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Charity Connect training programme and £1.7 million grants from eBay UK

By Chris Dawson June 26, 2020 - 8:00 am

Charities were particularly hard hit by the Coronavirus pandemic with charity shops across the country forced to close and fund raising events cancelled just at the time that many had more calls on their assistance than ever before. eBay noticed and cared and so today are announcing an extensive package of financial support and a Charity Connect training programme to help UK charity shops boost their sales online.

eBay have also teamed up with Barnardo’s, the Charity Retail Association and New Philanthropy Capital in the UK to call for a Government Digital Innovation Fund to help charities embrace online retail and to support new models of digital innovation and service delivery in the sector.

“Charities up and down the country can embrace online retail as a way to raise vital funds to keep operating during and after the pandemic. This is particularly important now, when so many traditional forms of fundraising remain unavailable.
 
In addition to a cash injection of £1.7 million to help existing charity sellers on eBay, our Charity Connect programme will upskill both new and existing charities on the platform to help them increase sales online.
 
Covid-19 has accelerated the need for services and fundraising to have a strong digital presence and the sector is in danger of critical shortfalls without it. That is why we hope the Chancellor will take the opportunity in his forthcoming July Financial Statement to invest more in providing the digital step change the SME and charity sector needs.”

– Rob Hattrell, Vice President, eBay UK

Call for Government Charity Digital Innovation Fund

Despite last week’s easing of lockdown restrictions on retail, some physical charity shops remain closed. With reduced footfall on the high street expected as a result of social distancing measures, and continued restrictions on traditional forms of fundraising, eBay UK is urging charities to embrace online retail as a way to help raise funds in the face of the challenges posed by Covid-19.

At a time when charities’ income has been decimated and they’re having to adapt to the challenges posed by coronavirus, they need investment to be able to innovate to find pioneering solutions which can be shared across the sector. A government fund would mean charities can develop these solutions without diverting vital cash from essential frontline services.

While 89% of charities see digital technology as important for achieving their mission, their confidence in making the best use of digital has plummeted from 70% in 2017 to just 59% in 2020, according a recent report from New Philanthropy Capital.

£1.7 million grants for Charities

eBay UK is today announcing unrestricted grants of £1.7million to 250 of the charities most affected by declines in online revenue on its platform, to help make up for the shortfall in sales as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

Charity Connect training programme

To upskill charities to boost online revenues, eBay plans to launch Charity Connect, an ambitious training programme to support at least 500 UK charities, including those not yet on eBay, to help them raise more money through more effective online sales. Charity Connect will help charity retailers build an effective online presence through dedicated customer service, onboarding assistance, promotional support and a tailored eBay training programme.

Charity Connect will begin next month with a series of free weekly webinars for new and existing charity sellers on how to boost sales on eBay, including follow up 1:1 sessions with ecommerce experts. Training will begin from Tuesday the 7th of July and charities can book for free from today. There are sessions for charities already selling on eBay and others for charities brand new to eBay that want to embrace the digital world.

eBay Charity Connect has been modelled on proven success and will follow the blueprint of Retail Revival, a massively successful 12-month pilot programme with small businesses in Wolverhampton, where over 60 companies increased sales by 33% on eBay with revenues of over £7million through intensive ecommerce training and support.

Big Charity Sell and celebrity auctions

eBay have also been supporting charities to fundraise during the lockdown through the Big Charity Sell campaign in the UK. The drive encourages eBay’s 27 million buyers to donate unwanted items and donate up to 100% of the proceeds to their choice of 8,000 charities, raising funds and reducing waste.

In addition, eBay UK has provided a platform for sports heroes, national treasures and celebrities alike to raise vital funds for charity through high profile auctions and most recently Shirts for Heroes, the first ever raffle on the marketplace. Alongside the #PlayersTogether initiative, £1 million was raised for NHS Charities Together, supplementing an additional £100,000 donated to the charity by customers via eBay’s Give at Checkout function.

In the UK, eBay powers over 800 charity retailers and helped charities raise £160 million since its inception with over £27 million raised last year.

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