Fundraising in a Time of Crisis: Lessons from History

Fundraising in a Crisis: Lessons from History

While the full impact of Covid19 is still unknown, we do know it will have an impact on short-term fundraising activities and depending on what actions you take over the coming weeks and months, it may impact your long term fundraising strategies.

Ireland’s not-for-profit sector needs to remain robust in the light of Covid-19. The threat brought on by the spread of the Coronavirus is not the first crisis to hit the sector; it will also not be the last. However, many of Ireland’s not-for-profits are not preparing themselves for the worst.

In 2008, 2into3 published Fundraising in a Cold Climate which examined the how fundraising is impacted at a time of crisis. With Covid-19 becoming a potential negative impact for Ireland’s not-for-profit sector, 2into3 once again looks at the potential impacts of crises on fundraising.

Lessons from the past. In the US, crises did not necessarily impact fundraising

Lessons from the past. In the US, crises did not necessarily impact fundraising





(For explanation of data and sources please see attached report)

  • Based on 2into3’s Annual Fundraising Performance Report, the Irish not-for-profit sector bounced back. 
  • The financial impact caused by Covid-19 will impact different organisations in different ways.
  • Yes, fundraising will be impacted. But different methods and organisations will be impacted in different ways eg some health not-for-profits may see increases as a result of Covid-19 (hospital foundations for example).
  • What is your fundraising mix? Below is 2018 fundraising income mix.

 2018 fundraising income mix






2into3 suggests:

  • Review your strategic plans and funding models
  • Highlight any potential over reliance on one form of funding/fundraising and take action to rectify this.
  • Communicate with your donors. This is key! People will remember the effort you make.
  • Tax code needs to facilitate more philanthropic giving.
  • Use evidence to inform your decision-making (Quarterly Fundraising Monitor, is one source)
  • Read “Fundraising in a Time of Crisis: Lessons from History”

General Info

Date Entered/Updated
23rd Mar, 2020
Expiry Date
23rd May, 2020