Street & Door Diary System

Face to Face Fundraising refers to paid professional fundraisers, often working as a team, who stand on the street or knock at a door asking people for a regular donation to a charity. They may be direct employees of the charity, or they may work for a company who is contracted to represent a charity.

In terms of the Charities Act 2009, asking for a regular donation by direct debit is considered a ‘non-cash’ collection, and the Act includes legislative changes to incorporate this into the Street and House to House Collections Act 1962.

In the Irish market, face to face fundraising, has proved to be one of the most successful ways for people to support good causes, and one of the most cost-effective ways of fundraising for charity.

Recently public opinion has changed with the perception that face to face fundraising is sometimes perceived as annoying or intrusive but it continues to be successful for charities and convenient for large numbers of the public. In 2015 face to face fundraising provided more €30 million in public income for just 10 charities using this method.

The majority of charities and providers of this type of fundraising are members of the Face to Face Forum which regulates members through its Code of Practice for Face to Face (link below) and now through agreements for the use of the Door to Door Diary system, currently managed by Charities Institute Ireland.

Charities Institute Ireland have partnered with the Institute of Fundraising in the UK to invest in a pilot programme for charity organisations carrying out face to face fundraising on the street and door. This partnership is currently providing a local management system for the Irish market.

The locations management system is a computer software package that allows charities to submit requests for small locations all around the country. All locations have set conditions including:

·       Defined boundaries

·       Maximum number of fundraisers allowed

·       Rest periods to give residents and businesses a break

·        Set days where fundraising cannot take place

All locations are ranked by how often they are requested and how much charities want to use them. Then using algorithms that take into account all these conditions and previous history and usage, the systems allocates locations fairly and equitably to charities. The system allows a brief period for charities to swap locations or move to unallocated locations, and the activity is listed for all to see.

This is the largest single investment made for face to face fundraising charities and represents an important development in terms of effectively managing fundraising sites. Costs of running the system are funded by charities paying a minimal fee based on the number of regular donors they have signed up. This fee supports the reporting, monitoring, mystery shopping (quality control), complaints management, PR (when required), administration, advocacy and engagement with the CRA and An Garda Siochana.

The system can provide any authority (such as the Gardaí or CRA) with transparent access to view all activity. It provides clarity on which charity and which agencies working on their behalf are operating in any particular location at any given time.