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Highlights from Blackbaud’s Future of Work Report

Are you ready for working practices to change? Our colleagues at Blackbaud have teamed up with The Resource Alliance to release the Future of Work 2021 – a new report sharing fresh insights on what’s next for the charity sector.

The report is based on survey responses from over 800 charity professionals and eight in-depth interviews with leaders from organisations such as Poetry in Wood, HIGGS and Stroke Association UK. Divided into five sections, the report deep dives into personal wellbeing, how employees feel about their charity’s response to COVID-19, the future plans that some leaders have already put in place, and even the ways that the past year has impacted future career plans.

Future of Work is now available to download from Blackbaud’s resources hub and we’ve shared some interesting highlights below that indicate how fundraising professionals are feeling professionally and personally a year on from the start of lockdown.

Perception of Organisations’ Response to COVID-19

It goes without saying that the past year has been challenging, and the survey found that 25% of respondents had experienced being furloughed at some point during the pandemic. Despite all the ups and downs, fundraising professionals still feel overwhelmingly positive towards their charity and their response to COVID-19.

  • 90% of respondents agreed that their employer is treating them fairly
  • 87% feel that overall, their employer has adapted well to the current situation. This is up from 60% of respondents in the Status of UK Fundraising 2020 Report which Blackbaud released in June 2020
  • 60% believe the public’s perception of their cause has improved for the better during the pandemic

Wellbeing and Personal Impact of the Pandemic

79% of the survey respondents said that they feel worried about the effect COVID-19 is having on their life right now, with a further 50% saying they believe their mental wellbeing has deteriorated.

The wellbeing of our people has been a primary focus over the last 12 months, we recognised the impact of working remotely and developed a range of resources and support to help to mitigate the impact. In particular we listened to feedback about the negative impact of spending too much time in virtual meetings, so we launched “zap zoom”, an initiative to reduce this.

Paul Amadi, Chief Supporter Officer, British Red Cross

Future of Work

The future is flexible – or at least, that’s what 90% of people in the sector want it to be. Whilst this doesn’t mean that people want to work entirely away from the office, a further 80% would like the option to work remotely more often post-pandemic. This shift in working preferences puts a spotlight on organisations and their existing work practices as there appears to now be a need to think about implementing flexible or hybrid working models if they wish to retain existing team members.

Overall, nearly three quarters of respondents said they had enjoyed working from home, however many feel that additional training would help them to work more effectively when out of the office. Key training areas included virtual brainstorming (51%), how to manage a team remotely (30%), software specific training (7%), and even advice on how to effectively run virtual meetings (40%).

“I’m hopeful in lots of ways, because what the team have demonstrated over the last year, above all things, is incredible resilience, flexibility and drive to care for our beneficiaries. We want to carefully, cautiously, and respectfully plan for the next phase when we’re more certain what that looks like.”

Hayley Grocock, CEO, Wakefield District Sight Aid

Read the full Future of Work report

The full Future of Work 2021 report, which is packed with lots of additional insights and stats, is available to download and read for free on the Blackbaud resources hub.

Plus! Our Head of Corporate Go-to-Market, Sally Falvey, and Blackbaud’s Director of People, Jon Walder, will be speaking at Fundraising Everywhere’s Charity Workplace Wellbeing Summit on the 22nd April. They will be talking through the report’s insights on the personal impact of the pandemic and reflecting on how Blackbaud and JustGiving’s strategy aligns with the report’s findings. We have an exclusive discount to attend the Wellness Summit, so make sure that you join us by visiting the Fundraising Everywhere website and using the promo code BBWellbeing for 50% off!

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One-third of donors directed half their giving to disaster relief | Philanthropy news

Last year, 37 percent of American donors gave half or more of their charitable contributions to disaster relief efforts, and 64 percent gave to a charity they had never supported before, a survey commissioned by Vanguard Charitable finds.

Conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of Vanguard Charitable, the survey of more than 1,300 American donors found that the top reasons American donors gave to disaster relief included wanting to assist those impacted by humanitarian crises (46 percent), feeling overwhelmed by a situation and wanting to help (33 percent), seeing charitable giving as the only way they could provide support (30 percent), and having a personal connection to the disaster/crisis (30 percent). The survey found that donors who contributed to disaster relief efforts gave more overall, meaning that disaster relief giving did not take away from, or occur in place of, ongoing giving. 

“From COVID-19 to a devastating humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, we’ve seen donors respond to disaster relief needs in inspiring and meaningful ways,” said Vanguard Charitable president Rebecca Moffett. “In fact, this data reflects that disaster relief support is an integral part of the giving landscape, often increasing total generosity as donors look to give when and where support is needed most. And because the money in donor-advised funds has already been set aside for charitable purposes, donations from DAFs tend to be more responsive in moments of crisis, and more resilient during moments of economic uncertainty.”

(Photo credit: Getty Images/Drazen Zigic)

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Trust in nonprofits fell slightly last year, survey finds | Philanthropy news

While there is room for U.S. institutions across the board to increase public trust, a majority of respondents believe nonprofits will do what is right for society, a survey conducted by Independent Sector finds. 

Conducted in February in partnership with Edelman Data & Intelligence, the third-annual Trust in Civil Society survey found that 56 percent of Americans said they trust nonprofits, down 3 percentage points from the 2020 benchmark study (59 percent). Trust in philanthropy edged down from 36 percent to 34 percent during the same period. According to the survey, financial well-being and education are major drivers of trust, and trust of nonprofits among women fell during the pandemic.

Given the findings, Independent Sector recommended that nonprofits work to make greater progress to support and strengthen the country, for example by leveraging trust in the social sector to strengthen U.S. democracy, deepening engagement with communities and institutions, and upholding public expectations of government accountability.

“Increasing public trust of institutions and the social sector is a pressing issue for the U.S. We all benefit from strong public trust,” said Independent Sector president and CEO Daniel J. Cardinali. “Trust is the priceless currency for nonprofits, philanthropies, business charity programs, and all of us to build a healthy, equitable society. We see what happens when trust breaks. Our 2022 Independent Sector Trust in Civil Society report elevates important data and recommendations for conversations about how the social sector can engage more deeply and do better so everyone in our country thrives.” 

(Photo credit: Getty Images/SDI Productions)

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Digital, other channels of giving are expanding, study finds | Philanthropy news

Emerging trends in the United Kingdom and Brazil reveal an expansion of digital and other types of channels for giving, including online giving, crowdfunding, charity rounding up, and social impact publishing, a new research series from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI finds.

The research series, Digital for Good: A Global Study on Emerging Ways of Giving, builds on the school’s Global Philanthropy Environment Index and Global Philanthropy Tracker and will be released in phases over the next five months. The first two studies examine philanthropic engagement in Brazil and the UK prior to and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with profiles of China, India, Kenya, Singapore, South Africa, and South Korea to follow.

Based on an analysis of three case studies in Brazil, the first profile found that prominent emerging ways of giving include charity rounding up, crowdfunding, and social impact publishing, which involves the production of inspiring, revenue-producing editorial content. Donations collected through rounding up for charity via Arredondar increased from BRL1,091 in 2013 (equivalent to $590 in 2021, adjusted for inflation) to more than BRL1.6 million in 2020 (equivalent to $330,186 in 2021, adjusted for inflation). In addition, the study found that the most successful initiatives prioritized transparency and accountability in giving.

Based on an online survey of nearly 3,000 individuals in the UK, the profile found that prominent expanded methods of giving include online giving and crowdfunding. Among donors interviewed between May and July 2021, 60 percent reported that gifts they had made in the past year had been made online, with the most common way being through a third-party app. In addition, researchers found that 63 percent of people who used social media to request donations also made requests in person.

“The results of the first two country profiles suggest an evolution in giving practices and highlight a significant expansion of digital giving practices and peer-to-peer giving,” said Amir Pasic, the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “While these findings are the first in a series, the documented growth in digital giving and shifting donor expectations in the UK and in Brazil reinforce existing evidence that digital practices can help democratize the practice of philanthropy. Digital innovation makes philanthropy accessible and fosters greater transparency and accountability for how gifts lead to impact.”

(Photo credit: Getty Images)

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