Philanthropists urged to “re-engage” with charities amid Covid-19 recovery

Philanthropists are being urged to work closer with charities to help them recover from the Covid-10 health crisis.

The advice has emerged in latest guidance by New Philanthropy Capital for grant makers on how they can “re-engage” with their grantees.

It details good practice from funders during the pandemic, who proactively contacted their grantees “to express support and offer flexibility” in areas such as funding thresholds and reporting requirements.

“Given how fluid the situation is, you should be in semi-regular contact with grantees to understand their current challenges,” NPC advises grant givers.

“But be careful not to place an undue burden on grantees who are already stretched.”

Simple steps philanthropists can take include asking grantees to submit reports already prepared for other funders “rather than requiring each charity to reformat information to fit your own forms”.

Grant givers should also contact grantees at least every two months for an update on their organisation and any changes.

Being flexible with how grants are used is also key. “For instance, a charity may now need help setting up a Covid-secure work environment, where previously they needed support moving to entirely remote working,” adds NPC’s guidance.

Further online guidance from NPC for charities, as they recover from the pandemic, includes advice on digital within philanthropy and an updated toolkit on helping charities to tackle pressing as well as long term challenges.

“Now is a defining moment for charities,” said NPC chief executive Dan Corry.

“The decisions we make now will shape our sector for years to come. Being in a crisis for a year is in a different league to being in one for three months. All of this will have long-term effects. 

“How philanthropists act now will determine how charities are able to tackle this crisis in the short term, their institutional survival in the medium term, and the resilience of our sector to keep serving people in the long term. Our updated guidance provides detailed advice based on our experience of helping charities and funders before and during the pandemic.

“Right now, charities still need emergency support. The crisis has shifted from acute to chronic. But coronavirus has revealed much about charities and philanthropy, how we work, who we work with, and where we focus, so we need to start thinking about how we rethink and rebuild our sector. However bad the storm, we must not lose sight of where we are heading.”

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