The purpose of this article is to provide helpful tips and hints that you need to know when collecting for charity, door to door. These will be of use if you are organising collectors or you will be the one doing the collecting.
Let’s face it, the purpose of collecting for charity is to get as much money as you can. You believe in the charity and want others to support it financially so you can accomplish all the plans for good works that the organisation has. So if people are giving up their time for nothing, then you want them to collect as much money as they can during the time that they have available.
For the most part, when collecting houses in a street, walking time is wasted time, as is time spent standing too long at any one door. Why do this when by moving on in a reasonable time, you cover more streets and meet more people that are willing to give?
So here are some more ideas to get the most from your collecting.
DOs * Apply to the Local Authority for permission to collect * Wear identification and permission to collect * Smile and be enthusiastic * State clearly who you are collecting for; practise a brief introduction * Make sure you can explain clearly and simply what donations will be used for (if asked) and how much the charity will spend on administration * Leave a thank you, perhaps a small bookmark or leaflet explaining where the funds will go and where people can get more information, if interested * Take a small supply of leaflets about the charity for those who want to know more * Remember that you are the face of the charity, so always be polite * Say “Thank you”, even to those who refuse to give * Close gates after you * Plan your route, ideally so you end up back where you started * Make sure you do not overlap, if more than one group is out collecting * Ensure that you can see other collectors in your group at all times * Leave behind a “We missed you” leaflet, if collecting using envelopes; this could encourage people to post their donation, or call back to collect from people who are out * Involve your friends and family; one more street collected will make all the difference to the charity * Encourage those you meet who are seriously interested in the charity to offer to collect their own street (or more) next year * If one person is taking all the boxes or envelopes at the end of the collecting, accompany them to their car or home, to ensure it gets there safely. * Consider writing to the local newspaper to explain about the charity and its work, before the collection to get publicity *Write to local newspaper to thank the general public and say how much your organisation raised and what it will be used for * Keep records so you know which areas are most generous, to plan your collecting next year * Ensure that you send the required information to the Local Authority after the collection, to comply with their requirements
* Collect on your own, if at all possible. After all, you expect to have collected a lot of money! * Go collecting when few people are going to be in from work * Pick streets with long drives * Think that affluent areas are necessarily the best givers * Collect after 9pm and certainly not after dark, if possible * Stand at any door for more than one minute; time really is money when collecting * Assume that door bells work; if you can’t hear it, chances are they can’t * Shake your collecting box * Walk across people’s gardens * Stand where you can’t be seen * Expect everyone to come to the door, even when you can see that they can see you! * Have more than 2 people on each side of the street, if collecting in a group. Walking time is wasted time * Discuss large or small donations in public where you can be overheard * Enter blocks of flats alone * Take refusals personally; there are plenty more people willing to give * Respond to any abuse or harsh words; simply apologise for disturbing them and walk away
Happy collecting! And may it be a rewarding experience for you as well as for the charity. Your understanding and appreciation of human nature will certainly increase, and you will find that most people are generous if the cause is a good one. If you are collecting in the street, at a shopping centre or outside a supermarket, see our article about the special techniques for those locations. And don’t forget to read our article about the legal stuff required by many Local Authorities.