Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Labour Organization (ILO) had already predicted that global unemployment would rise to 190.3 million during 2020. Lockdown has caused the global unemployment rate to spike even more than predicted. In the US alone, unemployment increased from 3.8% in February to 13% in May according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Higher unemployment figures and salary cuts mean that those who once might have supported non-profit organizations are now in need of support. Donations are drying up and NGOs are struggling to survive.
Forbes Middle East’s “Women In Philanthropy and Charitable Care” webinar brought together some prominent female leaders and commentators to discuss these challenges and the role that women in particular are playing in philanthropic initiatives.
Speaking at the event were: Dr. Sawsan A.S. Al Madhi, director general of Friends of Cancer Patients; Rima Fakih Slaiby, former Miss USA and ambassador of the Children’s Cancer Center in Lebanon; Nisreen Qatamish, director general of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation; Dr. Dima Jamali, president of the UN Global Compact Network Lebanon; Manna Dabholkar, CEO of the GIFT Global Initiative and Commissioner of Cybil Brand; and Barbara Winston, president of UN Women for Peace Association. The session was moderated by Suraya Turk, senior partner at Legal Circle.
Ban Soon-taek, patron of the UN’s Women for Peace Association, sent a special message for the event, saying “We are facing collective trauma that requires collective healing. Non-profit organizations need their community supporters, especially in these trying times.”
Here are eight things NGOs can focus on during the pandemic to help them continue their work:
1. Differentiate yourself from other NGOs
2. Restrategize and repurpose
3. Embrace technology
4. Reach out to your network
5. Create global awareness
6. Build trust with your stakeholders
7. Collaborate More
8. Remain optimistic and spread love
In a world filled with pain and suffering, NGOs bring hope and light. The most important aspect of what NGOs do is to spread love and hope to the community. Whether it is a word of encouragement, a post on social media or a note with a care package, continue to spread love. “Women are compassionate and reciprocal. What I would like to advise and empower women to do is to keep going and don’t stop, even when there is a crisis,” encouraged Slaiby.
The pandemic has revealed many flaws and challenges, but it has also created a fruitful environment for innovation. If humanity stands together to help those most vulnerable, society can emerge from these times even stronger than before.
Written by Hind Al Soulia
Publication date: August 5, 2020
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