26 Apr 2016

How the seasons impact fundraising demands on Charities


While charities are hard at work all year round, the change in seasons can bring with it a change in demand.

Weather, events like Christmas, or even the school holidays can all have an effect, and many charities have to constantly adapt to make sure they’re delivering the help that’s needed right through the year.

RSPCA helps keep animals safe from storms

Most people know about the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars – none more so than the staff of the RSPCA. But it’s not just the change in seasons that affects the RSPCA. They’re also there to help when freak weather takes its toll.

During last year’s storm season, the RSPCA advised animal owners on how to cope in floods. And they were on-hand on the ground to help those in need, with an experienced team of 80 inspectors providing assistance to communities affected by flooding.

But keeping on top of a changing situation requires hard work - and extra funds. The RSPCA relies entirely on donations for the public, so they issued calls for donations along with their advice. And that was on top of the regular Christmas appeals run by many branches.

Food banks help in the school holidays

For some parents, the school holidays bring extra financial pressure. During term-time their children receive free school meals, but in the holidays parents have to find the funds to feed them from already stretched budgets. That’s where food banks can provide vital help.

Molly Hodson from the Trussell Trust says: “Some of our foodbanks work with local schools to identify families who are likely to struggle during the holidays, and help them plan ahead. Others run holiday lunch clubs or breakfast clubs to help the whole family eat, and make sure parents don’t have to go without food to feed their children.”

In 2013, the Trust launched an emergency appeal for £1m. With more than one million emergency food supplies handed out over the past year, and over 90 per cent of that food donated by the public, the Trust is committed to raising both funds, and awareness.

Helping homeless people

As a wellbeing centre offering help for vulnerable people, Seaview’s services are in demand all year round. But winter weather is a real issue for homeless people, and a concern that the charity shares.

Annie Whelan, chief officer of Seaview says: “During the winter months we’re worried about rough sleepers and ensuring people are safe from the cold weather.” And that often translates to a need for extra funds and volunteers - meaning the charity launches an extra appeal for donations around Christmas.

Protecting vulnerable children

Cold weather isn’t just cause for concern at home. Charities like UNICEF are all too aware of the problems that winter can cause to children in war zones, refugee camps, and on the move.

Earlier this year the charity warned about the problems faced by refugees during the harsh winter months. Sub-zero temperatures, snowy conditions and poor access to food can all have a devastating effect on children. In a single month the charity distributed 13,500 items of winter clothing, blankets, changing mats and baby carriers.

And that means they need to raise extra funds in winter to get help where it’s needed most. That’s why the charity launched their #HappyBlueYear appeal, to drive donations to help children in danger.

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