It seems a long time ago now, but 2022 started in optimistic fashion.
After nearly two years of lockdowns, home schooling, anxiety of the unknown and missing our loved ones, people were ready to reset and start enjoying the things they had missed.
There was an initial burst of energy, optimism and positivity. People were becoming more comfortable with living with Covid and there was even a growing confidence that we were reaching the end of the pandemic.
For charities, it seemed that now was the time to embrace this positivity when planning their communications and events in the months ahead.
How quickly things can change. The rise in Covid cases, the conflict in the Ukraine and the cost of living crisis have combined to make people feel anxious and cautious about the future.
The potential impact on charities is clear as many juggle rising costs in their everyday lives.
The conflict in the Ukraine, and the undeniable ripple of fear that is being felt across the globe, has merely added to people’s worries – even if it had initially highlighted the importance of charitable giving, both financial and in other crucial donations of everyday items.
This “wave of charitability” will only last for so long as previous concerns about life start to re-emerge. Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement was barely dry when thoughts – and headlines – had already turned back to the cost of living.
Our latest public insights show that 21% of financial supporters ‘strongly agree’ that they are worrying about affording the basics in the year ahead.
What can charities do to respond to this triple threat of Covid, conflict and everyday costs? First, understand who your supporters are and why they support your cause.
In the coming weeks, charities need to be thinking about their supporters and finding ways to deliver the three Rs:
· Reassure supporters that you understand their situation.
· Remind them of the difference they make and the value of their support.
· Reinforce the essential nature of their contribution.
Against this unsettled backdrop, charity trust still remains high. Key messages should focus on trust and impact, highlighting how donors can – and have – made a direct difference to a charity’s cause.
Offer supporters a range of ways they can support and participate and be considerate and understanding in all communications.
Work with donors - reassure, remind and reinforce. Supporters are a charity’s greatest asset and loyalty can work both ways.
Understand their concerns and why they support a cause and loyalty can still continue to grow.