Impact of COVID-19 on Ardgowan Hospices Income
At Ardgowan Hospice we are extremely reliant on donations to achieve our goals. However, our duty of care to people affected by life-limiting conditions, our volunteers, and our staff, comes first. With this in mind we have made the extremely difficult decision to cancel/postpone some of our core fundraising activities for the next 12 weeks, these will unfortunately include our “It’s a Knock Out” event and our famed Ladies Day among others. We have also had to take the difficult decision to close our 5 hospice shops.
In the coming weeks these activities alone were expected to bring in over £100,000 of much needed income for the Hospice. We are likely to experience a difficult fundraising environment as events and community fundraising, which historically was our primary source of income, and together still make up about 25% of our income, are likely to suffer. At the same time, we have to be realistic and face up to the fact that some trusts, major donors and corporates who generously support our mission to help those families affected by life-limiting conditions may now not be in the position to do so.
Furthermore, we are very aware that many in our community are facing an uncertain period of financial hardship with businesses temporally closing or reducing their core staff to help fight the spread, and impact of, COVID-19. Ardgowan Hospice has traditionally received overwhelming generosity from our community, receiving an average of £12 per head; however it is both unfair and unrealistic to expect this level of support to continue over the coming weeks and months.
To help reduce some of the anticipated impact upon the Hospice, we can redistribute our efforts and invest in areas of fundraising which are less likely to be affected. Such areas include statutory fundraising and building partnerships with companies who are more resilient to the current situation. We will ensure we prioritise our time to generate the best return for the Hospice, as we have for many years. We will also use this time to build our internal capacity and skillset which will help us to survive in the long run. We employ a talented and resilient, small, fundraising team (2.3 full time equivalents) which are capable of diversifying our fundraising efforts.
Meeting the Challenge
The financial challenges for hospices throughout the UK have never been greater and this year alone 82% of all hospices ended the financial year in deficit. For Ardgowan Hospice this has been an incredibly difficult year, as many of our supporters will know, we have had to implement a stringent financial recovery plan as a result of having diminished reserves and increased costs. This plan resulted in the reduction of staff and whilst we were on target to return to a break-even budget by the end of the next financial year the impact of the pandemic has the potential to seriously impact on our ability to do this.
We must fundraise over £2m every year to continue providing our essential services. Each year over 1000 of the most vulnerable people of Inverclyde and their families and loved ones access our services and we can’t do that without your support.
The continued support of Ardgowan Hospice is now more important than ever. However we’re all too aware of the hardship many of our supporters are facing over the coming months which is why we want to encourage giving what you can, when you can, but only if you’re in the position to do so.
You can support by fundraising on our behalf, setting up a direct debit or making a one off donation, however small by clicking the donate button (https://ardgowanhospice.org.uk/donate-now/) or by calling 01475 726830.
#togetherwecare, now more than ever.
CEO Ardgowan Hospice