The Big Read: As pandemic drags on, community volunteers grapple with fatigue, burnout and dip in donations


On the monetary entrance, many Singaporeans have scaled again on donating to charities at a time when the organisations are most in want of funds — because of the coronavirus-induced financial downturn that has left many erstwhile donors strapped for money.

This has led many charities to stop operations final 12 months.

While contributions from institutional donors have usually held regular, the vast majority of volunteers interviewed mentioned they’ve seen a big discount particularly in public donations because the starting of the 12 months, particularly when fundraising occasions couldn’t be held.

Mr Koh from RSVP Singapore mentioned he has seen public donations go down by about 30 per cent, whereas Lions Befrienders has seen a 35 per cent drop, mentioned Mr Tay.

“Individuals are more conscious of their expenditures, and donors, especially corporations and foundations, are tightening their budgets,” Mr Tay mentioned.

“Given the current economic outlook and the recent surge in cases due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have been hit hard and require funds for their businesses. This has resulted in a conservative stance when it comes to donations,” he added.

However, TMT’s Mr Tan mentioned the organisation has not seen a noticeable drop in donations from its sources which embrace corporates, household workplaces and philanthropists.

In reality, the charities which it companions have raised issues that there’s an inclination by these donors to present to COVID-19-related wants, as a substitute of different ongoing providers and programmes which proceed to require sources and help.

As a results of the diminished donations, some ground-up initiatives are having a tough time assembly the wants of their beneficiaries.

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The Saturday Movement’s Mr Khoo, for instance, who places in about S$15,000 to S$20,000 of his personal cash every month to fund the social enterprise, mentioned he has been feeling the pinch ever since enterprise at his restaurant plummeted.

To scale back prices, he needed to in the reduction of on serving seafood on the community kitchen.

“We used to cook prawns and squid once a week for the meals, but now we can’t do it every week. We also have to control our costs. Just this month alone, the utilities doubled in price,” he mentioned.

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