The number of donors recruited by street fundraisers last year jumped by 40 per cent compared with the previous year, new figures from the sector’s self-regulatory body show.
Donor recruitment data for the financial year ending 31 March 2012, published today by the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, suggest that the period was the most successful year for street fundraising since 2003/04.
The PFRA’s head of communications Ian MacQuillin attributed the resurgence to agencies taking on more fundraisers to meet donor demand, and working in sites that had previously been empty.
Most donors are still recruited by doorstep fundraisers, with 72 per cent of donors signed up this way. However, this is down from 76 per cent the previous year and overall, doorstep recruitment grew by just 11.7 per cent over the year, a far cry from the growth in street fundraising of 39.7 per cent.
Most successful year ever
Overall, 2001/12 was the most successful year for PFRA members in the organisation’s history, with 863,407 new donors recruited, an increase overall of 18.2 per cent year-on-year. Door-to-door also had its best year ever.
Most notable was the growth in street fundraising outside London. While street recruitment in London increased by 16 per cent and in Scotland by 34.3 per cent, the numbers of donors signed up outside London grew by a massive 65 per cent, suggesting that the size of the potential market around the UK remains huge.
MacQuillin added: “Considering the current economic situation, this year’s donor recruitment figures are truly astounding.
“Face-to-face fundraising has thrived during the recession, which goes to prove the fundraising adage that ‘people give to people’.
“No matter how much you try to nudge people into giving a few pence here and there by rounding up their restaurant bills or prompting a couple of quid during an ATM withdrawal, there’s little as effective as a real person passionately engaging with you about the cause.”