Let’s help non-profit organizations to face the corona-crisis

2020 has spared no sector, and certainly not one of the non-profit associations. On 9 November 2020, the Belgian association called La Fondation Roi Baudouin published this barometerin French. It shows that 49% of non-profits have seen their financial situation deteriorate because of Covid-19. This graph speaks for itself :

covid-10 impacts on associations
“Amélioration” is French for “improvement” and “dégradation” means “worsening”. Source : Fondation Roi Baudouin

Table of contents

Why is it a problem?

Non-profit organizations play a crucial role in our society. They help democracy function properly, strengthen social cohesion and participate in economic life. The situation is therefore dramatic, especially given that the organizations affected are active in a very wide variety of sectors: social, health, culture, leisure, development cooperation, environment, animal welfare, etc.

Out of 700 organizations surveyed by Ipsos, all registered on the Belgian website “Bonnes Causes”, 95% believe that the deterioration of their financial situation is linked to the COVID-19 crisis. Moreover, 33% of them do not expect any improvement by 2021.

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But where does the breakdown come from?

The charities can rely on several sources of income, including subsidies offered by the State, as you can see on this graph :

Graph of La fondation Roi Baudouin

Source : Fondation Roi Baudouin

The problem is that even if government subsidies remain stable, this is not enough: 65% of associations have observed a decrease in their commercial revenues from sales (e.g. stickers, Belgian waffles, …), 33% have recorded a decrease in donations from individuals (31% in 2020, against 24% in 2018), donations from private foundations (36% in 2020, against 17% in 2018) and membership fees (38% in 2020, against 15% in 2018).

Confronted with this situation, non-profit organizations are obliged to use their financial reserves, if they have any. And if they have any, these reserves are not unlimited and the associations will not be able to cope with this situation indefinitely.

What can we do to help them?

It goes without saying that the crisis is having an impact on the normal functioning of the associations, which have experienced a considerable reduction or even a total shutdown of their activities. This is particularly true for the culture, leisure and development cooperation sector.

Despite this, the NGOs are showing creativity and flexibility: 42% have implemented new objectives and/or new activities to face the challenges related to the crisis (e.g. organizing home food parcel distributions to replace the temporary closure of a social restaurant).

But it’s possible to go even further!

Showing solidarity and helping associations has become a social emergency. When the voluntary sector suffers, it is all solidarity that breaks down, and this is the main reason that gave birth to Help49.

In concrete terms, Help49 calls on communication agencies to mobilize and provide voluntary assistance to associations affected by the crisis. Any help is welcome to support the charities: creation of websites, optimization of social networks, creation of communication campaigns, promotional videos, brochures, digital strategies, etc.

At the time of this writing, more than 50 agencies have already agreed to become involved as volunteers: 1md, 65inches, Adjust, Adjuvent, Alinoa, Anderson, Base design, Cherry Pulp, Cible, Clef2web, Clicktrust, Communication support, Cutesocial, DB Creation, Deuxpoints, Digitalix, Dogstudio, E-net Business, e-TRUST, Epic, Expansion, Globule bleu, Greenpepper, Greenpig, Hungry Minds, Idweaver, Jeudimatin, Kiff, La niche, etc.

The more agencies join this movement, the more non-profit organizations can be helped!

How can YOU help?

If you are in charge of an agency, or if you are part of an agency, and would like to help Help49, send a mail to contact@help49.be or call the Belgian number +32 498 74 45 13 directly.

How does it work?

In December 2020, a website will be opened to allow NGOs to share their needs. Agencies that want to offer their services will then be able to select the association of their choice.

Several points should catch your attention:

  • You will have the opportunity to choose the NGOs you’d like to help from February 2021 onwards, directly from the list available on the above-mentioned site.
  • You have no constraints in terms of timing: you decide when you give your help to the organization (either when there is a hole in your schedule, or instead of an internal project, or between 2 projects, etc).
  • You choose the type of services you offer: you propose and contact the association of your choice.
  • Only your services will be offered (no hosting fees, domain name, advertising space purchase…). The recurring budget or media purchase is therefore the responsibility of the organization (with no margin from the agency).
  • This action is intended for non-profit organizations/associations. No matter the field of activity.

Once again, showing solidarity is a social emergency. If you have the opportunity to help the voluntary sector, send a message to contact@help49.be or call +32 498 74 45 13 directly.