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We should not fundraise in the pandemic because:

Theme 4 – Perception of the need for fundraising


We shouldn’t fundraise right now because:

  • Our needs are not as great as charities that are struggling

  • It’s in poor taste/seems greedy

  • We can’t predict results and could waste resources.


There are three counter-arguments to this theme based around different building blocks of the Canadian Fundraising Narrative. 

First fundraising need/perception counter-argument (based around Rights Balancing Fundraising Ethics)

Fundraising is ethical when it balances the needs of beneficiaries and the needs of donors. If a charity is able to meet the needs of its beneficiaries without fundraising, then it is reasonable to not fundraise.

In terms of appearing greedy, this also comes down to the charity’s ability to meet the needs of its beneficiaries. It is not greedy to fundraise in order to be able to serve beneficiaries, both now and in the future. It is incumbent upon the charity to clearly illustrate need and the impact of donor support. If it does this effectively, the charity will not appear greedy and the need for funds will be well understood. 

If a charity needs funds to support its beneficiaries and chooses not to fundraise for fear of appearing greedy, then it is compromising its responsibility to its beneficiaries.


Second fundraising need/perception counter-argument (based around the Professionalist ideology)


Many charities are afraid of being perceived as wasteful because the predominant narrative in the charity sector assumes that spending money is bad. However, it is our responsibility as fundraisers to generate resources that ensure our charities can meet the needs of their beneficiaries. Being efficient and effective means a financial investment in fundraising. If we stop fundraising now because we are concerned about perception, we risk losing donors now and having to increase our costs later to make up for it. 


Third fundraising need/perception counter-argument (based around donor-centred fundraising and voluntary giving)

Fundraisers learn from the outset that giving is voluntary: the decision to give always rests with the donor. If a charity declares that its needs are not as great as others during the pandemic and chooses not to fundraise, it is taking that right to choose away from the donor. This is not donor-centred fundraising.

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