As Ballarat celebrates its inaugural Giving Tuesday, new research has shown why community generosity is vital, particularly this Christmas, after the impact of COVID-19 on charities and organisations supporting heath, welfare, educational and not-for-profit programs.
Fatigue and burnout among employees and volunteers is common, with rural and regional organisations feeling more of a sting than city and metropolitan bodies.
Conducted over September and October, the Reset 2020 research found workforces in the sector were working longer hours, with less volunteer support than they had even mid-year during the pandemic lockdowns.
A drop in donations and income has seen most organisations report a dramatic drop in revenue - up to 75 per cent in many cases - impacting their ability to help those in the community who need support and forcing many to dip in to their cash reserves to continue their work in the face of increasing demand.
Equity Trustees general manager of trusts and philanthropy Jodie Kennedy said the results of the survey should help shape future support.
"This study has highlighted that we are at a real tipping point for the sector, and that we have the opportunity to reconsider how we work, how we better support one another so that we can ensure we are there for those who need the sector's support," she said.
"We are now able to track the ongoing and evolving impacts against a ... baseline, and monitor a broad range of measures that will continue to provide insights as we all navigate the coming months and years."
IN OTHER NEWS
For Ballarat's first Giving Tuesday, five grassroots charities and not for profits are in the spotlight - the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute, Ballarat Health Services Foundation, the Ballarat Foundation, 3BA Christmas Appeal and Ballarat International Foto Biennale.
The Giving Tuesday movement, popular overseas, encourages people to support their community by connecting with neighbours, philanthropy, volunteering and taking the time to learn about homegrown not-for-profit work.
Because of COVID-19, the 3BA Christmas Appeal is calling for cash donations to allow the appeal to buy toys, food and essentials for Ballarat's needy families via its welfare partners Uniting Ballarat, Anglicare, St Vincent de Paul Society and Salvation Army.