Did the Pandemic Harm or Help Charitable Donations Worldwide?

Charitable Donations Worldwide
Charitable Donations Worldwide

The COVID-19 pandemic has disheveled our daily lives, impacted communities, and toppled global economies unprecedentedly. Every corner of society remains poorly affected. The global health turmoil has hit the nonprofit sector hard. As the economies had come to a standstill during the lockdown and we face record recession, charitable donations are facing a tough time.

Job losses, as a result of the pandemic, have been momentous. Businesses had literally come to a standstill. As such, cash circulation in the market has dropped substantially. Millions of people are dying of hunger. And all this is happening amidst a scenario where there has been a growing demand for charitable services provided by nonprofit and voluntary organizations like the Jewish Charity.

And here, we are talking about organizations that provide essential services to support people with their healthcare needs, hunger, and other challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are also frontline groups that have been dealing with poverty, human rights, environmental protection, animal rights, and social justice. The financial assistance to these organizations majorly comes from charitable donations by individuals and businesses, in addition to government support.

However, amidst the present global challenge, the question arises – how coronavirus has affected charities? There has been an ongoing market study to understand the effects, and the results are mixed. So, let’s understand whether the pandemic has helped or hit charitable donations in 2020-21.

Do People Spend Less on Charities During Recession?

To put it simply: yes. According to a report published by Cafonline.org, during the last recession in 2009, the total amount of charitable donations had decreased by 11% as compared to pre-recession rates. 

This is obvious. Recessions leave less money rolling in the economy, majorly affecting the financial standing of individuals and businesses. During COVID-19, the scenario has further aggravated due to significant job losses and business shut-downs. People are trying hard to make both ends meet and contributing to donations might not be their priority.    

Despite an increase in demand for voluntary services during the ongoing pandemic, there has been a drop in donations. A majority of government funds have been utilized to meet growing COVID needs and as such, contributions to charitable donations are affected.

But there is a ray of hope even in this pandemic scenario. A study by Fidelity Charitable shows how philanthropists conceive charitable donations in response to the pandemic condition and how it could affect their volunteering behavior or giving capacity. Here are the key points collected from the study:

  • 54% of patrons would maintain their amount of donations while 25% even plan to increase their giving levels

Financial support coming in the form of charitable donations is crucial at times of crisis like this. And the survey conducted by Fidelity Charitable brings good news for the non-profit sector – on average 25% of philanthropists are likely to increase their donations to support voluntary organizations and charities in their endeavor to help people during the COVID-19 condition. Additionally, 54% of the respondents stated they plan to maintain their donation levels even during the pandemic. This mostly includes Millennials.

And those who responded to decreasing their charitable donations are mostly concerned over the recession and the economy at large.

  • Donors are concerned about both COVID-19 frontline charitable organizations and others

With coronavirus pandemic posing detrimental effects on health and livelihood, most philanthropists are primarily concerned about funding non-profits that are related to healthcare, safety & hygiene, and serving the communities. However, the crisis has been unfavorable to all sectors – and half of the patrons have also shown concern for charities working in other fields.

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly affected charitable donations – the amount of funds these organizations would receive post-COVID has declined. However, a large section of the donors is still contributing to charities, considering their services most essential during this crisis.    

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