A Christmas like no other for Dublin Simon Community

Business, Business For Good | Thu 22 Oct | Author – Business & Finance

Christmas always comes early for the Dublin Simon Community fundraising team. The bulk of the charity’s fundraising income is raised from public events held in November and December each year, and in June and July, when the rest of us can’t imagine planning for Christmas, the Dublin Simon office buzzes with festive planning and a countdown starts to the festive season.  

The difference in 2020 is stark.  For Dublin Simon Community Covid-19 has meant the cancellation of iconic and dependable fundraisers like the Christmas Eve busk on Grafton Street, the 24-hour Carolathon, Sing for Simon fundraisers and the House of Light event at Powerscourt Townhouse.

However, after more than 50 years of operation, Dublin Simon Community has a reputation for resilience and this has come to the fore.  

While Dublin Simon’s frontline workers, healthcare staff and support staff focused on keeping clients and residents safe during the pandemic, the fundraising team worked in the background to come up with innovative ways to ensure that vital funds didn’t dry up.

A survey by the Charities Institute of Ireland found that some organisations in the sector could lose up to 87% of their income, and almost 90% of all charity events for 2020 have had to be cancelled or taken online.

With this in mind, Dublin Simon Community’s Fundraising team adapted existing events and came up with a series of innovative engagement programmes to engage the business community and allow them to continue to show their support for the charity in this Christmas period while getting something meaningful in return.

Christmas Craic and Gaming for Good are completely new offerings and House of Cards has been adapted for a socially distanced Christmas environment.

Emma Kilkenny, Head of Fundraising at Dublin Simon Community outlined why offering engagement has been so important in these innovative offerings: “Christmas is going to be different for everyone, in many cases people will not have seen their colleagues or customers through anything other than a small screen since March, and we all have video-call fatigue at this stage.  We wanted to try to give people the sense of connection at Christmas and we wanted to create the feeling of togetherness and fun for staff engagement programmes like Christmas Craic and Gaming for Good and deliver a way to show gratitude toward customers and stakeholders through our House of Cards initiative.”

Christmas Craic

This is a Christmas party with a difference.  Personalised to your business team, Christmas Craic allows you to come together virtually to set fundraising challenges, play interactive games, and all the while check out the impact that your fundraising input is having at Dublin Simon Community.  Watch our promo video here https://youtu.be/VCCS1Lup3yc and contact our Corporate Partnerships team to sign up or for further details partnerships@dubsimon.ie

Gaming for Good

If your team is finding it hard to satisfy their competitive edge then Gaming for Good is just the thing to boost you through the winter.  Your team of four employees can pit their online gaming skills against teams from across Dublin and beyond to find out which company will walk away with the coveted Gaming for Good trophy for 2020.  Your team’s entry fee will help keep vital Dublin Simon services running throughout the pandemic. Crack your knuckles, get practicing on your console and get in touch with stevenshort@dubsimon.ie to register your interest.

House of Cards

The whole world is gone virtual, and this year sending cards or corporate gifts will be more challenging than ever.  Each year House of Cards asks the business community  to donate to House of Cards and send a personalised e-card from your business to show you’ve supported those who are vulnerable and homeless.  House of Cards is a national campaign, suitable for businesses throughout Ireland and delivers support to all Simon Communities.  As well as receiving bespoke Christmas themed e-cards, banners and email signatures, participants will be honoured with a mention in our takeover of the Irish Times Online business pages in December.  We have a range of donation points for all sizes of business, from corporate to sole trader.  Contact our House of Cards team at hoc@dubsimon.ie