The events of 2020, notably the pandemic and the resulting lockdown, have impacted industries and organisations up and down the country. The charitable/not-for-profit sector is no different.
It has been incredibly positive to see the sector band together in response to the impacts of the pandemic, with the not-for-profit special interest group presentations made available online. Many other webinars have also been put together to aid those in the for-purpose area.
Additionally, CAANZ have released an additional resource, summising the outlook facing charities and not-for-profit organisations in New Zealand and Australia. Included is a link to the resource, but we’ve summarised the key messages for you.
Key takeaways and observations:
- Volunteering has decreased significantly
- NZ has more charities per capita than any other nation in the world. This places organisations more at risk of closure or other serious impact
- Strong governance is now more critical than ever. This includes diversity in age, skillset and more
- The sector is catching up on digitisation. Therefore, if you have invested recently you may be in a good position
- The pandemic has highlighted the need to diversify income, a notion that should always be front of mind for any organisation
- In the eye of a crisis, cash management and forecasting becomes key. This is always a tricky topic for NFP’s who need to be seen to be distributing in-line with their purpose, and not storing cash for a rainy day
- If possible, try to investigate lease/rent concessions. At the very least, have a conversation with your landlord
- Audits are likely to be more intense than previously, so perhaps expect closer scrutiny and budget for higher audit costs accordingly
This provides a good snapshot of the current and future landscape, and we have the below to add:
- Some organisations have observed increases in revenue. In particular, those with an NZ based cause, think ‘help starts at home’
- Organisations that rely upon events or activities income have been impacted significantly
- Most gaming trust funders have funds committed from their most recent financial year, making any impact felt from 2021 onwards. Early indications are however that their activities have been strong since lockdown
- The government response to the pandemic will see a vast amount of money put into the economy. It is likely that members of the charitable sector will be beneficiaries of this, provided organisations position themselves to be able to add real value to communities and ultimately the economy through their delivery.
- Governing bodies are being lenient with reporting deadlines. Don’t assume this though, check first by contacting Charities Services at email@example.com
It is a concerning time for many, but with the right cause, income diversification and positioning, many organisations can and will continue to experience success long into the future, despite the impacts of the pandemic.