We have just passed 100 days since Australia confirmed its first case of COVID-19. We braced ourselves for the worst-case scenario that could have seen our healthcare system overwhelmed and ICU beds reach capacity. But it seems for now, Australia has escaped a full-blown coronavirus catastrophe.
For many of us at Good2Give, we’ve been huddled in our homes, watching and waiting to see what happens next, both here and abroad. We know returning to work, for those of us fortunate enough to still be in jobs, will be staggered, as will universities and schools, and the return to ‘normal’ will be slow.
And while it’s been a time like no other in our lifetimes, I feel it is important for us all to recognise that Australia’s battle against the virus is far from over, especially for the less fortunate communities. I feel this pandemic has created an opportunity to reconsider how we want our society to operate and what we value as a society.
Many of the companies we work with are committed to continue giving to society and giving generously, but a few have, understandably, had to suspend their community giving programs. My team and I are so proud to work with some truly inspiring companies over the last few weeks, who have acted quickly to pivot their businesses to respond to needs of individuals and communities affected by COVID-19.
Companies, such as Essential Energy and Sydney Water, have either created new community Grants programs or adapted existing programs to support small businesses experiencing hardship. With more than two thirds of Accor branded hotels worldwide closed, the Group is supporting its employees and partners through the creation of the ‘ALL Heartist Fund’, a COVID-19 special purpose fund. Committed to giving, these companies are creating meaningful investments to support individuals and community groups that are doing it tough right now.
Most, if not all, sectors in Australia have been affected in one way or another by the crisis, including the diverse not-for-profit sector. Philanthropy Australia invites all members of the sector to join their pledge, which contains principles guiding grant makers and supporters, to help the organisations they fund to continue their important work in COVID-19 affected communities.
As well as fundraising for charities across the country, Good2Give recognises the important role of volunteering, especially now. This is why Good2Give is creating a community on Communiteer, a crowd-sourcing platform that connects not-for-profit organisations with skilled volunteers to create a ripple effect of social impact. Read more about Communiteer’s ‘Virtually Together’ campaign which is helping bring the skills of volunteers together with the charities that are on the frontline dealing with those who are increasingly isolated at this time of social distancing and travel restrictions. This includes people in aged care facilities, people with disabilities, migrants and refugees and those at risk of mental health issues.
In the background, our Good2Givers have been busily working on exciting projects which we will share in more detail with you over the coming weeks. Our research findings from the ‘Giving Circles at Work’ pilot, in partnership with Westpac, the Department of Social Services and Centre for Social Impact Swinburne University. This innovative trial brought employees together to collectively raise funds through workplace giving for specific causes or charities strategically chosen by the giving circle.
We’ll also be sharing two new Workplace Giving Product Updates: Gift Matching, whereby companies can match donations that employees have made personally (i.e. not via the platform) and Volunteering Matching, whereby companies can match a dollar amount to the time employees spend on a volunteering activity.
In the meantime, and as the financial year-end is fast approaching, don’t forget to reach out to your employees and/or workplace giving donors. If you have a Foundation Account with us, now is the time to secure a tax-deductible donation to your foundation, for distribution to charity when suits you. Remember, all donations could really make a big difference to charities right now. Read more about why now is the most popular time of year to donate.
If you require any more information about anything mentioned in my Blog, please don’t hesitate to reach out to either myself or my team.
We know there are still uncertainties and undoubtably a rocky road to come, but please know we are here for you.
Chief Executive Officer