The MND Association is concerned for the future of charities in the UK. Credit: MND Association

The Motor Neurone Disease Association has warned that charities are at risk of funding shortages as a result of the lockdown. 

A fall in community fundraising has meant that the MND Association is at risk of losing between £3.5 million and £5.5 million this year – about a third of their total annual income. 

Denise Davies, head of community fundraising at the charity, said: “The Motor Neurone Disease Association has a broad portfolio of income streams, all of which are likely to be affected by the current situation. 

“Spring and summer are peak times for community fundraising so the longer this situation continues, the harder we will be hit. We fear the implications of a depressed economy after the crisis will further subdue charity giving so it will take us some time to regain previous levels of income.” 

This collapse in proceeds comes despite a growth in online fundraising efforts, as people run marathons in their back garden, take part in virtual cycling challenges and record themselves downing a pint of beer to try and boost support for charitable causes. 

But for John Collins, a lecturer in broadcast journalism and regular MND Association fundraiser, virtual charity work often fails to raise as much money as physical events. 

He said: “It is hard whenever fundraising has to occur online. You often rely on getting mainstream or social media attention for it to be a success.”

Collins raised nearly £3,000 for the charity in a series of online pub quizzes but believes he could have raised more with a face-to-face event.

“It’s great to bring people together for a worthwhile charity and I am delighted that so many people chose to support my event, but it’s a shame that we couldn’t raise more,” he said. 

“People are slowly getting used to things moving online, but it isn’t the same as in real life.”