Why OneKind could be considered lucky during this pandemic
There is no doubt that Coronavirus has hit the charity sector hard but we don’t yet know the full impact. While there has been an immediate effect on income and there will be long-term repercussions, OneKind is not in the same position that many charities find themselves in. Here, I’ll explore some reasons as to why this might be.
We are not a Covid front-line service providing charity
This might seem strange as charities providing front-line services and directly affected by Covid-19 are being highlighted more and face a direct impact on the services. The need for support is greater for those directly impacted by Coronavirus and the lockdown measures being taken. Therefore, the effect on those charities are much greater. Services have been stopped or reduced due to physical distancing rules, they have had to adapt face to face services to online and income from corporate partners stopped or vastly reduced due to their own economic situations as a result of the pandemic.
Our supporters exude passion and commitment
OneKind has such committed and loyal supporters who are always generous with their time, money and really are an extension of our team. We couldn’t continue our work without supporters, members and volunteers. When we directly ask for help, OneKind supporters always come through to show support; whether it’s to write to your MSP, sign a petition, join us for an event, vote for us in a competition or donating to us. When we don’t ask directly, many take it upon themselves to raise awareness or send an additional gift, set up their own challenge event or choose to leave us the gift of a legacy.
OneKind has always had passionate supporters and members. They want to give animals a voice. That hasn’t changed during this pandemic. With so much effort being put into supporting front-line service providing charities, OneKind supporters understand now, perhaps more than ever, that animals face a higher risk of being forgotten. They realise their support is now crucial, perhaps more than it was prior to this global pandemic. They understand the importance of our work and we are grateful that lockdown measures have not prevented our ability to carry out this vital work.
During this time, supporters have been quick to send messages of solidarity and encouragement to the team, donate to directly support our work and share our updates and campaigns on social media, keeping animal welfare high in the public domain. This is all vital to keep us moving towards a Scotland that protects all animals. We are extremely grateful to have such wonderful supporters who really care and actively make a difference.
A close team
Everyone in the team provides a key and active role towards our campaigns. We are a small team of nine, each with our own area of responsibility and a mixture of part and full-time. This means that we rely on each other for support and are a very tight unit, with an understanding and involvement in each other’s area of work.
We have been able to adapt to home working quickly. OneKind has always had a flexible approach to working and have had the infrastructure and tools allowing home working to be possible well in advance of this pandemic. We have not had to facilitate lots of equipment being made available to set people up to work from home. The Director and our Board encourages the team to work in the way that’s best for us all individually which benefits the organisation and our aims as a whole. Happy staff means higher quality work. None of the team have been furloughed which is also a massive benefit. We can continue moving our campaigns forward while also planning the future, which is a huge advantage.
At OneKind, we can make decisions quickly as we don’t have many layers of hierarchy. Being adaptable and responding quickly has always been a necessity in our line of work and the team are well adapted to that. Furthermore, we are probably closer as a team now, very aware that we haven’t seen each other in over two months and some of the team living alone – we are conscious to check in on each other. Remaining close and in regular contact with each other during this time means we are able to maintain a close and supportive bond and work together. This keeps motivation and team spirit high, which in itself has a positive effect on our work.
Small but mighty
OneKind has grown over the years but has remained very careful with our spending. We have grown slowly and steadily with the support of very loyal and committed supporters. Any expenditure is very carefully considered, and we are already well accustomed to creating high impacts at low cost. This approach continues to serve us well during this pandemic.
Having open lines of communication and a strong relationship enables us to support each other and have transparency with supporters and members, many of whom know us personally. This creates a very strong movement of people who demand better protection for Scotland’s animals.
We are diverse in our fundraising
OneKind relies on voluntary income to fund our campaigns and investigations. This comes through a variety of sources such as individual supporters donating regularly or responding to appeals, event participants, through volunteer groups, gifts in wills, sales of our merchandise, small businesses holding collection cans and public events such as vegan festivals and Lush charity days.
Of course, our public events are not taking place and unlikely to for the foreseeable future. This has had an impact and will affect our income for some time. However, we don’t have charity shops across the country (which would have a huge impact on our income due to lockdown measures), we have always been restrictive relating to corporate partners (ensuring their values are in line with our ethical policy) and we don’t have the same outgoings that come with being a much larger organisation. Furthermore, due to the nature of our work, we have always had a strong online focus – which in itself reduces costs.
Therefore, our work has continued much the same as before. Due to our adaptability and size, we have managed to move our remaining work online, such as virtual events and quizzes. Our small, creative team and volunteers are coming up with new ideas to ensure animal welfare remains high on the agenda and is delivered in a way to attract maximum exposure, interest and is also a way to involve our supporters during this personally challenging time. It has given us the space to be more creative and work on our very own festival, OneKind Fest is already underway.
It is more than just a job to us
Everyone who works for a charity is no doubt passionate and committed. I am certain of that. We all want to right a perceived wrong in the world and can see the benefits our organisations have on individuals and society.
However, team OneKind exert passion in abundance. The line of work we do often bleeds over into our personal lives, blurring the lines between our professional duties and our individual personalities. We spend our free time researching and identifying welfare issues because they affect and interest us personally. We advocate a better quality of life for all animals and exercise this in our daily lives through our personal lifestyle choices, volunteering with other animal organisations and speaking with our friends and family. This puts us ahead when it comes to work. We may have researched something in our own time that we discuss as a team, or we might have had a conversation or seen something on social media that we feel as an organisation is important to highlight.
However, it is important to remember that we are by no means safe. As we have shared previously, we don’t fully know the impact Covid-19 will have on our income. We continue to rely on the generosity of our members, supporters, volunteers and the public to raise the £300,000 each year that we need to continue our campaigns and investigations. With everyone being affected by Coronavirus in different ways and facing their own challenges, this means we need to stand together now, stronger than ever. Your support continues to be vital and anything you can do or give now will make a difference. Please support us if you can.