7 April 2020

EFC membership survey identifies key challenges and trends resulting from COVID-19 outbreak

View the latest findings (PDF)

At times like these, we see philanthropy put to the test – how can it best use the ‘diverse tool kit’ of which we are so proud. That our members would be responding was beyond doubt, the question was, how?

The EFC is conducting an ongoing survey of its members to find out what measures they are taking, both internally and in their programmatic and funding activities, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey generated 92 responses from members and affiliates – and we would like to say a huge thank you to all of you who gave your time to take part. In doing so, you help us gain an overview of not only the bespoke initiatives but also identify possible points of collaboration and synergy.

It’s important to remember that this is a living crisis, not an aftermath, and so responses and information change on a daily basis. We will be updating the findings (which you can see below) every Wednesday. It is important to react quickly by sharing these initial findings, but in the coming weeks we will seek to update them with more in-depth data and will put members who said they’d like to work together in touch with each other. In the meantime:


Key findings include:

  • All respondents confirmed that their organisations have taken internal measures to protect staff, visitors, and the public
  • 60% of respondents said they were using “smart-working” methods to compensate for working from home.
  • 79% of respondents said some of their programmes will be harder to implement
  • Respondents indicated that they are actively providing new support in response to the crisis, including launching new initiatives; are making adjustments to existing programmes; and are enhancing their collaboration with various stakeholders
  • General interest in finding a collaborative way to fund and/or exchanging ideas, information and good practices


Key challenges include:

  • Evaluating which if any activities to suspend, modify or restructure to accommodate the current situation
  • Dealing with the suspension of grantee visits, convening and capacity-building activities
  • Non-profits having cash flow problems
  • Shifting funding priorities to meet the emergency needs of communities at risk rather than supporting non-profits’ financial sustainability
  • Concern over a shift in political commitments (for example taking momentum away from climate change)


EFC Members and Affiliates can learn about even more initiatives that have been shared with the EFC through our ongoing survey on what our members are doing in response to the crisis. For details on these additional initiatives, contact Lucia Patuzzi, EFC Knowledge Hub Coordinator.

For examples of how EFC members are helping to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, please visit the dedicated webpage.


Call to action

DAFNE and the EFC have issued a joint Statement encouraging philanthropy organisations to recognise that the COVID-19 outbreak is an exceptional event that will have an unprecedented impact on civil society organisations and NGOs across Europe and throughout the world. The intention is to offer our reassurance that we stand together during this testing time, bringing our spirit of European solidarity to this worldwide crisis.

Sign the Statement


With the rapidly changing situation we have created a space where you can find all the resources, blogs, updates, news relating to COVID-19 in one central place.