Highlights from Blackbaud’s Future of Work Report

Future of Work 2021

Are you ready for working practices to change? Our colleagues at Blackbaud have teamed up with The Resource Alliance to release the Future of Work 2021 – a new report sharing fresh insights on what’s next for the charity sector.

The report is based on survey responses from over 800 charity professionals and eight in-depth interviews with leaders from organisations such as Poetry in Wood, HIGGS and Stroke Association UK. Divided into five sections, the report deep dives into personal wellbeing, how employees feel about their charity’s response to COVID-19, the future plans that some leaders have already put in place, and even the ways that the past year has impacted future career plans.

Future of Work is now available to download from Blackbaud’s resources hub and we’ve shared some interesting highlights below that indicate how fundraising professionals are feeling professionally and personally a year on from the start of lockdown.

Perception of Organisations’ Response to COVID-19

It goes without saying that the past year has been challenging, and the survey found that 25% of respondents had experienced being furloughed at some point during the pandemic. Despite all the ups and downs, fundraising professionals still feel overwhelmingly positive towards their charity and their response to COVID-19.

  • 90% of respondents agreed that their employer is treating them fairly
  • 87% feel that overall, their employer has adapted well to the current situation. This is up from 60% of respondents in the Status of UK Fundraising 2020 Report which Blackbaud released in June 2020
  • 60% believe the public’s perception of their cause has improved for the better during the pandemic

Wellbeing and Personal Impact of the Pandemic

79% of the survey respondents said that they feel worried about the effect COVID-19 is having on their life right now, with a further 50% saying they believe their mental wellbeing has deteriorated.

The wellbeing of our people has been a primary focus over the last 12 months, we recognised the impact of working remotely and developed a range of resources and support to help to mitigate the impact. In particular we listened to feedback about the negative impact of spending too much time in virtual meetings, so we launched “zap zoom”, an initiative to reduce this.

Paul Amadi, Chief Supporter Officer, British Red Cross

Future of Work

The future is flexible – or at least, that’s what 90% of people in the sector want it to be. Whilst this doesn’t mean that people want to work entirely away from the office, a further 80% would like the option to work remotely more often post-pandemic. This shift in working preferences puts a spotlight on organisations and their existing work practices as there appears to now be a need to think about implementing flexible or hybrid working models if they wish to retain existing team members.

Overall, nearly three quarters of respondents said they had enjoyed working from home, however many feel that additional training would help them to work more effectively when out of the office. Key training areas included virtual brainstorming (51%), how to manage a team remotely (30%), software specific training (7%), and even advice on how to effectively run virtual meetings (40%).

“I’m hopeful in lots of ways, because what the team have demonstrated over the last year, above all things, is incredible resilience, flexibility and drive to care for our beneficiaries. We want to carefully, cautiously, and respectfully plan for the next phase when we’re more certain what that looks like.”

Hayley Grocock, CEO, Wakefield District Sight Aid

Read the full Future of Work report

The full Future of Work 2021 report, which is packed with lots of additional insights and stats, is available to download and read for free on the Blackbaud resources hub.

Plus! Our Head of Corporate Go-to-Market, Sally Falvey, and Blackbaud’s Director of People, Jon Walder, will be speaking at Fundraising Everywhere’s Charity Workplace Wellbeing Summit on the 22nd April. They will be talking through the report’s insights on the personal impact of the pandemic and reflecting on how Blackbaud and JustGiving’s strategy aligns with the report’s findings. We have an exclusive discount to attend the Wellness Summit, so make sure that you join us by visiting the Fundraising Everywhere website and using the promo code BBWellbeing for 50% off!

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Toni Gregory is a Content Marketing Specialist and B2B copywriter.