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Ten Tips for a Successful Street Collection

By: J.A.J Aaronson - Updated: 4 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Street Collection Collecting Charity

Street collections are a perennial favourite amongst fundraisers. They provide an opportunity to solicit small donations quickly – and increase the visibility of your chosen charity.

But collecting for the first time can be a scary prospect. To help you get started, we have compiled our top tips for a successful street collection.

1. Get a permit

You must remember that street collections are regulated. You cannot simply turn up with a bucket; you need to get a permit. You can apply for permission to carry out a street collection from your local authority. There is more information on this process available elsewhere on this site.

2. Think about location

When applying for your permit you will need to consider where you want to run your collection. Think about the busiest places in town; where are people most likely to be walking? You should also consider timing. Lunchtime and weekends tend to be the most effective for street collections.

3. Have literature ready

Potential donors will want to know as much as possible about your charity. Make sure that you have leaflets or flyers printed up to tell them about the cause. You should also make sure that you can remember all the relevant information yourself. People will ask.

4. Think about payment methods

While cash collections are the most traditional, charities are increasingly choosing to use methods like direct debit to take donations. This is particularly useful if your cause is an ongoing one. Remember, though, that you will need to have the infrastructure in place to enable you to do this; you should speak to the charity in question for more information.

5. Consider professional help

Many charities and fundraisers choose to enlist professional help with their activities. Although this can take a chunk out of your earnings, it can be positive in the long term. Make sure that you read our case studies on professional street collectors before making a decision.

6. Don’t be overbearing

Although confidence is important for street collectors, it is vital that you are not overbearing. Potential donors are likely to be put off by pushy street collectors, so make sure you think about the tone of your communication in advance.

7. Make yourself visible

It is important that passers-by can see you, and understand immediately who you are collecting for. If you have a collection bucket make sure that it has the name of the charity prominently displayed, perhaps along with an image related to their work. You might also consider wearing a tabard or other high-visibility item.

8. Be sure of yourself

Your job is to convince people to donate – and if you are to achieve this you need to be sure of yourself. Have all the information you need to hand, and make sure that you are well rehearsed. You should also try not to be shy about approaching people. Donations are rarely unsolicited; instead, you will need to approach people directly.

9. Work as a team

Try to enlist some helpers, and take up positions around your chosen area. Apart from increasing your chances of taking donations, this will also increase the visibility of the charity. Remember that you will need to state how many people will be collecting in your permit application.

10. Think about alternatives

Finally, it is worth remembering that street collections are not the only option available. Think about alternatives like events or sponsorship. Depending on the nature of the charity, these may be more effective.

Many people are put off street collecting simply through fear of getting in people’s way. But as long as you are sensitive and sensible, your street collection should be a success.

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