United Way Research Media Release

Media release: Survey shows frontline charities battling double-edged sword due to Covid-19

Research, released today by United Way New Zealand, shows Kiwi charities are under increasing pressure, managing a surge in demand with fewer resources during the Covid-19 lockdown. The study, which surveyed 200 charities across New Zealand, found 95% have been directly affected by Covid-19. More than 74% require additional funding, 41% additional staff and volunteers and 27% additional resources, to continue to provide New Zealanders in need with the same support available prior to the pandemic.

“Charities are facing the same challenges as businesses with reduced cashflow, fundraising avenues such as op shops and events unable to run and staff working from home. But at the same time demand for their services is growing,” says United Way New Zealand CEO, Teresa Moore.

While all charities are responding to the need to do more with less, small to medium frontline charities without the cash reserves or larger funding base of larger counterparts are feeling the pinch more keenly.

 “Charities are a first port-of-call for those who are struggling, whether with mental health, disabilities, economic hardship or issues such as family violence, says Moore.

“Charities in all parts of New Zealand are telling us that, in addition to Covid-19 putting more pressure on those already in need, they are also supporting a growing number of people who would not usually require their help.”

 Moore says there is a lot New Zealanders can do to help local frontline charities weather Covid-19.

“If you are still employed, any money you can spare would make a huge difference to your local charities. You could also contact your employer to find out whether they have a payroll giving scheme in place.

“And if you have time on your hands during lockdown, ask if you can give your local charity a hand. Everything from staffing the telephone to professional services such as legal and accounting support is required.

“United Way’s online donations platform provides Kiwi’s with a list of charities they may like to donate to, or you can contact your preferred charities directly via their websites.”

United Way cautions that while life will go back to normal for many following the lockdown, charities expect the increased dependency for their services to remain for many months.

“Covid-19 is challenging all of us, however, many disabled, elderly, mentally ill and economically disadvantaged New Zealanders are paying a particularly high price.

“New Zealand’s charities are the frontline responders in times of need and now, more than ever they could do with a hand,” says Moore.

The full findings from the United Way Covid-19 Community Needs Survey are attached.

United Way’s advice to support local charities

  1. Donate what you can spare – visit unitedway.org.nz or contact your local charity directly
  2. Ask your employer about payroll giving
  3. Volunteer while you have some extra time on your hands.

Media contact:

Teresa Moore
CEO - United Way (NZ) Charitable Trust