Life after COVID-19 – the new way forward

Published by Susan Robinson on 14 May 2020

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In the current environment charities are operating on a day to day basis. Budgets prepared three months ago no longer align with current income and expenditure. Strategic plans are unlikely to address what would happen in the event of a global catastrophe. The disaster recovery plan is woeful now.

Life will continue and plans will need to be made about how your charity will move forward. There is no magic wand, but trustees and the management team need to relook at what is important and how this can be delivered. The sector reacted very quickly to meet the immediate issues that arose but what can be learnt from these actions. The disaster recovery plan definitely needs to be updated.  Have the needs of your beneficiaries changed? Mental health charities were already dealing with anxiety issues, but these have grown and are now in response to a new threat. Elderly people may have to stay at home for longer periods, but this will increase the need to help combat isolation and poor nutrition. Domestic violence has increased, and the lockdown has highlighted the difficulty of getting help when the abuser is in the house. These issues and many others will require a new way of tackling them.

No one charity will find all the solutions but working together we can brainstorm ideas to look for new solutions. The key to business in surviving this period has been the use of IT through remote working and keeping connected with colleagues and clients. The charity sector needs to embrace technology to help deliver their services and improve efficiencies.  People and businesses have been very supportive over the last few weeks, can they continue this to help charities move to the next level?

If your charity runs a shop, is it ready for the potential influx of donated goods. We had a challenge within our firm to each find 10 items at home we no longer needed to send to our respective local charity shop; many of us have already exceeded this limit. Fundraising efforts made during the lockdown need to continue, but please let people know how their donations have helped. Good communication will help keep a valued donor.

Life going forward will not be easy but we need to seize the opportunities, think differently and embrace the new ways.

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