Fundraising & Generosity, UN's Plan, Humanitarian concerns, and more

Posted on 31 March 2020

+ Latest update from MBIE on Essential Mailings

Direct mail for 'essential services' only – IMPORTANT information 

Many charities are confused and concerned about whether or not they can continue to send out mailings and DM campaigns during the current Level 4 status.

Without the ability to fundraise, key New Zealand INGOs will struggle to have the capacity to help communities in the Pacific, let alone refugee camps, when the virus hits places with very limited health care.

They will not be in a position to pro-actively get the prevention message out to these communities either - 'Wash hands' - 'Keep your distance'.

Tim Blackmore at MBIE, has provided some guidance on what constitutes an 'essential mailing':
  •  You need to recognised as an essential service
  •  You need to be sending essential communications
The definition of essential communications  is open to interpretation. Please check on the COVID-10 website to see if your charity meets the criteria 

If your charity is classed as an essential service (not all charities will be) this does not mean that you can send all mail.

It's important that charities consider if mail is essential in terms of Covid-19.

MBIE has stated that a receipt mailing is not an essential communication.

Mail houses are asking charities to provide email communication to confirm that mail-outs are essential businesses. They are going to be audited by the government and are not in a position to determine what is essential and what’s not. That responsibility rests with charities.

It is the responsibility of every charity to assess if you meet the criteria set by the government.

We advise all charities to contact MBIE to seek clarification on what is an essential business and what mailings qualify as essential mailings.

CID will continue to liaise with government to establish if some INGOs can be classed as an 'essential service' because of the preparation work needed to respond in the Pacific.


+ FINZ - Webinar on fundraising during COVID

"Are you about to walk right into one of the worst fundraising revenue crashes of your career? A lot of organisations are! As COVID-19 spreads, too many organisations are about to make incredibly self-destructive choices," writes FINZ (Fundraising Institute of New Zealand).

Here is a useful webinar on how to adapt your fundraising approaches during COVID-19.

Make sure you are not one of the COVID-19 casualties. The good news is, you don't have to be.

+ Flexibility for MFAT funded Programmes

MFAT is offering flexibility for contracted activities funded through the Partnerships Programme.  

Please go to here for information and regular updates from MFAT from now on.
MFAT is clear that New Zealand NGOs have an important role to play and the hope is that through the NZ NGOs’ established in-country partners, NGOs will be able to continue to support local Pacific communities.

For all the details on Stage one approaches to flexibility, followed by longer-term Stage two ideas (still be to be decided), check this link regularly.

If you have any COVID-19 related stories you or your local partners would like to include, please let MFAT and also CID know at 

Any questions or comments, the team at MFAT are also keen to hear from you


+ Notes from Charities Services Webinar 

NZ Charities Services is running weekly meetings to discuss mutual areas of interest and share concerns due to the current COVID-19 response and impact. CID will continue to attend these meetings, but you are welcome to join. The next one is scheduled for Friday, 3rd April at noon; the link to sign up is here.

A number of issues were raised at the Charities Service weekly catch up last Friday (27th march):

  • The 'dilemma' of fundraising for international concerns when Kiwis are under profound duress domestically.
  • The short and long term impacts upon fundraising, and service-based contracts.
  • The disproportionate impact on smaller charities, and the potential loss of partially implemented projects.
  • The ability to retain staff during a time of financial pressure, and the importance of maintaining organisational culture when everyone is working by remote.
  • The ability to maintain and sustain volunteers, including the management of spontaneous volunteers, and their importance as part of a post-COVID-19 recovery.
  • The challenges and potential gaps with the government's wage subsidy.
A link to last Friday's Charities Services meeting is here. and if you would like a copy of CID's full meeting notes please contact Aaron Davy directly.

+ Direct Impact: Lessons Learnt from Crisis Response

For those in the social impact sector, whether in national or international CSO’s, foundations, businesses or government, the effect of COVID-19 is going to be complex and multi-faceted. 

Direct Impact released a 'COVID-19: 3 Lessons Learnt From Crisis Response' covering three critical lessons

  1. A structured assessment and whole of system view is particularly important in crisis response.
  2. It’s about people! 
  3. And balancing the immediate and the strategic issues.

The operating environment we are working in has changed fundamentally and requires an immediate response. However, this will settle and maintaining important existing strategic projects will be crucial to building momentum and impact in the future. Cutting the wrong projects now could have more of an effect on impact in the future than the current pandemic driven challenges.


+ COVID-19 Resources 


+ Events, Webinars, podcasts and training

For a list of all online events coming up, see below in the 'Events' section.

If you know of other webinars or talks, please let the CID team know so we can get the message out.

+ Family Planning - 'Essential service'

We were very pleased to see that Family Planning has rightfully been recognised as an essential service during Level 4 lockdown. 

Here is their COVID-19 update:

"Use the Ask for an Appointment to get an appointment with us during the Level 4 lockdown.

We will be able to help with the following issues: emergency contraception prescriptions, contraceptive pill repeats (and some contraceptive pill starts) and abortion information.

If you are due for your depo provera or implant to be changed, we will give you a prescription for the pill until we're able to do face-to-face appointments again. 

If you have an appointment booked with us in the next month, we will be in touch with you to reschedule.

Due to infection control requirements, we are unable to provide any face-to-face consultations in our clinics during the lockdown."


+ Generosity continues despite COVID-19

Philanthropy NZ has published an open letter, encouraging all funders of charities to be principled, open with grantees and as flexible as possible. And they have noted that New Zealanders continue to give generously to support vulnerable communities, even as incomes are reduced and uncertainty increased.

"Several philanthropic sector funders have expressed a will to fund into areas Government is heavily engaged with, including health and emergency accommodation," says Director Sue McCabe.

"While there are many experiencing hardship, we also know that there are people with resources and we’re hearing positive stories about increased giving. We would like to highlight the increased need for generosity and encourage those who are in a position to give, to support causes that help the most vulnerable in our society."


+ CARE's Pacific Gender Analysis for Covid-19

To date, the Pacific has confirmed cases in Guam, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Fiji, PNG and suspected cases in Samoa.

For the Pacific, COVID-19 presents a range of challenges including multiple islands, vast distances and limited resources. In most Pacific countries, access to quality health services including intensive care is limited. 

A COVID-19 outbreak in the Pacific could disproportionately affect women and girls in a number of ways including adverse impacts to their education, food security and nutrition, health, livelihoods, and protection.

Women are the primary caregivers in the family and are key health care frontline responders placing them at increased risk and exposure to infection. Maternal and sexual reproductive health needs continue in an emergency but risk being de-prioritised. COVID-19 risks increasing women’s workloads, caring for children as schools close and the sick.

Additionally, there is a risk of increased family violence in a region where pre-existing rates of violence against women are already very high.

See here the full CARE Rapid Gender Analysis COVID-19 Pacific Region, released on 26 March.


+ 'A Global fightback for a Global problem' - UN

“We must come to the aid of the ultra-vulnerable. This is a matter of basic human solidarity,” said Antonio Guterres on 25 March.
“COVID-19 is menacing the whole of humanity – and so the whole of humanity must fight back. Individual country responses are not going to be enough. Wealthy countries with strong health systems are buckling under the pressure. Now, the virus is arriving in countries already in the midst of humanitarian crises caused by conflicts, natural disasters and climate change.”

“Properly funded, it will save many lives and arm humanitarian agencies and NGOs with laboratory supplies for testing, and with medical equipment to treat the sick while protecting health care workers. The plan also includes additional measures to support host communities that continue to generously open their homes and towns to refugees and displaced persons.”

“With support from the international community, we can, together, shore up preparedness and response plans in countries with weaker healthcare systems.
We can ramp up access to proper handwashing and sanitation services.
We can expand our engagement with communities to provide the information they need to avoid contagion.”

Guterres had called for a global ceasefire on March 23, and he was apparently heard by leaders in Yemen, the Philippines, Syria, and Cameroon, although not in Libya, where war continues. 'Guterres asked the world to “to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives” — the pandemic', reports PassBlue.

+ A mortality perspective on COVID-19

The number of COVID-19 fatalities is small compared to the 12 million total number of people who have already died this year from all causes, but the numbers could reach 3.6 million in just eight weeks at the current pace of deaths doubling each week, write Homi Kharas and Katharina Fenz from the Brookings Institute.

Without COVID-19, we would expect 60 million global deaths in 2020, with 18 million people dying from heart disease, 10 million from cancer, 6.5 million from respiratory diseases, 1.6 million from diarrhoea, 1.5 million in road incidents, and 1 million deaths from HIV/AIDS. Suicides could number 800,000.

François Gemenne, of the Hugo Observatory, has even argued that “the death toll of the coronavirus at the end of the day might be positive if you consider the deaths from atmospheric pollution.”

But the impact on developing countries is still unknown and could be far more devastating.


+ We behave well in disasters

The idea that when disaster strikes people panic and social order collapses is very popular.

It is also a myth.

Research shows disaster makes people more pro-social interventions. They cooperate. They support each other. They're better than ever.

Humanitarian workers know better than most, that in emergency situations communities can show incredible resilience.

"It is possible that disaster myths do not simply misrepresent the crowd, but actually exacerbate the effects of disasters, because the practices they rationalize may undermine the public’s collective resilience. 

"It is possible that disaster myths do not simply misrepresent the crowd, but actually exacerbate the effects of disasters, because the practices they rationalize may undermine the public’s collective resilience," write the authors of 'Psychological disaster myths in the perception and management of mass emergencies'.


+ Using ODA to respond to COVID-19?

Concerns have been raised in the UK by some aid commentators, about using ODA to fund COVID-19 vaccine and test R&D.

On one hand, this should be an urgent government funding priority. On the other hand  - why ODA? Will funding to fight malaria - which kills millions every year in developing countries - be reduced to cover funding for COVID-19 responses? 

Government need to be clear about where the funding for COVID-19 vaccines is coming from, they argue. 


+ News wrap up of humanitarian concerns around the world

The CID Weekly is Proudly Sponsored By
Direct Impact Group supports organisations to maximise their social impact, because changing the world isn't easy, and in dynamic times this work is more important than ever.


+ DevNet 2020: Call for Session Proposals

The DevNet team are delighted to invite you to propose sessions for the 2020 DevNet conference, to be hosted at Massey University from 2nd - 4th December in Palmerston North.

A session is a 75-90 minute segment of the conference that has a unified theme of 'Development Matters'. We are seeking creative, inspirational formats in addition to conventional paper presentation sessions. Session proposals could include debates, workshops, reflections on policy, round tables, talanoa/kōrero outside on mats, slam poetry and so forth. 

Please make note of the following dates:

  • 24th April - to submit your session proposal. Please download and complete the template and email it to
  • 15th May - following a review of the session proposals, a Call for Papers will be open on 15th May. This is this time when individuals can submit abstracts which either relate to a specific named session, or which align more broadly with the conference themes.


+ Reminder - Delay to Manaaki applications 

MFAT has extended the deadline for the second round of its contestable fund, Manaaki, from 5pm 30 March to 5pm Friday 29 May 2020.  

Subject to any further unexpected developments, please find below the revised timeline for Manaaki round two, for your planning purposes:

  1. Concepts are due 29 May 2020
  2. Concepts will be assessed and due diligence undertaken between June – August 2020
  3. Activity design, appraisal and contracting will be completed between September – November 2020
  4. Implementation will start from December 2020 onward.

If you’ve any questions in relation to Manaaki or any other MFAT activities, please contact MFAT at partneringforimpact@mfat.govt.nzor see its website.

Below is a list of documents, for your reference:

 Events During Lockdown

+ Jobs

+ Volunteer
+ CID Activities
  • Establishment of weekly CID Humanitarian Network COVID-19 catch up
  • CEO weekly catch up
  • Other staff group catch ups in progress
  • Engagement/ attendance at NZ Charities Services meeting & regional ICVA meetings
  • COVID-19 Health and Safety plan and risk mitigation plan in place
  • Daily Covid-19 CID updates compiled and shared on our website
  • First weekly CEO & MFAT Meeting
  • Upgrading of online tools and technology 
  • Webinars/podcasts/online events in planning