In a recent study, 90% of charities said they expected COVID-19 to have a negative impact on their ability to meet their goals over the next six months, as a result of a reduction in planned income over the next six months.
Of those surveyed:
- 38% said they expected a reduction of up to 25%
- 28% said they expected a reduction of 25% to 50%
- 18% said they expected a reduction of 50% to 75%
- 4% said they expected a reduction of more than 75%
While this shows that charities fear the worst in terms of future funds, 72% said they anticipated an increase in demand for their services in the next 6 months compared to pre-COVID expectations. This further compounds the difficulties that they are expected to face in the near future.
What are Realtime doing?
At Realtime, we have decided to dedicate the month of June to raising money for charities that are currently struggling. Our Exercise for Charity challenge entails exercising for the equivalent time as walking between our Belfast and Dublin branches 10 times. This is a whole-team effort and we have chosen a time-based goal so that everyone can get involved by doing whatever exercise they feel comfortable doing.
The charities that we have chosen to support are:
The Cancer Fund for Children – Every year they support over 500 families and 1,500 children and young people by providing practical and emotional support as well as free short breaks to their therapeutic centre in Newcastle Co. Down.
Sadly, they have had to temporarily close their head office and therapeutic short break centre. However, they have adapted and their Cancer Support Specialists continue to deliver individual and group support to children and young people by phone and online. Their team also deliver online videos providing advice and guidance to families on how to navigate isolation and manage anxiety and stress during these uncertain times.
The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) – While schools being shut has allowed some children the opportunity to spend quality time with their parents and families, other children are sadly not so lucky. For many children and young people, school is their sanctuary. Now they have no escape and are, in many cases, in constant close proximity to their tormentor.
More and more children and young people have been reaching out to Childline for support online. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Childline have noticed an increase of 25% in online contacts.
Children and young people turn to Childline for support with all kinds of issues which might be on their mind. In the past few weeks since the COVID-19 outbreak some of the topics children and young people have spoken about with Childline most often have included:
- Family Relationships
- Mental / Emotional Health
- Domestic Violence
- Online Safety
Life as we know it has been put on hold, but child abuse and other issues do not stop in a pandemic.
As well as our Exercise for Charity challenge, we are donating our regular monthly social fund to charities that help support homeless people.
What can you do?
To help charities during this difficult time, everyone can do their part, however small.
1. Donate to charities responding to COVID-19 as well as your other favourite causes
If you are in a financial position to do so, you could consider donating directly to charities, both those helpingly directly combat COVID-19 and your favourite causes. Donations to charities will help spread the economic impact and help them get through the crisis and continue their important work.
2. Volunteer for organisations that are providing critical services in your community
Due to the measures introduced by the lockdown, many volunteer services have had to restrict their usual commitments. This leaves volunteer-dependent not-for-profits without the manpower necessary to provide critical services. These services will also see a heightened demand due to financial strains.
As lockdown measures are gradually lifted, you can reach out to local charities and ask what you can do to support them. Search online for volunteer opportunities in your area. As an example, which is very current, meal and food parcel delivery services are in need of people who can help deliver to those in need.
3. Advocate for the organisations and individuals that need our help.
You might not be able to help in the traditional sense but you can use your voice for good. Share information with your network on social media and start conversations about how people can help each other. When you see articles about how people are being affected, share them – you never know who might be inspired.
Remind people to keep supporting the charities they care about and share local volunteer opportunities.
During this crisis, community spirit and the offer of help to each other has been overwhelming, so we at Realtime are trying to do our small bit to engage our team to support a couple of fantastic charities that do amazing work with children.
You can give to the charities that we have chosen to support here: