We’ve been working with funeral directors for decades, and know that the funeral directing family has always recognised the importance of community investment, with many firms doing this by nurturing successful partnerships with local charities and not-for-profit organisations.
Last year was a year like no other for the UK economy, with many industries experiencing a substantial downturn in trade. Arguably, one of the sectors to be hit hardest has been charities.
As we’re all aware, the pandemic has brought with it a number of lockdown restrictions aimed at preventing its spread. These restrictions have led to nationwide cancellations of planned fundraising events, contributing to a 46% reduction in overall donations to non-NHS charities. * This decline has had a dramatic effect, with 39% of charities reporting a deteriorating financial situation. **
Small local charities have been listed as the most vulnerable during this period. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) confirmed that nearly two-thirds of small charities reported that they have already made significant cuts to services, and one in eight expect to face closure within months. Two-thirds are unable to furlough staff because this would mean having to stop providing services.
How can you help?
Primarily, a business will partner with a charity to give something back, but also because they want to improve their standing within the community. This can have significant and positive implications for commercial success because today’s customers and employees expect greater social responsibility from businesses.
Partnering with a local charity is not just about making donations though, it goes much wider than that and requires a more thoughtful approach to considering the meaningful impact your business can have on the community in which you live and work.
For firms already working with a local charity, and those considering embarking on such a partnership, the award-winning website neighbourly.com gives some great ideas about how businesses can donate volunteer time, money and surplus items to local good causes.
Tips for Charities During Uncertain Times
Colchester-based WRS Insurance Brokers are part of the SEIB family and have been arranging tailored insurance for charities, churches and care providers for over 40 years.
We asked Chris Chapman the founder and a current director of WRS for some guidance and advice that might help charities to deal with the challenges faced as a result of the pandemic.
Here are Chris’s top 5 tips which you may wish to share with any charities where your firm has a relationship:
Tip 1: Review your charity’s activities. Step back and look at any areas or activities that need to be changed temporarily. Some projects and non-critical work may have to be put on hold. Focus on your core work and concentrate all your efforts and resources on this.
With many charities seeing a reduction in donations and fundraising activities, it’s important to keep your insurance provider updated on your latest estimates for annual income, activity costs and wages per charity activity. Your premium will be based on these figures. Also, consider the impact versus profitability of different activity streams, and stop work that has low profitability and little or no impact.
Tip 2: Use a charity insurance broker. Having an insurance partner who understands your needs is essential. Each charity is unique and finding the right cover can be complicated. Using a broker who specialises in charity insurance will give you the reassurance of having the protection you need in place should the worst happen.
Tip 3: Make sure all documents/records are up to date. Have you seen the Statement of Fact or Risk Presentation being used by your insurance provider to arrange cover? Check that the details about your charity shown on these documents are correct.
Tip 4: Get your quotes early. Obtain a quotation 8 weeks before your renewal date so you can review the terms being offered. Also, enquire about paying premiums in monthly instalments in order to spread the cost.
Tip 5: Use reserves appropriately. Reserves are the funds a charity sets aside to strengthen its resilience against, for example, drops in income or in this instance, a global pandemic. It’s important for charities to have a policy explaining their approach to reserves, UK government guidance on this can be found here.
Evaluate your reserves policy and familiarise yourself with how this works. It might be worth spending these funds to help get your charity through this challenging period. Understand what money you have available in your reserves and how you can use it.
If you, or a charity you work with, want to find out more from Chris, then he can be contacted on 01206 760780 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SEIB is proud to be part of the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, who are in the UK’s top 5 for corporate charitable giving. A significant proportion of our profits are channelled towards funding good causes, either through independent grants from our charitable owner or our own donations to the communities we serve.
This sets us apart from other insurance brokers and means we are able to do business in a very different way. Yes, we work hard to be successful, so our growing profits can be used to help even more people who find themselves in need. But we also strive to be the most trusted and caring business in our chosen markets. A business that supports its customers not just by giving them first-class service and products, but by prioritising their needs should the worst happen.
Here at SEIB, we have been arranging tailored insurance for funeral directors and associated trades for over 40 years, giving us expert insight into the risks faced by such a unique industry. To find out more about protecting your business and reputation with SEIB, please call us on 0345 450 0648 to talk to one of our expert advisors.