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Lockdown forces a rethink for charities losing millions and unable to fundraise

With fundraising almost impossible during lockdown, many charities have lost millions of dollars.

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Some say it could lead to a much-needed shake-up. Source: 1 NEWS

It's left crucial services at risk but some say it could lead to a much-needed shake-up.

The SPCA is one of the charities that lost out during lockdown. Puppies still need rescuing even during a pandemic.

"It was just really tough because there's so many animals that need our care and attention," chief executive Andrea Midgen told 1 NEWS.

Covid-19 has taken a similar toll on other charities. 

Van Henderson from the Breast Cancer Foundation said it was like "slamming our head against a brick wall", while Ronald McDonald House's Wayne Howett says they've seen a huge increase in costs "and revenue virtually dropping to zero".

Ronald McDonald House is now rejigging its operations, with the lockdown turning normal service on its head. 

"Level 4 we couldn't bring people in here because that would be defeating the whole idea around a bubble, so we put families offsite and we tended to those families personally, phones calls [and] delivery of food," Mr Howett says.

The SPCA is forecasting a $2 million slump in funding. 

"We've lost at least $1 million in op-shop revenue, we haven't been able to hold some of our events and we have some people that simply say they've lost their job, that they can't continue to support us," Ms Midgen says.

Meanwhile the Breast Cancer Foundation's been unable to host its Pink Ribbon Breakfast, costing it millions.  

"We want to be there for those patients all the way through their journey and even before because we raise awareness about early detection and how important it is to get a mammogram - all of these things potentially could be lost," Ms Henderson says.

Surf Life Saving and Coastguard were two high profile charities that got extra funding in the Budget, but 1 NEWS understands the Finance Minister knocked back a bigger Budget bid for the sector.

Some say it's just not sustainable to have 27,000 registered charities here.   

"The whole sector needs to collaborate more, consolidate so we can become a viable partner for government money," Mr Howett says.

A big shortfall in funding is not the only problem facing the sector.