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League table of annoying fundraising techniques shows surprise winner

Charity does not begin at home as survey finds half of people ‘very annoyed’ by doorstep fundraising

‘At least half the population find door step and telephone fundraising very annoying. This puts them a long way ahead of face to face in the aggravation stakes." Joe Saxton
  • More than half (51%) of people are ‘very annoyed’ by doorstep fundraising, half of all respondents (50%) felt the same about telephone fundraising (slide 2)
  • A third (32%) get very annoyed being approached on the street by a fundraiser (slide 2)
  • More modern fundraising methods are still very annoying to people, with 29% saying that about text message giving and 22% for email (slide 2)
  • Despite resistance to being approached on the street, 33% are happy to be asked to donate to collection tins (slide 2)
  • Advertising is a useful way to spend charity money, with 15% happy to be asked to donate through an advert with a phone number to call and 17% by newspaper/magazine adverts
  • But more than a third (38%) feel they get too many appeals or newsletters from the charities they support (slide 6)
  • More than half (51%) agreed that charities strive for professional standards (slide 5)
  • Only 13% feel their wishes aren’t taken seriously by charities (slide 7)
More than half of people find it ‘very annoying’ to be asked for money on their own doorstep, new research shows. One in two people are also very annoyed by charities making telephone calls to drum up donations.
The research, published by consultancy nfpSynergy, also revealed that more modern methods of fundraising can also be unpopular, with 29% irritated by text messages and 22% unhappy with receiving emails.
The data, based on a survey of 1031 British adults, showed people will donate via a collection tin, with a third confirming they were happy to be asked this way.
There was a fairly positive return for charities’ indirect advertising, with 17% happy with magazine and newspaper adverts and 15% with television adverts. Despite this, more than a third (38%) said they thought they got too many appeals from charities they support.
The overall news wasn’t bad for charities though, with more than half (51%) believing that charities ‘strive to achieve the highest professional standards at all times’. Just 13% thought charities didn’t take their wishes seriously. 
nfpSynergy’s Driver of Ideas, Joe Saxton, said:
‘At least half the population find door step and telephone fundraising very annoying. This puts them a long way ahead of face to face in the aggravation stakes, which annoys far less people and also has over 10% who are happy to donate this way. The big issue for the fundraising community is whether it wants to take action to reduce the level of annoyance that fundraising causes. The balancing act is between fundraisers’ ‘right to ask’, and the public’s ‘right to say no’, not just to each request but to being asked in the first place.’
For further comment from nfpSynergy’s Joe Saxton, please contact him directly on 07976 329 212 or joe.saxton@nfpsynergy.net.
To interview nfpSynergy’s Joe Saxton about these findings, please contact him directly on 07976 329212 or joe.saxton@nfpsynergy.net. If you cannot contact Joe, please contact Rob White (07512 709140; E: rob.white@nfpsynergy.net) for further assistance.
All surveys based on a nationally representative sample of 1000 people contacted using an online methodology.
Note to editors:
nfpSynergy (www.nfpsynergy.net) is a research consultancy dedicated to the not-for-profit sector. They aim to provide the ideas, the insights and the information to help non-profits thrive. They provide a unique insight into the social and charity-related views of everyone from public and parliament to media and business, not to mention not-for-profit organisations themselves. nfpSynergy has a vast and ever-growing knowledge pool and shares this with the non-profit sector, through both paid work and regular free reports and seminars.


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