19 March 2001 at 12:03 pm
The charity landscape has changed dramatically over the last decade –the volunteer network has diminished and traditional canvassing campaigns have become difficult to organise.
So it is no surprise that a speaker at the recent FIA Conference had the audience’s full attention when describing the international success of a new program using ‘house-to-house” fundraising.
Gordon Michie is the Head of International Development with Care Together; a charity owned professional fundraising organisation in the UK.
Care Together, also one of the exhibitors at the FIA conference, assists charities raise money by securing committed charity sponsors who agree to make on-going donations by direct-debit from their bank account to the charity.
Gordon Michie says in order to meet the demand for committed, regular monthly donors, Care Together conducted a pilot test on behalf of charities to determine the public’s response to a direct door-to-door approach.
Michie says the results were so financially rewarding for charities, it has spread to four other countries and will soon be offered in Australia.
In the UK, Care Together has about 300 “charity ambassadors” exclusively engaged in the ‘house-to-house’ program.
Michie says that in the first two years of operation, over 480,000 long-term committed donors signed pledges for more than 50 million pounds.
He says the program is currently generating between 5,000 and 8,000 new long-term donors each week in the UK alone with the average annual donation value of 60 pounds.
The Care Together Community Fundraising Program has had similar success in the US with a “test” conducted in San Antonio, Texas.
Michie says over 65 charities are currently participating in the program world wide.
He told the conference that the success was based on a number of factors:
1. Every aspect is carefully managed to minimise any resource impact on the charity
2. It can offer donors a choice of charitable causes
3. It provides charities with committed long-term monthly donors
4. Fundraisers are full time professionals and well trained- no part time employees are hired
5. The direct-payment method makes the donation affordable and easy
6. Cash is not accepted eliminating any opportunity for fraudulent activity.
Care Together is currently investigating local partners to operate the program in Australia. For more info go to www.caringtogether.co.uk .