A unique confluence of thinking and events came together last week which allowed FIA to support the development of a piece of research on what fundraising organisations are facing during this current COVID-19 crisis off the back of a very challenging period related to the impact of the massive bushfire emergency over the past few months. Members asked us how their colleagues and the sector at large were coping and are there ideas we can share with each other to help us through this challenging period? Concerned phone calls and worried emails were coming thick and fast, and to gain information and perspective to share with members, we moved quickly with the research and a resulting webinar to share the results. More than 1,000 people registered for last Friday’s webinar so that tells me that there is a need and keen desire for this broad perspective.
Sadly, our provider Zoom were having global technical issues and so not everyone who registered was able to join which was very disappointing all around. For those who could not participate, it is now available in the member portal of the FIA website.
Having this information helps us to plan and manage through this period and also helps FIA understand how we can assist our members. We are continually building our library of resources for members as well as being here for advice and assistance when you need it.
As the peak body, I feel it is FIA’s responsibility to represent fundraising sector interests to governments at all levels. I have been in touch with the Assistant Minister for Charities’ Office to discuss the immediate, short and long term impacts of COVID-19 on the fundraising sector; and I’m discussing with FIA members the key areas where we need assistance if we are to continue to raise funds effectively for all our beneficiaries. I’ll keep you updated regarding these ideas and discussions and will trust that our voice as a sector is louder and more powerful than each one of us alone.
In the meantime, I was so glad to see the announcement from the Commonwealth Government yesterday, extending support to charities under $50 million turnover, which is a good first step. I will continue to work with members to argue for more assistance and will update you in the coming weeks regarding our efforts. For more information on this and other parts of the economic response, see https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Overview-Economic_Response_to_the_Coronavirus_0.pdf
FIA have embarked on our own remote working starting today and so the team are scattered all over Sydney and the Central Coast but we are still here for you, our members, at the end of the phone or email or Zoom meeting anytime. Stay safe and well.