A while ago I wrote – Charity Street Sign-Ups, and after reading – What’s wrong with face to face fundraising? and F2F: stuck in deep snow between Vinkovci and Blod, I thought it worth looking at what I’ve noticed in my area.

Once again the streets have been teeming with people out asking for support, clip board in hand they come at you from out of nowhere (ok, not quite), and right away they’re into their “pitch” – seldom have I had anyone even endeavour to pass some pleasantries, it’s all very much business.

I’m sure that’s why some like Jonathon Grapsas  suggests “We’ve all done it: pretended your on your phone, walked to the other side of the road to avoid saying no.”  

I’m sure face-to-face fundraisers have a quota to fill, or are rewarded for the number of new “subscriptions” they get. It doesn’t really matter how they’re rewarded (so long as it’s legit) and quotas aren’t a bad thing. But what they do need to do is relax and be a bit more personable.

There’s also a need for these people to be aware that texting or calling their friends when out on the street isn’t a good look – are they there to work, to gain supporters or to socialise?

I agree with what Ken Burnett says in F2F: stuck in deep snow between Vinkovci and Blod “Fundraisers need to be more than cold callers . They should be committed to their calling, not just resting actors and unemployed graduates doing an unpleasant job as a stopgap.” 

Do organisations who use face-to-face fundraising ever undertake research to see what the publics attitude is to what they’re doing and how they’re doing it? If not they should be – the feedback could be valuable.

Jonathon Grapsas says it well here:

“We’re average (at best) as a sector at the follow up. Big statement, yes. Exceptions to the rule, always. But invariably we fail miserably at understanding how to get F2F recruited supporters excited about what we do. This comment is gleaned as a perennial mystery shopper, promiscuous donor, and of course as a fundraiser. It’s also gleaned from looking at lots of data. In Canada year 1 attrition levels of around 30%, in Australia around 45%, in the UK topping 50%. Clearly the current model doesn’t work.”

Something needs to be done to improve how face-to-face fundraising is used, monitored. And importantly as people are often pressed for time – it’s time organisations started making the process easier – and organisations should look at what Ken suggests – “Make sign up quicker and easier by just getting people to text agreement then calling back – rather than filling out a long form. Or get them to sign up online. The focus of the conversation could then change to how we show you your money has made a difference.

With social media use so widespread it’s a wonder organisations aren’t monitoring sites to see what people are saying about their organisation and their face to face fundraising efforts. Or are they and they’re simply not taking action?

Are you involved with face-to-face fundraising, how do you go it? What are you doing that’s different to others?

Does face-to-face fundraising have to change?


Image: © Srpehrson |



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