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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Public still have problems with door-to-door fundraising


The method is one of the least accepted among the public

Research commissioned by the Fundraising Regulator reveals two thirds of those surveyed dislike door-to-door fundraising.

A survey of more than 3,000 UK adults, showed that 62% of respondents rated their experience of door-to-door fundraising negatively.

The research showed a clear divide between direct and indirect methods and levels of comfort with them among the public.

It showed that face-to-face fundraising approaches, which are also those which the public have less agency over, are the methods participants are least comfortable with, especially door-to-door fundraising.

The more indirect methods such as sponsorship of individuals, lotteries/ raffles/ prize draws and charity bags have much higher levels of comfort. This is also where the public have more choice and control.

Despite this, levels of discomfort were still consistently higher for these methods among those in the older age groups. Door-to-door fundraising was the approach with the lowest levels of comfort, with three-quarters of those surveyed saying they would not be comfortable being asked to support a charity via this method.

Although to a slightly lesser extent, this was also the case for public fundraising. In both instances these high levels of discomfort were strongly driven by those in older age groups with nine-in-ten of those aged over 55 saying they were not comfortable with fundraisers asking for support through a door-to-door approach.

The report recommends that charities and fundraising organisations should ensure that fundraising staff have appropriate training, support and monitoring to help them meet the standards of the Code of Fundraising Practice, with particular sensitivity to the needs of vulnerable and older people.

It also urges charities and fundraising organisations to use their experiences of fundraising with the public to identify what works well and test ways to make unsolicited fundraising less intrusive. 

In a blog post, Paul Winyard, head of policy at the regulator, said: “We know that face-to-face methods are important to charities because they allow them to communicate directly to potential donors the need for and the impact of donations.

“Indeed, the research showed that for people who donated via these approaches, they often appreciated the information that was provided. 

“Nevertheless, it’s important that the behaviour of fundraisers does not create a pressured experience, and is not excessively intrusive, especially at inconvenient times.”

Scotland has its own fundraising watchdog, the Scottish Fundraising Adjudication Panel 



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