mobile fundraising

Fundraising Tactics Around the World

For the first time, we exhibited at the International Congress on Fundraising, held around this time of year near Amsterdam, Netherlands. This year they had record breaking attendance, and it was fantastic to get a world view of fundraising that’s different from our own.

Meet the “Chuggers”

For example, person to person is BIG in Europe. It works like this: charities hire 18-25 year old solicitors with good looks, put them in uniform, and have them patrol the downtown area of major European cities, especially in the UK and Scandinavian countries. In fact, people now have a word for it- they call them “Chuggers“, as in Charity Muggers!

“Chuggers” are surprisingly successful!

Despite what they are called, the programs are indeed successful. It’s my understanding an average Chugger will sign up a new donor once per hour. In addition, they don’t ask for a one time gift- oh no, they are going much higher. They are actually able to persuade strangers to sign up for a monthly giving program, with an average monthly gift of $10 US.

As one can expect, donor attrition rates can be high- but they are actually very comparable to traditional pledge non-electronic programs and averages about 15-20% / year (Meaning the renewal rate is about 80-85%).

Making it Past Year Two

However, once a donor lasts into the second year, then their behavior matches that of a more reliable donor, and the attrition rate drops into the single digits.

Recurring revenue is critical for any organization, and it’s one of the main reasons why these programs (at least from the non profit’s perspective) are very popular. While ‘Chugger’ fundraising hasn’t taken off in the US (and it might never), monthly giving programs can still be established through traditional solicitation requests, including direct mail and on-line fundraising.

In these uncertain economic times, organizations that rely on this type of recurring revenue certainly sleep easier at night as they know, with laser like precision, their future revenue stream.

by Amanda Foran

Oct 18 08
6 Comments
  1. Hi Jon,

    I thought you might be interested to know that there are several companies succesfully conducting Face to Face Fundraising in the USA. There are also a number of charities that have invested in what are known as 'in house teams,' where they employ the solicitors/fundraisers directly.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the congress,

    Owen.
  2. Hi Jon,

    I thought you might be interested to know that there are several companies succesfully conducting Face to Face Fundraising in the USA. There are also a number of charities that have invested in what are known as 'in house teams,' where they employ the solicitors/fundraisers directly.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the congress,

    Owen.
  3. Hi Owen,

    Can you share which organizations are successfully conducting Face to Face Fundraising?

    From my limited point of view, I haven't seen or read about this taking off, but from my experiences overseas, I could see how it could be very successful with the right mix of non profit and regional donor behavior.

    -Jon
  4. Hi Owen,

    Can you share which organizations are successfully conducting Face to Face Fundraising?

    From my limited point of view, I haven't seen or read about this taking off, but from my experiences overseas, I could see how it could be very successful with the right mix of non profit and regional donor behavior.

    -Jon
  5. Hi Jon,

    No problem.

    Care International, Greenpeace, MercyCorps and the Working Families Party all run in-house teams in a number of cities.

    Agencies active in the USA are:

    DialogueDirect Inc
    Fundraising Initiatives Inc
    Public Outreach
    Fund for Public Interest Research
    Grassroots Fundraising

    These last two would claim to be Not for Profits, but they act as agencies, regardless of their tax status.

    There are also a number of players active in Canada.

    Cheers,

    Owen.
  6. Hi Jon,

    No problem.

    Care International, Greenpeace, MercyCorps and the Working Families Party all run in-house teams in a number of cities.

    Agencies active in the USA are:

    DialogueDirect Inc
    Fundraising Initiatives Inc
    Public Outreach
    Fund for Public Interest Research
    Grassroots Fundraising

    These last two would claim to be Not for Profits, but they act as agencies, regardless of their tax status.

    There are also a number of players active in Canada.

    Cheers,

    Owen.

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