Hannah Yehezkel, direct marketing officer at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, shares five practical tips for charities that are new to door-to-door fundraising.
Face-to-face methods of fundraising, such as door-to-door, bring in a staggering £130m to charities each year. However, for a charity new to door-to-door fundraising, taking the plunge can be daunting; starting up a campaign from scratch requires a substantial investment - not just in terms of finance, but also in terms of key decision makers in your charity being 100 per cent behind the method.
The following tips give practical advice on how to make your campaign run smoothly and successfully.
Get your back office systems in order
Ensure all of your back office processes are set in place. Know who is handling queries and changes to donors’ gifts. Review your processes regularly to keep them streamlined and efficient.
In terms of campaign management, made sure you have systems in place whereby you’re able to monitor your results closely. Instigate weekly catch-ups with your agency and ensure they are delivering what you expect of them, and to the standard you require - are they bringing in their forecasted donors? Keep a close eye on your attrition levels too: It’s no good recruiting donors who quickly cancel – it costs you money and won’t help your future fundraising campaigns.
Set up a complaints handling system
Unfortunately you will receive complaints about door-to-door fundraising; it’s a given. Fundraisers will make mistakes, or may behave in a way you don’t expect of them. Some members of the public simply don’t agree with the method. You must outline who in your team will manage complaints and be responsible for closing them. This ensures that if a member of the public has a complaint, you will be able to resolve it quickly and efficiently. People want to know that someone has listened to them and taken the appropriate action.
Deliver inspiring training
Investing time in your training presentation will pay off in the long term. Ensure that you keep your presentation short, engaging, but most importantly – inspiring. A good starting point is looking at what inspires you to do your job and what you love about the cause you work for.
Remember that fundraisers working on your behalf may also work across other campaigns for different charities. Try to make your cause really stand out, to help engage and enthuse them.
Shadow, shadow, shadow!
It’s vital that you understand how the method works from start to finish. Go into the field with your fundraisers for a day, and get a feel for what challenges your team faces on a daily basis. Speak to the public and get their feedback too. This will enable you to equip your team with the knowledge and materials they require to successfully fundraise for you.
Encourage your colleagues to shadow too, and ask them to share what they have seen with their peers. Once they have seen the dedication it takes for door-to-door fundraisers to be successful, they will appreciate how hard they work.
Maintain the enthusiasm
You’ve delivered an inspiring training presentation; you’ve equipped your fundraisers with great materials and seen how your fundraisers work in the field. Time to put your feet up and let them get on with it? It’s not that easy. Continue to communicate with your fundraisers, whether that’s through updates, conference calls or regular shadowing.
Show you’re committed to them, and in return they’ll recruit more donors for you, and continue to be amazing ambassadors for your cause. Don’t forget your fundraisers are people too, and they need to feel appreciated.
Hannah Yehezkel is direct marketing officer at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home