The Coronavirus could have a devastating impact on charities

The JC Leader - March 6, 2020

March 05, 2020 15:14

It is, of course, important not to panic over the possible impact of coronavirus. For all the projections, at the moment they remain just that.

But epidemiologists are in little doubt about its likely spread and already we are starting to adjust behaviour accordingly.

It seems more likely than not that one consequence will be a severe limitation, if not outright ban, on public gatherings.

One of the many consequences of this would be a devastating impact on charities. The London Marathon alone raised £66.4 million last year.

And for Jewish charities the likely need to postpone or even cancel that fundraising staple, the charity dinner, could have a severe impact.

Some of the bigger dinners raise millions — and for smaller organisations, the loss of a core part of their annual budget could be ruinous.

There will, rightly, be appeals for donations in place of the money raised from dinners.

Charitable giving is central to our community and we are sure that those who would otherwise have attended a fundraising event will be at least as generous in these new circumstances as they would otherwise have been.             

At a time like this it may seem trite to try find a positive gloss.

But now, albeit through force of circumstance, perhaps it is appropriate to see if their forced cancellation might lead to a lessening in dependence on the annual round of such dinners.

Charities hold them for two main reasons — to create awareness and to raise money.

There are other ways to achieve the former; and there may, at least this year, be no alternative but to find other ways to manage the latter. In some ways, the annual dinner has become a habit.

Maybe that habit can be broken, and the fundraising dinner once again become something special.

March 05, 2020 15:14

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