Too Important to Fail? Are Governments Doing Enough to Support the Third Sector?

Too Important to Fail? Are Governments Doing Enough to Support the Third Sector?

DUA fundraising

By Jorge Hernando, Researcher

The Covid 19 pandemic is proving to be an epoch-making catastrophe. In addition to the tragic loss of so many lives and the ordeal of those who are recovering from the effects of the disease, the social and economic consequences are already staggering. The IMF predicted in April that the world’s GDP will contract by 3%, the worst slump since the Great Depression[1] and the United Nations University’s World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER) fears it could push up to half a billion people into poverty[2].

In this context, the actions of Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) could not be more important. Wherever we look, NPOs are performing essential relief work, not only by caring for those who are ill but also by helping communities to stop the spread of the disease and by mitigating the negative social effects of the crisis[3].

But are NPOs receiving the help they need to continue to fulfil their mission? It is clear that some places are seeing an extraordinary mobilization of donors to tackle the pandemic. According to the Economist, as of April 24th individual donors, foundations and companies in the US had given $5.3 billion to Covid-related causes. That figure is four times more than the combined amount raised during four previous great calamities (9/11 terrorist attacks, the Ebola epidemic, Hurricane Harvey and the crash of 2008/2009)[4].

As Daryl Upsall suggests, “All the evidence that we are seeing and hearing from around the world is that the public is continuing to give and give in a committed manner to those NPOs that are asking in the right way and through the right channels…. if asked!”

Nonetheless, at a time of increased demand for their services, many NPOs are seeing their income decline. Whether it be due to the suspension of face-to-face and events fundraising, the closure of charity shops or the cancellation of regular giving by donors as a result of personal financial difficulty, many charities are struggling to continue with their operations. As a way of example, in a recent survey[5] commissioned by Bond (who represents 435 British international development NGOs) with 116 respondent organizations, 70% of them expected some financial difficulty during the following months and 43% believed they would not survive the next six months.

While philanthropic donations are more important than ever to sustain the operations of thousands of charities, it is clear that the intervention of governments will be also needed to avoid the closure of NPOs and the loss of the invaluable services they provide to society.

“I predict that is most countries Covid 19 will financially wipe out between 25-30% of non-profit organisations. Those most vulnerable will be those with one or more of the following conditions; insufficient operating reserves, poor and indecisive governance/leadership, and those with an over-reliance on certain fundraising channels such as shops, community/events and face to face fundraising. Nonetheless, despite Covid 19 other organisations, especially many of the large multinational NPOs may emerge stronger as they were fast at adapting and shifting resources into the most profitable fundraising channels and markets,” predicts Daryl Upsall.

Some governments have recognized the challenge facing the sector at least to a degree. In the UK, the Government will make £750 million ($917.7 million) available to charities that engage in Covid 19-related relief [6]. In Austria[7], Ireland[8] and Canada[9] similar specific funds have been created. However, it remains to be seen whether the amounts will be enough to avoid all closures. In the UK, the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has faced questions as to whether the amount of the fund will make up for the shortfall in the income of NPOs[10] while third sector representative bodies like the NCVO are complaining about the slowness and the opaque manner in which the funds are being distributed [11].

In countries like the Netherlands[12], the advocacy of the third sector has achieved the inclusion of NPOs into the temporary schemes that have been set up by governments to alleviate the economic impact of the pandemic (like wage subsidy mechanisms or state-guaranteed loans).  However, while in France[13], Canada[14],  the USA[15] or Brazil[16] charities can access those schemes, the third sector representative bodies of those countries are demanding specific funds for NPOs, as many of the existing measures are inadequate. Some charities have no employees as they are run by volunteers and do not qualify for wage subsidy funds[17].

Moreover, when it comes to state-guaranteed loans, governments often do not underwrite the total amount of the loan, and charities are understandably reluctant to take on liabilities at such an uncertain time. Even if they do apply for a loan, in the UK there is evidence that accredited lenders are refusing credit to NPOs that meet the requirements of the program[18]. These examples show the unique nature of the third sector and how it requires carefully tailored solutions by governments.

In conclusion, the need to support the third sector is more prescient than ever. While philanthropic giving in its different forms will continue to be crucial for the sustenance of NPOs and the transformative activities they carry out, the role of the state has gained in importance. In a time of pandemic, lockdowns and severe recession, the public sector will have to develop innovative funding mechanisms for charities if many of them are to survive. A lot will depend on the uneven impact the disease is having on different countries, on the relative capacity of third sector to mobilize and make effective political demands and on the boldness policy-makers have when it comes to protecting our non-profit organizations.

Daryl Upsall comments, “Unfortunately, in this Covid 19/Coronavirus world we find ourselves in, Governments around the world appear to be behaving like “a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” Lord Darlington, Lady Windemere’s Fan by Oscar Wilde. Only when we have lost much of our third sector will we realise what was and is its true value to society.”

Jorge Hernando, Researcher, Daryl Upsall & Associates SL

A recent graduate from SOAS, University of London (MSc. Development Studies), Jorge works as a researcher for DUA. He uses his analytical and communication skills to provide our consultants with the information they need to give the best advice for our clients.


Why fundraising leaders need to come together to shape the future of F2F

Why fundraising leaders need to come together to shape the future of F2F

DUA fundraising

Donor acquisition has never been more important to charities across the globe and face-to-face fundraising remains one of the most effective ways of recruiting committed supporters. Daryl Upsall, Chief executive of Daryl Upsall & Associates and Daryl Upsall Consulting International SL, explores in this article the need for a global debate to shape the future of the channel.

Read more:




Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) CEO co-presents with Daryl Upsall at the UK National Fundraising Convention

Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) CEO co-presents with Daryl Upsall at the UK National Fundraising Convention

Conferences DUA fundraising

With a totally full room and with the same number being turned away Daryl Upsall and Anne Aslett, EJAF CEO share with a captivated audience the challenges and opportunities in the world of fundraising. Daryl urged fundraising leaders to take a long hard and analytical look at the changing world around them by using such tools as PESTEL and to look at every aspect of their fundraising programme, with no “sacred cows”.

Anne shared clear and strong insights on the benefits and misunderstandings of what it means with celebrities and how so many non-profits often miss the real dynamics of charity/celebrity relationships. She emphasised that the relationship should not be purely financially transactional; the value of the celebrity being fully immersed and knowledgeable about the cause, such as Elton John  with HIV/AIDS and Angelina Jolie with UNHCR and refugees and the power of convening and system change via advocacy that they can have that can dwarf any amount of money celebrities can raise for charity.

In a fundraising tornado in Texas

In a fundraising tornado in Texas

DUA fundraising

At the end of May I had the great pleasure and honour of speaking at the 2019 Dallas/Fort Worth – AFP Philanthropy in Action Conference, along with such great fundraising friends and colleagues as Dr Adrian Sargeant, Anna Barber, Simone P. Joyaux ACFRE, Tim Kachuriak, and Marcy Heim.

I spoke on the theme of “Fundraising Trends, Opportunities, and Challenges in a Changing Worldto a packed room of 250 fundraising from region. Indeed the room was packed for both my sessions until half-way through my afternoon session the Irving Convention Center staff walked into the room to calmly announce that we all had to immediately evacuate and follow them to the immense ground floor, concrete reinforced storm shelter as a massive tornado was heading in our direction. I rarely get stopped in my tracks after some 35 years of presenting at fundraising events, this time the was no question of my carrying on whist the rood was being ripped off.

Thankfully, the tornado, one of many raging across the USA during that week along with all the accompanying damage left in their violent paths, whilst torrential rains and floods hit many other parts of the country. Of course, there is no such thing as climate change…according to the present incumbent of the White House!

What impressed me enormously about the Dallas/Fort Worth Philanthropy in Action Conference was that the 2019 DFW Conference Chair, my good friend and colleague Paul Dunne CFRE, had deliberately and consciously intended to create a storm at this year’s event. He not only ripped up the rule book of how a conference should be structured by only having 4 sessions that repeated but he brought in international speakers from the UK, Spain and the USA that he knew would deliberately challenge the local fundraising community into rethinking, the “how, why and what” of their daily fundraising norms. He consciously wanted a wakeup call to be sent, loud and clear that “business as usual” simply was not good enough.

It worked.

From the challenging and inspiring opening breakfast plenary from Dr Adrian Sergeant; the fiery tirades against complacency, racism, bigotry and ignorance from Simone Joyaux, under full license to shock in her “UNCENSORED & UNPLUGGED” session; the amazing story by Anna Barber of “From Zero to $300M: Raising the Private Philanthropic Support to Build the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture”; Tim Kachuriak opening our eyes with What We Learned About What Works (and What Doesn’t) From Over 1,400 Online Experiments and a highly entertaining and musical lunchtime plenary from the unique Marcy Heim combining her professional all singing/all dancing stagecraft combined with PowerPoint with her performance of “Invest in JOY! — Unleashing a Lifestyle of Generosity.”

For myself I enjoyed the enthusiasm of the audience and the thoughtful and challenging questions that they posed to me in my sessions as I introduced them to some of the pioneering fundraising innovations and developments in fundraising from Austria, to China, via South Korea. They say that “Everything is BIG in Texas” …. except automated monthly giving, face to face, SMS, integrated social/media telephone that is.


Fundraising loses one of its unsung heroes and a personal friend in Marie Burnett


As Roger Craver informs us in his Agitator article (see link below) and in the various comments that follow from fundraising folks from around the world, that we have lost a dear colleague and friend in Marie Burnett, who lost the fight against cancer this weekend. Daryl Upsall, comments that “Marie will be missed dearly. Having known her for well over 20 years I will miss the joy and humour she always brought to very occasion.”

Marie ran White Lion Press ,which published the works of her husband Ken Burnett including the classics “Relationship Fundraising” and Friends for Life” as well as George Smith’s “Asking Properly” and more recently Roger Craver’s “Retention Fundraising” and “Donor’s for Life” by Craig Linton and Paul Stein.

Marie was also key to the success of the popular website SOFII “the showcase of fundraising innovation and inspiration” and its spin-off event and roadshow  “I Wish I’d Have Thought Of  That” (ITWOT) which Daryl Upsall states, “I twice had the honour to be in invited to share my 5 minutes of fame under the fundraising spotlight at ITWOT to present others innovation in fundraising that has inspired me.”

For more on Marie and comments on her contributions to the sector please visit the Agitator by clicking on the link here:

The Chinese Fundraising Challenge – “How can we move from online to offline?”

The Chinese Fundraising Challenge – “How can we move from online to offline?”

DUA fundraising

Daryl Upsall, CEO of both Daryl Upsall Consulting International and Daryl Upsall & Associates, has published an amazing article on  101fundraising blog about one of the fastest growing markets for mass and high value philanthropy in the world: China. Click here to read.

“To know and know that you know, not to know and know that you don’t know, that is to know.” – Chinese Proverb

Emily Bracken presenting at the XIX Spanish Fundraising Congress

Emily Bracken presenting at the XIX Spanish Fundraising Congress

DUA fundraising

The Spanish market is ready to look for quality in individual giving and Emily Bracken’s session will address the why and how to achieve this.   If high volumes are no longer the answer for your organisation’s growth strategy (as surely they shouldn´t any longer be!), then come see Emily’s session on measuring results and a look to how different metrics are being used across the sector!

Session link:

Conference link:

Daryl Upsall joins the “Stars of Fundraising”

Daryl Upsall joins the “Stars of Fundraising”



Daryl Upsall joins the “Stars of Fundraising” at the Dallas/Fort Worth Philanthropy in Action Conference – May 28-29, 2019

The DFW Philanthropy in Action Conference will bring international stars of fundraising to the Lone Star State Tuesday, May 28 and Wednesday, May 29 at the Irving Convention Center.

The 2019 conference theme “The Stars are Big and Bright Deep in the Heart of Texas”—is a tribute to talent showcased in keynotes and workshops planned in a new conference format that spans two days of intensive professional development. The DFW Philanthropy in Action Conference brings more than 500 fundraising professionals annually to the heart of Dallas/Fort Worth, USA.

Daryl Upsall’s conference presentations will focus upon the fact that the world is changing faster than that of fundraising, so we better take some action now!

Our traditional fundraising tools and channels look tired and no longer appeal to new generations of philanthropists; the cost of recruiting and retaining new channels are increasing, and new channels are failing bring in sufficient volumes of new high volume/high quality donors.

However, during the last 20 years fundraising has seen explosive growth around the world. Increasingly, growth is occurring in Asia and Latin America as some of the mature markets in Europe and North America are stagnating and face crisis, whist fundraising in China is beginning to take off big time.

In Europe media attacks, public concerns and government scrutiny is leading to tougher rules governing data management and how we communicate with donors. Meanwhile, the non-profit sector struggles to compete for attention in 24-7 high speed, rolling news world.

So how do we as a sector adapt, change and, therefore, invest for future success?

About the conference

In-depth pre-conference workshops bring focus to fundraising fundamentals, grant writing, capital campaigns, and planned giving Tuesday, May 28. The all-day CFRE Refresher Course also is part of the pre-conference schedule.

Stars of fundraising follow Wednesday, May 29, when one of the deans of fundraising opens the formal conference schedule.

Dr. Adrian Sargeant, chief executive of the Philanthropy Centre Ltd, delivers the breakfast keynote address, entitled Relationship Fundraising 3.0: Using Philanthropic Psychology to Double Giving. It is the first in a showcase of stars presenting in sessions offered both morning and afternoon. They are:

  • Daryl Upsall FInstF— Fundraising Trends, Opportunities, and Challenges in a Changing World
    Daryl Upsall, CEO of both Daryl Upsall Consulting International and Daryl Upsall & Associates, has built an international reputation for innovation in fundraising in more than 35 years’ experience fundraising, communications and advocacy operations for over 230 nonprofit organizations in more than 60 counties.
  • Anna Barber— From Zero to $300M: Raising the Private Philanthropic Support to Build the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture — A Perfect Blend of the Art and Science of Fundraisin Anna Barber, now President and Principal Consultant for Barber & Associates, a boutique fundraising consulting firm, was part of the campaign to fund and build a national treasure: the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
  • Simone P. Joyaux, ACFRE— Simone: UNCENSORED & UNPLUGGED. Simone P. Joyaux is one of the most respected—an outspoken—voices in governance and fund development.
  • Tim Kachuriak— Optimize Your Fundraising: What We Learned About What Works (and What Doesn’t) From Over 1,400 Online Experiments. Tim Kachuriak is founder and Chief Innovation and Optimization Officer for NextAfter, a research and consulting firm that works with businesses, nonprofits and NGOs to help them grow their resource capacity.

Marcy Heim, a 20-year veteran of major giving at the University of Wisconsin, delivers the lunch keynote address entitled Invest in JOY! — Unleashing a Lifestyle of Generosity.

Register now at

How to activate generosity in young generations? Interview with Daryl Upsall

How to activate generosity in young generations? Interview with Daryl Upsall

DUA fundraising

How to activate generosity in young generations?  Interview with Daryl Upsall by Marcelo Iñarra Iraegui  for the Club de Fundraising at the IFC 2018 (part 2)

Daryl shares his opinions on camera in an interview with Marcelo on how to activate generosity in young generations:

You can watch Part 1 here: What is the key factor for success in an NGO?

¿Cómo conseguir que las nuevas generaciones se conviertan en donantes regulares? Marcelo Iñarra Iraegui  entrevista a Daryl Upsall para el Club de Fundraising durante el IFC 2018.  Pincha aquí para ver la entrevista y aquí para leer y ver completa la primera parte, que trata sobre liderazgo y recursos humanos.



What is the key factor for success in an NGO?

What is the key factor for success in an NGO?

DUA fundraising

What is the key factor for success in an NGO? Interview with Daryl Upsall by Marcelo Iñarra Iraegui  for the Club de Fundraising at the IFC 2018 

Daryl shares his opinions on camera in an interview with Marcelo on what makes for great leadership in fundraising:

Daryl PARTE 1 from Chaxcha on Vimeo.

¿Qué factor es clave para lograr tener éxito en una ONG? Marcelo Iñarra Iraegui  entrevista a Daryl Upsall para el Club de Fundraising durante el IFC 2018

Daryl comparte sus opiniones a cámara en una entrevista con Marcelo en la que tratan sobre cómo se alcanza un gran liderazgo en recaudación de fondos y las competencias que deben buscar en recursos humanos para contratar a los principales recaudadores de fondos.

Compartimos con vosotros esta entrevista imprescindible. La hemos divido en dos partes. En esta nota encuentras la Parte 1:

Daryl Upsall Parte 1 – Liderazgo & Recursos humanos. Pincha aquí para leerla y verla completa.

La próxima semana publicaremos la Parte 2:

Daryl Upsall Parte 2 -¿Cómo detectar tendencias?