Hillary's story: fundraising during covid-19

Hillary, our Head of Fundraising tells us what raising money has been like during Covid-19 and how you can help. The photo shows Hillary in the park during a socially-distanced meeting. 

How has fundraising at St Michael's been affected as a result of Covid-19?

It was both good and bad. The emergency funds were incredibly specific, and we couldn’t apply. On the other hand, some organisations collaborated in a very intelligent way and put these emergency funds together that charities could apply for. Looking forward, it is going to be very tough as there will be less money and greater need.

We are really impressed by the work Sarah’s our communications officer has done and how loyal our supporters are. I think people are going to be nervous about the future and not in a position to give money which will be tricky. We are missing out on our marathon money, a lot of charities are in the same boat. A lot of our income comes from the residential houses and their whole way of working has been compromised.

What are some things our supporters could do to help us in fundraising during Covid-19?

We definitely need volunteers to help Sarah with our social media. We want to spread the word still, although Sarah’s done brilliantly on social media herself, we’re still relatively unknown.

Moving forward digitally we could be helping families not just in Lambeth that we work with but actually impact families all over the country. We could share our experience in working with young parents, what we’ve learned, how we work with them and how they work with us. 

With lockdown easing there could be some sort of post-lockdown celebration that honoured St Michael’s in some way. It’s all about families coming together again.

How has it been for St Michael's in digitally reaching out to those we help?

What we’re doing at the moment is reproducing our service very well digitally, but we’re not offering any new services. We’ve transferred some of the outreach support groups to a digital platform.  Jigsaw has been moved to a virtual platform with video meet-ups and that’s actually gone really well. I suspect there are ways we could develop the residential and outreach service going forward, using a digital space to add to what we already have or adapt.

How have you had to adapt in performing your role at St Michael's because of Covid-19?

I became aware of what was happening really quickly because most of my work is to do with Trusts and Foundations. There was just so much going on with emails and people offering help and advice and websites, it was all very confusing. I knew speed was of the essence, our best chance was to get in there really fast, so I was working flat out in March and April.

I normally work in the office from Mondays to Thursdays, and that does not work in this situation. You can’t not be available to see what might be coming in on a Friday, it might be a golden opportunity. So, I changed my hours, reconfiguring more around five days – but that’s okay.

How has it been working from home?

I enjoy working from home, in many ways it suits me because it is easier to write when you’re focused. Admittedly, some of my neighbours have taken this opportunity to remodel their houses – there’s a constant drone of the electric drill! They can’t all be building basements! Sometimes, with the internet connection you can spend a lot of time waiting for things to happen.

I’ve been thrown off a meeting I had with the Fundraising Committee and the Trustees – I had all my tabs laid out prepared but the whole thing just crashed minutes before the meeting was due to start! But normally it works pretty well, I’m amazed by how rapidly St Michael's has become more digital in using zoom, that’s really good.

 

So, how can people help?

- Virtually Volunteer! We need help spreading the word on our social media platforms. Email: fundraising@stmichaelsfellowship.org.uk to find our more

- Follow us: Instagram @stmichaelsfellowship Twitter @stmfellows Facebook @stmfellows Linkedin @stmichaelsfellowship  Like, Comment, Share, Click!

- Donate here

 

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