There are many misguided perceptions about our face-to-face fundraising team– so I want to share what I have learnt about our face-to-face fundraising team and tackle a few of those damaging misconceptions about what they do and how they do it.
‘Fundraisers are on commission’
Any fundraiser in a Shelter Scotland shirt is not on commission. We are an in-house operation which means every donation that is given to Shelter Scotland via face-to-face fundraising stays within the charity! This is a very cost-effective way of increasing our money pot so we can keep vital services active for those in housing need. For every £1 we invest in our fundraisers we generate £4.21. Also, our fundraisers do not receive cash bonuses, and like all our colleagues we work for Shelter Scotland to better the lives of others and to do our bit in fighting against homelessness!
‘Fundraisers don’t care about the charity, it’s just a job’
Many of our fundraisers choose to work for us because they know the damage that homelessness can do. They are very carefully recruited and trained so they know about what we do. We hire for attitude and train for knowledge. Many fundraisers have been helped by Shelter in the past and simply want to give something back. Fundraising is a fun job, though because of public perceptions, our working day can have its drawbacks, with members of the public being negative not for what we have said, but for our presence. This is something we want to change, we want to put public faith back into the work we do.
‘When a fundraiser approaches me I feel uncomfortable’
Our fundraisers wouldn’t be doing their job if they didn’t try to speak to you and ask you questions. However, we follow a strict code of practice to ensure that our staff do this in a professional manner.
One of the benefits of being on the street is that we have helped hundreds of people by giving out the Shelter Scotland free helpline number in order that they can start to get the help that they need. Our face-to-face fundraisers are passionate and enthusiastic yes, but we are monitored by PFRA (Public Fundraising Regulatory Association) who use secret shoppers to ensure we live up to our commitment to be professional at all times. If we were seen as breaking these rules, we would receive a fine and this is something we never want to do!
We have gained 2,351 new supporters since we started our in-house operation back in January with five fundraisers. Now we have 12 fundraisers, so this means we can increase our volume and fundraise all across Scotland, and recently we have been on the streets in Inverness and Aberdeen.
An average donation is £89.75 for the year, so based on these figures we have raised £211,002.25 this year alone.
We constantly strive for quality donations, we want donors who support us to sign up for the right reasons and understand the importance of long-term giving.
I would like to thank those who have stopped for one of our face-to-face fundraisers and have decided to support us. You truly are helping better the lives of others in these tough times.