Third Sector: Peter Stanford: Slam the door shut on door-to-door fundraising

by AndersonsInfo 1 Replies latest jw friends

  • AndersonsInfo

    Peter Stanford: Slam the door shut on door-to-door fundraising

    03 October 2016 , 5 comments

    It can still be very effective, but the risk to the good name of charities is getting too large, writes our columnist

    Door-to-door fundraising never seems far removed from controversy, whether it be for the methods used, the unhappiness it causes some of those targeted or the damage it risks doing to the reputation of the sector. The Royal British Legion is the latest organisation to end door-to-door after a newspaper exposed the misleading sales patter used by some on the doorstep acting on its behalf.

    I'd like to make a plea that the trustees of other charities that still use such an outdated and controversial method of fundraising follow the legion's lead, or at least table a discussion of it for the next trustees meeting. Then we might see the back of a technique that appears to do us little credit.

    Do charities really want to risk being likened to a church such as the Jehovah's Witnesses?

    Peter Stanford

    I understand the arguments in its favour. It can still be very effective, but the risk to the good name of charities - their greatest asset in dealing with the public - is getting too large.

    I'm never sure which irks me most: the knock at the front door from a charity rep, or the presence on my doorstep of Jehovah's Witnesses. Both seem to contrive to come at precisely the least convenient time. Early evening on a weekday is, granted, a good time to catch working parents at home, making dinner, but it is also by the same measure when they are busy.

    And both groups fail in equal measure to make any allowance for choices the people they are disturbing have already made. I was recently bothered for a good 10 minutes by a cold-calling young man representing a charity to which I make regular donations. When I told him that, after 30 seconds, he carried on with his spiel. When I repeated it in words of one syllable, he asked me if I wanted to increase the monthly amount. My strongest instinct was to cancel the direct debit altogether.

    Likewise, when the Jehovah's Witnesses start their sales pitch for God, I try nicely to say I'm Catholic. In other words, I'm covered, thank you. But they don't even blink and carry on regardless, as if I am an atheist. And there's one more parallel to add: both sets of cold-callers keep coming back. No thank you is never enough, apparently.

    Do charities really want to risk being likened to a church such as the Jehovah's Witnesses, which enjoys such a dubious reputation with the public: part joke, part sinister?


    About Third Sector

    Third Sector is the UK’s leading publication for everyone who needs to know what’s going on in the voluntary and not-for-profit sector.

    Many of our 55,000 readers are chief executives, trustees and senior managers in charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Others are parliamentarians, lawyers, finance professionals and private sector executives concerned with corporate responsibility.

    Third Sector offers unrivalled coverage of the whole range of voluntary sector concerns through the printed magazine, the website, and a range of conferences and events.

  • smiddy

    The one problem as I see it with D2D fundraising / religion is , your always caught off guard .They always seem to catch you at an in-opportune moment , one that your not prepared for .

    While that might be advantageous to the caller in some cases overall I think it is detrimental to the organization doing it. ..Its off-putting

    And now with the tele-marketers ringing you up over and over again with the same message you have rejected a thousand times before ,a sane persons patience runs thin .

    And that is definetely not good for the product that is being sponsored .

    Getting back to the JW religion ,I would love to know , how many converts are really made through D2D witnessing in a year in first world countries.

    And the same can also be asked of the Mormons ,and the Seventh day Adventists,if we could get true reliable statistics about this , it could be revealing.

    Those three religions are the ones more likely to knock on your door.

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