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#18 Closing the gap between sign-up and first pledge. When does time equal money?

Before I launch in, I will state that I would love your thoughts on this one.

The ACCC state that face-to-face charity fundraising is not currently covered by the ACL for unsolicited consumer agreement provisions which means that our fundraisers are not legally bound to certain behaviours, but as we know, many of these conducts are covered by FIA and the PFRA. One ACL rule that might be useful is the cooling-off period.

Around the country, the current cooling-off periods for door-to-door sales are 4-5 business days. As F2Fers, we know that the shorter the time between sign up and first debit the more likely they are to debit. The whole instant/live debiting revolution is based on the securing of this first pledge at point of acquisition. A general fundraising/life truth states that you are more likely to get a second donation once you secure the first, but I think we need to question the numbers.

It’s true that the agencies prefer this as many of them will get paid sooner, and even get paid for lower quality donors even though this is not their intention, but this does not necessarily make it good for the charity.

If a donor has a week or two to change their mind you may be able to sign up more people as they genuinely and legally would have a week to think about it – good for the agency, but also more of those donors who were pressured into giving and only make one donation before cancelling would be weeded out before the charity pays for them – good for the charity.

Any thoughts?

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