Many faiths see charitable giving as a religious obligation to do what is just and give to those who are in need. Judaism, Islam and Christianity see particular events such as Passover, Ramadan and Christmas as opportunities to support those less fortunate and help those who need it most. These calendar events are opportunities to take the time to show devotion and reflect respectively. COVID-19 has put a stop to group meetings and traditional religious celebrations (such as the traditional Iftar meal during the month of Ramadan) which can be deeply unsettling for many people.
A CAF poll found that 71% of the 700 people they polled on the reason they donate to charities, do so due to their religious values. For many, giving to others is seen as a religious duty and a way to help the global community. This sentiment has grown over the years as we continue to see charities emerge from religious backgrounds.
The current lockdown has meant religious occasions have had to be and are being celebrated indoors and with the cancellation of many fundraising events, numerous charities and religious organisations have joined DONATE to use its digital fundraising services to make up for the shortfall in traditional fundraising.
With Ramadan taking place in lockdown across the country, UK Islamic charities are preparing to receive more Zakat donations online than ever before. Zakat is a religious duty for all Muslims who meet a set standard of wealth, to donate to those in need, and is particularly given in Ramadan as the reward for doing good deeds is higher. It is one of the five pillars of Islam and seen as an act of further worship.
Iqbal Nasim, CEO of National Zakat Foundation says; “Zakat is a core obligation in Islam and it works like a wealth tax. Those who have more than around £300 of disposable wealth pay 2.5% of it to help fellow believers.
“Zakat is not just random charity, it’s a unique form of religious social welfare which aims to uplift the whole community. Many Muslims choose to give their Zakat during Ramadan, but this year we’ve seen an increase in early giving in response to the huge demand that’s been caused by the coronavirus crisis.”
According to the Muslim Charities Forum, over £100 million per year is donated in the final few days of the blessed month of Ramadan, which this year is from 23rd April to the 23rd May.
Another organisation that is using DONATE as their main fundraising channel during lockdown is St Peter’s Church in Yateley.
They have set up a dedicated Coronavirus response fund, with donations providing relief to those in the community that are experiencing hardship as a result of the pandemic.
Maureen King, Parish Administrator at St Peter’s Yateley says “We started to use DONATE at St Peter’s because we saw it as a great new channel for one-off giving in order to support the church.
“Our Covid response fund has been set up to support our members and the wider community. A number of our members have been furloughed and have young families to support so this fund goes towards supporting them at this difficult time.”
The charity uses DONATE’s web and SMS donation platform to help them fundraise to support those in need. If you can help them provide their essential support and help to the community, through their Coronavirus fundraiser, please follow this link to donate online. https://platform.nationalfundingscheme.org/the-parochial-church-council-of-the-ecclesiastical-parish-of-st-peters-yateley or text STPY19 to 70970 to donate £5.