• Charity Chat Podcast

E138 – Fundraising Through The Pandemic With Howard Lake

Updated: Apr 27

"We probably have the most resilient generation of fundraisers of all ages.” - Howard Lake

In this episode, we speak with Howard Lake, Director of Fundraising UK & co founded GoodJobs, a free job board for recruiters and jobseekers.


1) The impact of Covid-19 on fundraising

In this podcast we discuss the impact of Covid-19 on fundraising, and how this has accelerated change. Howard shares his belief that the pandemic has created the most resilient generation of fundraisers because we have had to adapt quickly due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Despite some charities losing fundraising income during the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been a period of growth for many fundraisers. Whole organisations have been forced to move forward quickly, adapting to support beneficiaries during the pandemic.


The public, Government and individual perception of charities has changed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Although the Government has criticised charities, we have seen support from the public as demonstrated by Sir Captain Tom Moore’s tremendous fundraising efforts. We have also seen more collaboration between charities, for example the 2.6 challenge, a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which aimed to replace lost funding from face-to-face events such as the London Marathon.


Howard also discussed how the pandemic has created a period of innovation within fundraising from people outside of the sector to transform digital giving. These innovations include professionals from the fin tech industry who have created brilliant fundraising tools.


2) Diversity in fundraising

We also speak about EDI in conversations from funders and fundraising, following the recent Black Lives Matter movement and the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report. Howard raises the point that Fundraisers and the charity sector are discussing EDI and challenging the status quo on a daily basis following a need to change past practices that the charity sector has perpetrated and perpetuated over the years.

Social media has been a particularly good way to facilitate these discussions, with recent movements such as #NonGraduatesWelcome and #ShareTheSalary creating an environment of accountability.


Concluding the episode, Samuel Davies asks what role do charities and organisations play in calling out issues that need to be addressed?


3) What’s next in fundraising?

Howard highlights how senior fundraisers have shared knowledge with others during past financial crises. The Covid-19 pandemic has followed this trend, with Howard and other fundraising leaders in the sector ‘passing on the baton’ to the next generation of skilled fundraisers are needed now more than ever.


Howard feels encouraged by the debates around the ethos of fundraising, for example donor-centered vs community fundraising, which are changing fundraising practices. Fundraisers are thinking about other challenges in the charity sector and how to address these. “Change always undermines someone’s position of power.” - Howard Lake


We hope you enjoy this week’s episode.


This episode is brought to you by our platinum sponsor Charity People.


Fundraising UK - https://fundraising.co.uk/


For more about the impact of Covid-19 on fundraising, and what charities are doing about it, check out:


E90 - Experience of a Furloughed Fundraiser with Emma Russ - https://soundcloud.com/charitychat/e90-experience-of-a-furloughed-fundraiser