Door-to-door fundraising

Face to Face Fundraising
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Door-to-door collections can involve cash, goods and direct debit commitments and may be carried out by volunteers, charity officers, professional fundraisers and commercial participators.

Key considerations

It is important to make sure the correct permissions are in place before carrying out collections. The relevant licensing authority is usually the local authority and/or the police. For more information on the regulations that apply and the standards set for door-to-door fundraising, go to the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Fundraising Practice.

Some charities have National Exemption Orders which are issued by the Cabinet Office and mean they do not need to apply for individual licences to do door-to-door fundraising (although they are required to notify and report on fundraising activity).  

Recruitment of fundraisers

It is essential that fundraising organisations ensure:

Effective training of all those engaged in public collections is critical in ensuring that all their activity follows the rules in place and delivers a high standard of fundraising for members of the public. Paid staff of fundraising organisations, including recruiters of volunteers, or third party agencies responsible for organising collections require a clear understanding of their role and responsibilities and clear guidance to ensure they work at all times within current legislation.

Training ought to be undertaken by an informed member of staff on a group or individual basis and be supported by a comprehensive reference manual. It is good practice for all organisers to be advised of any changes to legislation or procedures at the earliest opportunity.

The information given should include:

Training and conduct of fundraisers

It is important that all collectors are aware of and follow their legal responsibilities, and it is preferable to arrange face-to-face meetings with potential collectors. However, it is also advisable for all collectors to receive written instructions as to how to undertake their collection and the procedures to be followed when the collection is complete.

The written instructions should include:

Where collectors intend to have direct contact with the public, they should be given sufficient information on both the work of the fundraising organisation and the collection to enable them to answer reasonable questions from householders or be able to direct them to where they can find out more information.

Conduct of fundraisers

All collectors must carry and display an identity badge and Certificate of Authority. Collectors should be courteous at all times and only collect at the times agreed. Where collection envelopes or sacks are delivered through letterboxes, it is good practice for these to be fully pushed through the letterbox, and every effort should be made to collect unused materials.

It is good practice for collectors to avoid walking on householders’ gardens and ensure gates to properties are closed where appropriate. Finally, fundraisers should only knock the front door or main entrance to a house (usually the entrance closest to, or most directly accessible from, a street), unless directed to do otherwise by a resident.

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