30% Intend to Give More to Charities Post COVID-19

Pandemic expected to impact organizations’ fundraising efforts
Hands Heart Donorship

As charitable organizations wait to see how the COVID-19 outbreak may impact their fundraising efforts, new research suggests that some consumers plan on increasing their levels of giving to help those affected by the pandemic.

The general mood among charitable organizations amid the coronavirus crisis is not very optimistic. In fact, 80.5% of charitable organizations surveyed anticipate their revenue will be lower than originally expected in 2020, according to a report by the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Give.org, a website that monitors the effectiveness of charities. Additionally, 89.4% of charitable organizations are either somewhat or very concerned that they will not be able to remain financially stable as a result of the pandemic.

The good news is that potential donors may be willing to provide charitable organizations with some relief.

COVID-19 presents charities with new challenges

There are a number of ways the pandemic could impact the charitable giving community. Among charities expecting less revenue this year, 93.5% believe that potential donors will be less able to give due to their own financial constraints. Earlier surveys throughout the COVID-19 crisis have shown that many consumers are putting off nonessential spending due to financial uncertainty.

Other common reasons that those organizations expect revenue to decline include:

  • The organization will be unable to host a fundraising event because of COVID-19 (69.6%)
  • Donors are expected to redirect funding to individuals in need (54.4%)
  • The focus of their charity will not be a top concern for donors in light of the pandemic (35.9%)

Donors stepping up to the plate

While organizations brace themselves for the fallout, many potential donors say they are planning to continue prioritizing giving.

A survey of 1,000 adults found that 48.2% plan to look for ways to support charities in light of the pandemic. Nearly one-third — 30.8% — said they plan to give more in 2020 than they typically would. Meanwhile, 52.5% of respondents said they expect to give the same amount this year as they have in previous years. Only 8.8% said they expect to give less, and 8% are currently uncertain about future giving plans.

Among those who expect to give less:

  • 51.5% say they need to be financially conservative because of economic uncertainty
  • 45.6% say the decline in giving is due to lost income because of the pandemic

In addition to helping charities, some respondents expressed a desire to help small businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis. In fact, 23.9% of respondents said they plan to give money to small businesses either directly or via crowdfunding. Other ways that respondents said they plan to help small businesses include:

  • Buying products when possible (64.2%)
  • Buying gift cards (16.9%)

Give.org’s methodology

Give.org surveyed 118 charities that are accredited by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance to determine how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting philanthropy. The charities surveyed varied in size and in mission. To get the perspective of potential donors, Give.org also surveyed 1,000 adults across the U.S. between March 27-30.

Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a Washington, DC-based writer who covers personal finance, entrepreneurship and careers.