Face to face fundraisers are on the front lines for charities, putting themselves out there every day in order to raise money for a cause they are passionate about about. As the world becomes more saturated with cynicism, face to face fundraising has increasingly become the target of derisive comments from outside (and often inside) the charity sector. But the fact is, it works. If it didn’t, charities would have stopped long before now. But on average, a charity who uses face to face fundraising will makes three times as much in donations as their fundraisers cost in admin and salary.
So what’s it actually like being a fundraiser? These are some of the frequently asked questions we get at Flow Caritas.
Why are you paid instead of volunteering?
Being a fundraiser is a full time job. You work from 10am until 6pm, Monday to Friday (or 2pm until 8pm if you’re working door to door). Sure, it would be nice if we all could afford to be a full time volunteer, but the reality is that you have to eat somehow!
You earn an hourly wage that is paid directly to you every week, but you also receive statutory holiday pay. For every hour you work you get an additional 12.07% of your pay on top. In other words, if you’re paid £9 per hour, you accumulate an extra £1.08 which can be taken whenever you take holiday leave. It’s a legitimate job doing legitimate work. Fundraisers are just as valuable to charities as any other members of staff and are compensated as such.
How do you know what to say?
All of our fundraisers work in a team and are coached by some incredible team leaders in their conversational skills. Even though you will experience rejection and people might be rude to you, it’s also a great opportunity to build your confidence and communication skills. If you’re an aspiring actor, comedian or performer, it’s an easy and flexible way to earn some extra cash in between gigs in a job that still requires you to have thick skin and think on your feet.
You also receive ongoing training to meet the PFRA’s standards and rules, ensuring that the environment in which you operate is respectful and professional at all times. It’s a great opportunity for people who want a sales or marketing career, as there are benefits schemes that will have your entrepreneurial spirit pushing to be the very best version of yourself. There are loads of opportunities for good fundraisers to be promoted into team leader and management roles, and you could even end up training brand new fundraisers yourself. You never know, it could be the first step in a long term charity career!
Where does the money really go?
The money really goes to the charity! All of it! 100%! Face to face fundraisers don’t get a cut of the donation. They are paid from a pre-allocated budget that the charity has meticulously planned so they can accurately regulate their expenditure and ensure that they get the highest return on their investment. That’s where the money goes. Really.
Does anyone ever stop for you? Don’t you get bored?
Doesn’t everyone get bored in their job sometimes? There are always going to be slow days, but overall the job is incredibly varied. No two days are ever the same, and you always come away with a few interesting stories, whether it’s chatting to a celebrity or being the subject of an improptu dance off.
It takes a very special type of person to be a face to face fundraiser. Many people underestimate just how difficult it is. But it’s also an incredibly rewarding job. For every 10 people who will pass you by or who are rude to you, you will have an engaging conversation with someone who is genuinely interested in what you have to say. You will talk to someone who didn’t realise that your charity was involved in a cause that is close to their heart, and you will inspire them to donate to continue your charity’s great work. In that moment, you will know in your heart that you have done something good for the world. And isn’t that the whole point?