Spinal injuries Ireland fundraising struggle through Covid

Image by Spinal injuries Ireland 

By: Christopher Windrum 

Christopher Windrum reports on how Covid has affected the fundraising capabilities of Spinal Injuries Ireland.  

In 2019, Spinal injuries Ireland (SII) raised €604,607 in fundraising income. In 2020 it was reduced by 44 percent, when they only raised €339,029 in fundraising income. 

The main reason why their income dropped was because of Covid, but with the help of government subsidies in 2020 the losses didn’t seem as bad.   

SII have forecasted for a bigger loss in 2021, because they lost their government subsidies this year, they expected another loss of around € 150,000. That would only leave them with an estimated € 190,000 from 2021. 

In the graph above it shows the decline in fundraising revenue for SII, there is a steep drop shown in both years after 2019. In 2021, that is an estimated number but SII reckon they lost 56 percent of the 2020 revenue.  

Mary Dunne who is the operating manager for SII spoke to thecity.ie about some of the issues they have faced with grants this year. 

“We did actually get help from the government  through the wages scheme and a grant from Pobal. However the Pobal grant put us over the threshold for wages subsided and we are facing a loss for this year.”

The reason why SII lost some of their government subsidies for the rest of the year was because of Pobal, which is a not-for-profit company that manages charity programmes on behalf of the Irish government. 

Mary explains how SII have struggled with fundraising since Covid struck .“We had to cancel major fundraisers such as balls, lunches and challenges. We had to adapt to online fundraising such as virtual challenges and an online monthly prize draw.”    

Fundraisers are how charities like SII normally survive. Mary explains why fundraising is so important for SII.

“Fundraising helps to pay salaries of specialist community outreach officer teams,to provide educational and activities programmes. Such as sporting and social activities to help reintegration into society.” 

SII is a charity that provides support to people who have sustained a spinal cord injury and helps their families.

Mary explains how SII helps people with spinal cord injuries. “We engage with people from time of injury for as long as they need us.  We provide one to one support, a range of services and resources which help people and their families adapt to life after the devastation of a spinal cord injury.”

“The assistance we provide to each service user is specific to the needs of the person with spinal cord injuries and their families and include one to one support from our community outreach team. We also provide access to our peer support programme, activities and educational programmes.”

With the pandemic most likely continuing on in 2022, SII will likely still struggle in making money through fundraisers, because the online fundraisers haven’t worked. Hopefully in 2022 SII will have more chances to do more in person fundraisers than last year, but that will be just a hope for them. 

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