Do we have a duty to help in the Covid crisis?

Whilst blissfully clinking glasses on New Year’s Eve 2019, few had predicted what 2020 was about to throw at us. The crisis that ensued uprooted our lives, forcing individuals and businesses to close their doors and adopt brace position.

Quickly, the impact of the pandemic on the most vulnerable was felt, forcing many to reflect on how they could more actively play a part in supporting those in need. A responsibility that not only sits on the shoulders of the nation’s political leaders, but of its businesses too.

Research from last month shows the true extent of the situation in the UK. According to predictions from Pro Bono Economics, in the next six months charities will suffer a £6.4 billion loss of income as demand for extra services from health to social care generate £3.7 billion in extra costs.

But hidden in an otherwise bleak picture is also an opportunity; businesses have never had as much power as they do right now to leverage their skillsets and create a positive impact. The months of lockdown have bought huge physical, mental and financial strain to many, but they have also fostered a unique, almost wartime sense of ‘being in it together’, a feeling of collectivism that if effectively channelled, has huge potential.

But what does this really mean? According to the Charities Aid Foundation, over one in five people now say that they will donate more to charity as a result of the crisis. As marketers, we have a real opportunity to tap into that community; to connect them to the voices that most need to be heard and inspire action. If we start by looking inwards at where we as an industry are uniquely placed to help, we have the ability to create value simply by redeploying the capabilities and expertise we already use day-to-day.

Many of us at The 10 Group were hit hard by Covid, and after our founder Elaine’s husband was forced to spend a period in hospital, we felt deeply the need to give something back. We decided to reach out to our LinkedIn network to offer campaign support to charities in need of funding, and shortly after, were contacted by Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice.

At the start of the pandemic, the Hospice had taken in additional children from across London to alleviate the stress on the NHS, and were now in need of a high-impact fundraising campaign to help cope with the demand. The charity was suffering a significant shortfall after in-person fundraisers we put on hold, and so we set out on a mission to build a piece of content powerful enough to keep the hospice afloat.

#KeepNoah’sArkAfloat was a labour of love, a project that really highlighted the power of collective effort to create positive change. After securing a collaboration with Tottenham Hotspurs Football Club, we built an all-star campaign featuring the likes of Spurs’ Dele Alli, Harry Kane and former Doctor Who Peter Capaldi. The response was astounding, and in just 48 hours we reached a fundraising total of over £110,000.

We are in a period of crisis, one that in many ways feels resonant of war time, and we as businesses are uniquely poised to support the recovery effort. If done well and with authenticity, our actions can play a crucial role in rebuilding those who have faced the economic challenge of a lifetime.