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Advocating fundraising during the Coronavirus pandemic

There have been many calls, from different directions, to scale back or stop fundraising during the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic.

For example, communications teams have advised fundraisers to stop sending out direct marketing because it might be seen as inappropriate, or to cease legacy fundraising as it might be seen as offensive. Many arguments against fundraising appear to be values-driven and/or ideological, and so not necessarily contingent on factual evidence, nor amenable to factual rebuttal. 

So we initiated a project to collect and collate the many such arguments that have been made and – based on Rogare’s work on responding to ideological arguments, particularly those that went into the Canadian Fundraising Narrative – develop our own values-based counterarguments, which fundraisers can use or adapt to make fundraising's case.

You can find these counter arguments by downloading the project's final report or click on links to the themes below.

The first stage of this project was to collect the types of objections that fundraisers found themselves up against. We did this through a simple online survey, receiving 43 responses from fundraisers in Canada, the UK, and USA. You can see a sample of the arguments against fundraising reported to us by the survey participants here or by downloading the project report. 

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Rather than develop counter-arguments for each possible argument against fundraising, we grouped all the arguments into themes and constructed responses to each theme. These can be used as building blocks from which to craft counter-arguments to more specific objections to fundraising.

Click on the link to the theme (either links in text on on the buttons below). This will take to the types of objections to fundraising to be found in this theme along with the counter-argument to these objections.

Theme 1 – The state of the economy


Theme 2 – Anxiety and stress felt by the public


Theme 3 –  Emergency response to the pandemic


Theme 4 – Perception of the need for fundraising

You can also find all the counter-arguments and the thinking behind them in the project report.

  • Download the project report containing counter-arguments to objections to fundraising during the Coronavirus pandemic. (You can download a home/office printing version without block colour here.)

“We don't want to come across as tone-deaf and uncaring by asking people to give what they don’t have. We'll just make people feel worse.”

Read more the arguments fundraisers are encourntering about why they should not ask for support during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Project group

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Vivian Smith

Project leader

Liberty Quest Enterprises (Canada)

  • Mary Brumbach, Dallas County Community College District (USA)

  • Neil Gallaiford, Stephen Thomas Ltd/Rogare Council member (Canada)

  • Juniper Locilento, Community Food Centres Canada (Canada)

  • Craig Mullaly, SOS Children's Villages (UK)

  • Colin Skehan, Trócaire (Ireland)

  • Ruth Smyth, Boldlight/Rogare Council member (UK)

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More information

  • Find out more about the Canadian Fundraising Narrative.

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