News & Insights

Charities collaborating to combat Covid

Ruo Wu examines how charities are working together to overcome to challenges created by Covid-19.

The current Covid-19 pandemic has changed the landscape in which charities operate in this country. In order to better adapt in these leaner economic times, it seems that increasingly many more charities are collaborating and working together to become more resilient and adaptive.

The UK Charity Commission describes collaborative working as joint working by two or more organisations in order to better fulfil their purposes and it can relate to any aspect of a charity’s activity, including administration, fundraising, resource sharing, streamlining costs, campaigning and service delivery.

However formal or informal the collaboration may be, charities may find it beneficial to combine their capabilities, share skills and resources in order to provide a better service, reduce their own risks, enhance their presence, and to take advantage of potentially wider funding opportunities.

There have been many recent examples of charities working together to achieve a common goal and we have identified a few notable highlights illustrating some benefits that collaboration can bring.

Changing government policy

A number of leading charities including ACEVO, Charities Aid Foundation and Charity Tax Group have appealed to the government to increase the level of Gift Aid that can be claimed on donations. The change would mean that a £100.00 donation from a UK taxpayer would increase to £133.33 for the charity once Gift Aid had been claimed. This compares to £125.00 that can currently be claimed by the charity resulting in the Gift Aid claimed on every eligible donation to increase from the current 25% to 33%. It is estimated that this change could help charities access an additional £450 million.

Supporting front-line workers

“Our Frontline” initiative, supported by The Royal Foundation (the charity vehicle for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge), has seen charities collaborate to provide mental health and bereavement support to NHS workers and other key workers working on the frontline. Frontline staff, for instance, can call or text a trained volunteer to access specially developed online resources, toolkits and advice to support their mental health and emotional wellbeing through this challenging time.

Innovative alternative to mass events

A number of charities and mass event organisers have grouped together to create the 2.6 Challenge. This was in response to the loss of charity income through fundraising events such as the postponed 2020 London Marathon which last year alone raised an estimated £66+ million for charities.

In the alternative, this challenge has encouraged individuals to raise money by completing an activity based on the number 2.6 or 26. To date it has managed to raise a highly commendable £11 + million.

Field Seymour Parkes LLP is a full-service law firm including offering specialist charities law advice for a range of domestic and international charities. If you have any questions regarding this article or how to collaborate with another charity, please do not hesitate to contact our charities team (headed by Ruo Wu). Ruo also records podcasts for our Charities and not-for-profit channel and webinars for our YouTube channel which you can access for free by visiting https://www.fsp-law.com/our-people/ruo-wu/.