Face to face fundraising is one of the most popular types of fundraising- and for good reason. There’s no better way to get your point across and raise awareness for your chosen charity than going directly to the public.
From going door to door, to approaching people in a workplace, face to face fundraising can be an effective way of informing others about a charity’s good work and will hopefully get them to regularly donate.
There are a number of different types of face to face fundraising. These include:
Face to face fundraising is not quite as simple as it sounds though, and there are several rules that you’ll need to consider before you send volunteers out to get donations. For this reason, some charities hire an agency like REAL Fundraising to deliver a programme of face to face fundraising. On the other hand, it may benefit the charity you love long term to up skill and deliver your own face to face fundraising programme. The Institute of Fundraising has full guidance here.
We've split this article into two sections - firstly some rules you need to stick to and secondly some tactics you could use.
Operating in Places of General Public Access
To be able to do Face to Face fundraising in public areas you need to get permission from the relevant access authority - it is most likely that this will be the local authority. Then you'll need to understand the details of a Site Agreement. In general, you'll need to agree: the name of your main contact in the access authority; the location of sites proposed for the fundraising activity; and dates and times when the sites can be used.
One of the main rules you’ll need to consider if you want to street fundraise are the hours. Standard Street Operating Hours are normally 9am-7pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-7pm on Sundays and Public Holidays.
When face to face fundraising, volunteers must make sure they act appropriately and never try to manipulate or guilt-trip people into donating. Giving to charity is a person’s choice, not a rule.
Charites should never ask vulnerable people to sign up to their cause- this includes people with learning disabilities, those who have limited finances and those who are under 18.
When fundraising, your volunteers are representing your charity so should be dressed accordingly. You should make sure they are wearing or carrying something with your charity logo on it; this will make them appear more trustworthy and professional to potential donors.
Approaching the public
When approaching a member of the public, volunteers should never take more than three steps alongside them or try to obstruct them if they indicate they’re not interested. Instead, they should immediately terminate any interaction.
There are a number of other rules and regulations you’ll need to take into account too, all of which can be easily accessed in the Rulebooks for Face to Face Fundraising.
Penalty points system
This system is put in place to ensure charities are abiding by the rules of face to face fundraising. Every time you fail to follow a rule your charity will be given a penalty, with each point equalling £1 in monetary terms. If your penalty points reach 1000 or more, you’ll be given a bill to pay at the end of the year. All money raised from these penalty fines is reinvested into improving the standards of public fundraising.
No matter what kind of face to face fundraising you decide is best for your charity, you’ll want to make sure all of your volunteers have received some training in how to approach members of the public.
If you or your volunteers aren’t used to talking to strangers, face to face fundraising may seem a little daunting. To help get you on your way and make the experience successful, our team at easyfundraising have put together some handy tips.
Smile early and often
Smile kindly and act interested in the person you are talking to throughout your interaction.
Make your pitch about them
Put them at the heart of the potential success of the charity, and make them see how they can play a role in helping someone or something have a better future by donating.
Be curious, ask questions and listen
Find out quickly if you are speaking to the right person by asking questions and pulling out key facts you might have heard them say - maybe they know someone who has a disability or who has suffered from a particular illness. Explore how these life events link to your charity’s cause to make your interaction more personal.
Appeal to the head and the heart
Yes, pull on the heartstrings (as long as you don’t upset anyone!) but make sure you include positive, tangible facts too.
Make sure your pitch is exciting, no matter the topic, and always explain your cause knowing the difference regular giving makes.
Practice does make perfect, and it also allows you to develop the skills to respond to whatever might come your way when interacting with a potential donor.
Prepare for someone to say no
This might happen quite a lot but it’s important to not give up.
If you’ve found this information on face to face fundraising helpful, make sure you share it with the rest of your colleagues or any friends you know who may want to get involved too. We’ve also got plenty of other fundraising ideas for you to explore on the rest of our Fundraising Expert site.
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Any material published on this website does not give a full statement of the law, nor does it reflect changes after the date stated on each document. It is intended for guidance only and is not a substitute for professional advice. No responsibility for loss occasioned as a result of any person acting or refraining from acting on the basis of this material can be accepted by the author or by Fundraising Expert.