We all come across them, some may see them as pesky intrusion to our daily activities – it’s those people, normally with clipboard in hand out on the street asking us for support for this, that or some organisation.
Mostly they’re really good, smiling looking like they’re really enjoying what they’re doing. But there are some who really shouldn’t be on the street, or at least should be more focused on what they’re there to do.
When we’re approached by people to support a cause, we like to know that they’re aware of what the charity does, whether they’re directly employed by the charity or working for an agency. They should also have knowledge of how much of the money people gives is used for charitable purposes – not ‘absorbed’ in operational costs.
For an organisation with people out on the street drumming up support, they’ll want to know they’re getting value for the investment of having people out there. Sure, there’s probably KPIs that these people have to meet – but there’s more to it than that.
These people are effectively ‘ambassadors’ for the organisation – they should be knowledgeable, courteous, engaging and show an interest and respect for the people they’re talking to.
But there’s more to it than that – they should present well, their appearance should be clean and tidy, they shouldn’t be eating or using their mobiles (unless they’re on a break).
If you’re using people to beat the leather on the streets do you monitor them? If so how, is it through feedback from the public, or are you using some ‘mystery shopper’ system?
A suggestion for anyone who has people out on the street would be for them to have a card or something they can give people who don’t have the time, or inclination to sign-up there and then. The card needn’t say much – just a standard business card with the core objectives of your organisation and the main means to make contact – simple, yet effective.
Something I do like about some of the organisations using people out on the street is that they belong to an organisation that promotes high standards. These organisations belong to PFRA Public Fundraising Regulatory Association.
Do you use people to collect supporters? How do you manage it? Does it work for the organisation?