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Research shows 97% of Canberra charities impacted by COVID

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New survey research has found that 97% of Canberra charities have been impacted by COVID-19.

Conducted over three months by Hands Across Canberra, an independent not-for-profit that works with more than 250 Canberra community organisations, the survey shows that charities have struggled to cope with the double-punch of the devastating bushfire season and COVID.

“The situation sadly could not be more serious,” says Diane Kargas Bray AM, Chair of Hands Across Canberra.

“Our local charities and community organisations were already under considerable pressure due to the devasting bushfire season…They had only taken the first step towards rebuilding when the pandemic reached Australia, which was a second and very large hit for them…Plus, they faced new challenges such as the inability to hold fundraising events, regular donations ceasing and having to find ways of delivering services without any face-to-face contact.”

“Our research shows that 97% of our community sector has been impacted, with 83% stating that they will be significantly impacted. This is a real threat, many of our not-for-profits could fold if something is not done.”

With these dire statistics in mind, Hands Across Canberra has launched a Canberra Recovery Appeal.

The appeal will directly benefit Hands Across Canberra’s partner charities, which include Communities@Work, the Perinatal Wellbeing Centre, HOME in Queanbeyan, Karinya House for Mothers and Babies and more.

Peter Gordon, CEO of Hands Across Canberra, explains that this appeal will be the second stage of Hands Across Canberra’s COVID relief work.

“In March, as we were receiving the data from our research, we immediately saw that something needed to be done and quickly,” says Peter.

“So, we joined forces with the Snow Foundation and the John James Foundation to create a $500,000 rapid response round of grant funding for local non-profit organisations. The take up was overwhelming.”

The appeal will help continue this process of assistance, in the hope that no Canberra charities have to shutter due to the effects of COVID.

“Our message is simple,” says Peter. “If you are in a position to help and donate, please do. It will make such a difference to many charities who are struggling to keep their doors open, let alone offer support to those who need it.

“Our appeal has been welcomed by the community sector, with over 35 organisations already signing up to drive their own fundraising efforts under of Canberra Recovery Appeal banner. The business sector is also doing what they can, with many donating matched funds. Which means every dollar donated to our appeal will become $2 for our charities.”

You can donate to one or all local charities through handsacrosscanberra.org.au.

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