurses, doctors, scientists, professionals, supporters and volunteers, dedicated to preventing cancer, detecting cancer early and fighting it.

Estimated annual income through fundraising (pre-Covid-19): Almost all (98 per cent) of the Irish Cancer Society’s income (€22 million) comes from public donations.

Cost of running services: Seventy-four per cent of the Society’s expenditure is spent on running core services such as Night Nursing, Counselling, the seven day Cancer Nurseline ( Freephone 1800 200 700) and hospital-based Daffodil Centres and the running of the Volunteer Driver Service.

Estimated income this year: With the cancellation of major fundraising events including Daffodil Day, it is projected that the Society’s income will be down between up to 40 per cent in 2020.

Adapted activities in 2020: Supporters have adapted with a range of virtual events such as head shaves, sponsored walks, jersey auctions and other challenges, all within public health guidelines.

Get involved: Virtual events planned for over the summer include Marathon in a Month - more details can be found on www.cancer.ie

Pieta House

Who they are: Pieta provides free therapy to those engaging in self-harm, with suicidal ideation, or bereaved by suicide.

Estimated annual income through fundraising (pre-Covid-19): Over €11 million is raised through public donations every year.

Cost of running services: Pieta says it needs about €14 million annually to deliver its services, 80 per cent of which is through public donations.

Estimated income this year: Uncertain.

Adapted activities in 2020: Instead of the annual “Darkness into Light” fundraiser, Pieta ran a ‘Sunrise’ appeal which was featured on the Late Late Show. It said delivered €4 million.

Get involved: Pieta House

Irish Heart Foundation

Who they are: The Irish Heart Foundation is the national charity fighting stroke and heart disease and blood vessel disease.

Estimated annual income through fundraising (pre-Covid-19): The Irish Heart Foundation has an annual income of between €5million and €6 million, the majority of which comes from members of the public, organisations and businesses across Ireland.

In 2018, income was €5.4 million of which 83 per cent came through public fundraising.

Cost of running services: Annual expenditure is generally between €6million and €7 million.

Estimated income this year: It is expected that fundraising revenue will be down approximately 40 per cent.

Adapted activities in 2020: All in-person support services moved to telephone and online support and a new stroke check-in service has been developed with the HSE for people being discharged from hospital after a stroke.

Plans are underway to address the funding shortfall.

Get involved: Irish Heart Foundation

Alzheimer’s Society

Who they are: The Alzheimer Society of Ireland provides dementia specific services and supports and advocates for the rights and needs of all people living with dementia and their carers.

Estimated annual income through fundraising (pre-Covid-19): Approximately €4 million a year.

Cost of running services: €19.8 million (58 per cent of funding is provided by the HSE).

Estimated income this year: The Society’s biggest fundraising event of the year, Alzheimer’s Tea Day, due to be held on May 7th, was cancelled. It is estimated the Society will see a drop in fundraising of €1.2 million, resulting in a fundraising figure of €2.8 million for 2020.

Adapted activities in 2020: People can join #TeamASI for their first Virtual Mini Marathon. Alzheimer’s Memory Walk in September; Memory Ribbon, Christmas cards and postcards.

Get involved: Alzheimer’s Society

The Society of St Vincent de Paul

Who they are: The Society of St Vincent de Paul’s goal is to fight poverty in all its forms through giving practical assistance to people in need, offering direct, personal assistance that is non-judgemental and based on the needs of the individual or family.

Estimated annual income through fundraising (pre-Covid-19): Income from donations, church collections and legacies in 2018 was just under €32 million.

Cost of running services: In 2018 €30 million was spent on direct assistance, with a further €4.7 million for management, support and administration costs for 11,500 volunteers across national and eight regional offices.

Estimated income this year: As of yet it is unclear the extent of which the loss in fundraising revenue will be. This will only become clear when the restrictions are lifted.

Adapted activities in 2020: The Society launched an urgent national appeal at the beginning of May. An appeal on the Late Late Show on May 22nd has raised over €1.1 million so far.

Get involved: Society of St Vincent de Paul

Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation

Who they are: The Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation is a nationwide charity that offers support, advocacy and an in-home nursing service to help children and their families under the age of five years who have a significant neurodevelopmental delay involving severe learning difficulties.

Estimated annual income through fundraising (pre-Covid-19): €3.5 million.

Cost of running services: €3.2 million to run the services directly.

Estimated income this year: €3 million directly through fundraising.

Adapted activities in 2020: The Foundation issued an SOS emergency appeal at the beginning of the pandemic, and have also been able to move several fundraising activities online, including their incognito art sale and the Part of Eire lottery, due to be launched in August and the Up The Hill campaign in October.

Get involved: Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation

Aware

Who they are: Aware provides support and information for people who experience depression or bipolar disorder and their concerned loved ones.

Estimated annual income through fundraising (pre-Covid-19): Average annual income of just over €1.9 million. This comes from a combination of sources; public donations, corporate support, the running of Aware fundraising events, community fundraising events, and State support.

Cost of running services: €1.9 million plus.

Estimated income this year: €1.1 to €1.3 million.

Adapted activities in 2020: Aware has been attempting to find alternative sources of income since March. They have had strong support from several corporate partners, and some community fundraising activity is beginning to take place again within the confines of current social distancing rules. They are hoping to be able to run their own fundraising events later this year, but it is still too early for them to commit to anything.

Get involved: Aware

ISPCC

Who they are: The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) is Ireland’s national child protection charity, whose purpose is to listen to, empower and strengthen their resilience and enable them to live their best possible lives.

Estimated annual income through fundraising (pre-Covid-19): Roughly €3.15 million.

Cost of running services: €3.5 million, 90 per cent of which is from fund raising.

Estimated income this year: Unknown.

Adapted activities in 2020: On May 31st, Kerry ladies Gaelic football club MKL Gaels and friends kicked one million solos for Childline in a virtual sporting challenge, so that children don’t have to face their challenges solo.

Get involved: ISPCC

Irish Wheelchair Association

Who they are: Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) works with, and on behalf of, people with physical disabilities to drive positive change in Ireland through the influencing of public policy, the provision of quality services and enabling accessibility to all aspects of society.

Estimated annual income through fundraising (pre-Covid-19): €3 million.

Cost of running services: €63 million.

Estimated income this year: Uncertain

Adapted activities in 2020: Stevo Timothy took part in a charity cycle, and has raised €67,000 through his GoFundMe page. The Association is also relying on online donations.

Get involved: Irish Wheelchair Association

National Council for the Blind

Who they are: NCBI is Ireland’s national sight loss agency which provides support and services nationwide to people experiencing sight loss.

Estimated annual income through fundraising (pre-Covid-19): €2 million, and €1.5 million from charity shops.

Cost of running services: The funding shortfall annually is €3million which is made up by a combination of fundraising and charity shop activity.

Estimated income this year: €500,000

Adapted activities in 2020: A major direct mail appeal to service users, as well as the Eye Can lottery which will be held online.

Get involved: National Council for the Blind

The Peter McVerry Trust

Who they are: The Peter McVerry Trust is a national housing and homeless charity committed to reducing homelessness and the harm caused by substance misuse and social disadvantage.

Estimated annual income through fundraising (pre-Covid-19): €9 million.

Cost of running services: Over €40 million.

Estimated income this year: Approximately €7.5 million.

Adapted activities in 2020: The Peter McVerry Trust have put together a number of virtual fundraising initiatives for individuals and companies to support. This includes the ongoing appeal Locks4Keys which is encouraging people to undertake a DIY haircut and donate the normal cost of that to Peter McVerry Trust.

Get involved: The Peter McVerry Trust

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre

Who they are: The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre has worked to prevent the harm and heal the trauma of sexual violence, working with the government, non-profit organisations, academic institutions, and the general public to ensure that all available resources to prevent sexual violence are utilised.

Estimated annual income through fundraising (pre-Covid-19): €750,000

Cost of running services: €3.75 million

Estimated income this year: Uncertain

Adapted activities in 2020: The Centre have organised ‘Cook up A Storm’, where a host of celebrity chefs and foodies make and share their favourite recipes via social media, headlined by chef Derry Clarke of l’Ecrivain and his wife Sallyanne.

Get involved: Dublin Rape Crisis Centre cook up a storm

Belong To

Who they are: Belong to Youth Services is the national organisation supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI+) young people in Ireland.

Estimated annual income through fundraising (pre-Covid-19): Roughly €550,000 from direct fundraising

Cost of running services: €1.4million

Estimated income this year: Estimate €352,000

Adapted activities in 2020: June is Pride month, which is generally the biggest fundraising season for Belong To, so the organisation is renewing efforts to take their fundraising activities online, including bingo, quizzes and others.

Get involved: Belong To

Trócaire

Who they are: Trócaire works with local partners to support communities in over 20 developing countries with a focus on food and resource rights, women’s empowerment and humanitarian response.

Estimated annual income through fundraising (pre-Covid-19): €23 million in 2019.

Cost of running services: €75 million.

Estimated income this year: Trócaire’s biggest concern at present is the Lenten Appeal Trócaire boxes and if they are returned. They are facing a decline of up to 60 per cent - up to €5 million - in donations for the Lenten Appeal as people are unable to return their Trócaire boxes.

Adapted activities in 2020: As people have been unable to return their Trócaire boxes in the normal way, they are asking people to count or estimate what is in their box and donate online (trocaire.org) or over the phone (1850 408 408 in RoI, 0800 912 1200 in NI).

Get involved: Trócaire

Epilepsy Ireland

Who they are: Epilepsy Ireland was established with the goal of improving the quality of life of people with epilepsy in Ireland, and to achieve a society where no person’s life is limited by epilepsy.

Estimated annual income through fundraising (pre-Covid-19): Approximately €800,000

Cost of running services: €1.7million - €1.8 million.

Estimated income this year: €350,000 - €400,000

Adapted activities in 2020: Epilepsy Ireland are hoping it will be possible to reorganise or adapt some of their fundraising events for later this year, such as the Ancient East Peaks Challenge, and the Rose Week public collections. They are also appealing for online donations on their website.

Get involved: Epilepsy Ireland

MS Ireland

Who they are: MS Ireland is the national organisation providing information, vital services and support to the Multiple Sclerosis community.

Estimated annual income through fundraising (pre-Covid-19): Approximately €2.9 million in 2019

Cost of running services: Approximately €6.35 million in 2019.

Estimated income this year: Predicted to be around €1.9 million.

Adapted activities in 2020: They held a Virtual balloon race in May, and are trying to postpone rather than cancel events for later this year.

Get involved: MS Ireland

Dogs Trust

Who they are: Dogs Trust is Ireland’s largest dog welfare charity, who seek to bring about the day when all dogs can enjoy a happy life, free from the threat of unnecessary destruction.

Estimated annual income through fundraising (pre-Covid-19): In 2019 €112,000 was raised through fund raising efforts

Cost of running services: €6.1million

Estimated income this year: Uncertain

Adapted activities in 2020: Evaluating fund raising efforts and appealing to public not to buy dogs in haste during pandemic

Get involved: Dogs Trust

Barnardos

Who they are: Barnardos’ mission is to deliver services and work with families, communities, to transform the lives of vulnerable children who are affected by adverse childhood experiences.

Estimated annual income through fundraising (pre-Covid-19): €8 million.

Cost of running services: €23 million.

Estimated income this year: Barnardos is likely to raise less this year because of the closure of charity shops due to Covid-19 restrictions, and they also expect an impact on the number of people who can support with monthly donations.

Adapted activities in 2020: Barnardos is running a Covid-19 Crisis Appeal for Children, urging people to donate what they can afford at www.barnardos.ie

Get involved: Barnardos

Self Help Africa

Who they are: Self Help Africa is an international development charity with an expertise in small-scale farming and growing family-farm businesses, dedicated to ending hunger and poverty in rural Africa.

Estimated annual income through fundraising (pre-Covid-19): Unavailable.

Cost of running services: €26 million

Estimated income this year: €24 million (we are fortunate to have a strong regular base of support)

Adapted activities in 2020: Digital fund raising activities such as One Million Trees campaign in collaboration with Glenisk, the GAA and INTO.

Get involved: Self Help Africa one million trees

Focus Ireland

Who they are: Focus Ireland works with people who are homeless or are at risk or losing their homes across Ireland.

Estimated annual income through fundraising (pre-Covid-19): €11.5 million.

Cost of running services: €26.8 million.

Estimated income this year: Around €9 million.

Adapted activities in 2020: Focus Ireland is asking people to take part in their Virtual Camino Walk, where you will be provided with walking notes each week explaining what to expect along the way, the Camino symbols, the food and drink of the area and many other fun facts to make you imagine and feel like you are walking the actual Camino.

Get involved: Focus Ireland

GOAL

Who they are: GOAL is an Irish international humanitarian response agency who believe in a world where poverty no longer exists, where vulnerable communities are resilient, where barriers to well-being are removed and where everyone has equal rights and opportunities.

Estimated annual income through fundraising (pre-Covid-19): Around €3 million.

Cost of running services: €110million across 13 countries

Estimated income this year: Expecting a 30 per cent drop in fund raising income

Adapted activities in 2020: Fund raising efforts have had to be cancelled/revised, but it is hoped that the annual Goal Mile will still go ahead this winter.

Get involved: GOAL

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