A Small Price to Pay: The pros and cons of charging charity beneficiaries*
The Covid pandemic demonstrated how vulnerable many fundraising techniques are to the effects of lockdown. Events, street collections/fundraising, shops, and door to door fundraising have all been devastated by the pandemic. So as fundraising income is depressed - in some cases possibly for years - how can charities make up for the loss in income? This paper looks at the legal, practical, mission and pricing challenges of charging beneficiaries, as an alternative source of revenue.
Charities offer a diverse range of services, from addiction recovery programmes and pet hospitals to community minibus services and art galleries. Deciding whether to charge beneficiaries for these services can elicit strong views, even outside of a pandemic. The significance of the decision, and the potential implications resulting from charging, varies enormously depending on several factors.