With every conversation I have with agency CEOs and senior managers I will, at some point, stumble over the mention that face-to-face fundraising in Australia is changing.
This mention is not usually prompted by me, but when we are forced to look objectively at our industry we will find it hard not to notice the sweeping changes across the regular giving landscape. I’m certain this change is not limited to our shores, but this is the view from my lighthouse perch.
I’ll make an assumption that everyone reading this post on Facebook (welcome Face to Face Fundraisers United), email, LinkedIn or the Fundraising Partners website has a connection with face-to-face fundraising and has probably had this conversation too.
It appears that the Australian fundraising reformation is upon us. Judgement day is here. This week, the PFRA flexed its muscles and booted one unsavoury agency from its ranks, and whilst this is happening, other agencies are transforming their models by either releasing third tier subcontractors or selling-up and switching all their clients over to another supplier. Next week’s AGM will be an interesting one. All of this occurs as most major agencies move to employment and base-wage model leaving our commission-only comrades clawing for ever-decreasing contracts.
So once the dust has settled, what will be the face of face-to-face? Will hourly remuneration rather than pledge-based win-out? Will in-house operations offer a new hope to our charities and beneficiaries? Will this be the end of a recognisable industry? Charities are already looking into DRTV as a viable option to replace us, so it is up to us to fundraise better. Raise our own standards. Pitch on positives and passion not negative sales. If I hear another fundraiser say “you can cancel when you get a call” or “just do it for as long as you can” I will scream. Real fundraising is honest and true. “We want you to give for the rest of your life” is the message that must fall from our lips. Don’t be afraid to say it. Giving makes us feel good, so get your donors addicted to that feeling.
We are stepping into a brave new world, so fight the good fight and make sure you are on the right side of history.