Around half of Fundraisers Alliance Belgium (FAB) members recently surveyed by the organisation are pessimistic about their charity’s fundraising income over the next few months.
Questioning its members on how their fundraising has evolved since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, FAB found that compared to the same period last year, 39% of responding fundraisers had noticed a drop in fundraising income.
During this year’s crisis, FAB members have found that while attrition of existing donors has been low, with just over 3% of survey respondents seeing a rise, 32% had noticed a decline in the number of new donors.
Some causes are also faring better than others. 71% of the fundraisers working for international aid charities for example said that new donor numbers had fallen during the crisis, while fundraisers working for organisations in education and wellbeing have seen either a drop or no change in the number of existing or new donors.
Almost a quarter had also seen a decline in enquiries about legacy gifts, while fundraisers also expressed concerns about the continuation of corporate partnerships from 2021.
With the financial impact of the coronavirus on charities in mind, FAB recently spoke out against changes to Belgium’s annual De Warmste Week. This event takes place every last week before Christmas and is organised by Flanders public broadcasting company VRT. Last year’s event raised over €17.5 million, and saw 11,776 hours of volunteer work take place, supporting 2088 charities.
For this year they announced a shift in focus from raising donations to mobilising volunteer action instead. De Warmste Week is asking the public to organise or participate in projects to help people in need instead and carry them out between September and December.
While FAB acknowledges the positive intentions of the change, it is also concerned that stopping a fundraising campaign during a year of economic crisis will cause extra difficulties for the charities that would have benefitted.
FAB Board member Jeroen Brugge said:
“The coronavirus is impacting the ability of charities in Belgium both to fundraise and to attract new supporters, just as it is elsewhere. The Warmest Week and the media exposure around it have given many organisations the opportunity in recent years to find new supporters and to raise extra funds. It was the combination of fundraising and active volunteering that made the concept so unique and successful. Without this annual widely supported campaign, many charities fear that they will get into further financial difficulties.”