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18 Jul 16

Finding The Right Fundraising Agency

Posted by Rory White

It’s a tough time out there in the donor acquisition market. Many fundraising responsibilities are outsourced to agencies who are experts in engaging with donors. Face to face (F2F) fundraising operations marry the character of a sales team to a culture that is distinctly un-sales like.

F2F practices are often in the media spotlight and at the forefront of the public’s mind when we talk about “charity fundraising”. Despite not always being the most popular method of fundraising, it is undeniably effective, which is why many charities continue to use it to raise millions of pounds in donations every year.

But UK charities have been under some intense scrutiny, especially in recent weeks. So how can you ensure that the fundraising agency you work with will promote your charity while simultaneously protecting your brand? You won’t be caught offguard if you follow these three simple steps:

Build a relationship

Spend time getting to know the owners and key staff in the agency. What’s their professional background? Do they have personal experience in fundraising? Do you know anyone else who uses their services? If so, ask for their opinion on their contacts within the agency. There is plenty of demand for street fundraisers and setting up a fundraising agency is a relatively simple process. Ensure the people you’re working with operate with the utmost integrity.

Do your research

Before making your decision, head out to the streets and mystery shop their teams. Talk to the fundraisers working for your agency and get a feel for how they will speak to your potential donors.

Have a hands-on manager

Assign someone in your organisation to keep tabs on quality. Their focus must be on getting out and interacting with the fundraising teams, identifying any issues that they observe and following up with appropriate solutions.

In 2016, it’s no longer an option to cross your fingers and hope that nothing untoward is going to happen within the ranks of your outsourced fundraisers. They are representative of the wider charity sector and any error from an individual impacts the sector as a whole. Mitigate the risks by making all the right checks at the very beginning and then vigilantly maintain oversight of how your charity is being communicated to your donors by your fundraisers. When you put your brand in the hands of a third party, make sure you’re making the right choice.