The Covid-19 Community Needs research, by the Catalytic Foundation, shows Kiwi charities are under increasing pressure, managing a surge in demand with fewer resources.
The study had over 560 responses from charities across New Zealand and were conducted around periods of COVID-19 lockdown.
- First survey in March/April 2020 as NZ went into level 3-4
- Second survey in April/May 2020 as NZ moved out of level 4-3 to level 2.
- Third survey in July/August as NZ went into level 4
Insights from the 2021 survey
- Over 90% of charities reported that they were affected by Covid-19 (consistent with the two previous surveys)
- 73% reported an increase in demand for their services, which is an increase from the 48% reported in the previous survey.
- Having identified in the previous two surveys that “Additional funding” was the primary need of the charities, the latest survey highlighted “Operational costs and expenses”, “Additional financial support” and “Staff” as three immediate needs they need help with.
- Charities have reported an increase in the amount of financial support they need compared to previous surveys. The most significant change is in the upper bands of funding – over 25% selected 100k (compared to 11% in previous survey), 20% selected 50k (compared to 5% in previous survey), and 16% selected 10k (compared to 12% in previous survey), with the lower bands largely the same comparing the latest and previous survey.
- A new question in this year’s survey asked charities what resources they needed. The top three needs were for laptops (58%), followed by food (44%) then mobile phones (31%), which indicates the need for technology.
- There is a significant increase in the number of professional skilled volunteers and people needed to help with charity support services compared to the surveys run last year. This year’s survey showed 45% needing volunteers for charity support services, followed closely by professional skilled volunteers at 45% (compared this to the 17% from the previous survey and 12% before that).
Overview from the Catalytic Foundation Covid-19 Community Needs Surveys
Similar to last year, the research this year has identified that practically all nationwide charities have been affected by the pandemic and have an increased demand for their social services.
For many charities, obtaining additional funding is a primary need and the amount needed has increased compared to last year, largely due to operational costs/expenses, additional financial support and staff. On the last point, the need for professionally skilled volunteers and people to help with charity support services may be an indication that charities are short-staffed and low funded so rely more and more on unpaid helpers.
Lastly, the research has identified that charities need donations around tech (laptops and phones), as well as the more expected food and secondhand goods.
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