Like many other charities, we use a professional fundraising
agency to help us raise the most funds we can. For over 19 years,
we have been fundraising door-to-door with Wesser Ltd and have
raised over £32 million from our loyal door-to-door supporters
across the country.
Door-to-door fundraisers wear St John Ambulance t-shirts and
badges (with coats and body warmers in the winter), and visit
households across England. They go from door-to-door, talking
to people about our work and asking them to consider supporting us
by giving a monthly, quarterly, or annual donation by direct
In England alone, we have over 120,000 supporters who began
supporting our vital first aid work after speaking to one of our
What if I’ve changed my mind or my bank details change?
If you registered to give through a door-to-door fundraiser,
please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 0845 2221 199 (local rate). Please provide us with your
name, address and reference number if available.
If I want to make a complaint what do I do?
If you’re unhappy about something, please call our team 0207 324
4156 (local rate) or email email@example.com.
We investigate all complaints thoroughly and as quickly as
Why do you pay a company to conduct your door-to-door
We aren’t unusual. Many charities use a professional fundraising
agency to do door-to-door fundraising for them to raise the most
funds they can. Ours is called Wesser and they employ specially
trained fundraising professionals for this work.
All fundraisers are required to read a solicitation statement to
all new supporters on the door, explaining the arrangement that we
have with Wesser. Supporters are also given a document entitled
‘Your Direct Debit’, which gives more information as to how
donating helps us over the long term.
How much of my donation goes to Wesser?
The fundraising cost for this activity is 45% of the donation in
year one and 45% in year two, and 10% of the donation in year
three. After the third year, there is no fundraising fee. Most of
our supporters continue to give for five years or more and we have
an excellent track record of fundraising in this way.
How much of the money raised goes to St John Ambulance?
Most types of fundraising require investment from the charity
upfront, but St John Ambulance does not pay Wesser any fees before
supporters are recruited, or recruited but then immediately cancel
their donation. Wesser is paid only when they successfully recruit
supporters so there is no financial risk for us. This means we
don’t have to divert much needed funds from our charitable
Do your fundraisers get commission?
Yes. Fundraisers are paid an hourly rate for their work in line
with the national minimum wage. They also receive a small
commission based on how long the donor chooses to donate for.
What to expect if you meet a St John Ambulance fundraiser
What approach do your fundraisers use?
Our fundraisers encourage people to donate because they want to
save lives and help us build a nation of life savers. We want
people to be left with a positive image of us and a desire to
support our work over a long period of time. We don’t condone
high-pressure sales tactics.
We train Wesser staff in the values and ethics of St John
Ambulance and they are expected to live up to them when fundraising
for us. Wesser staff are provided with a Fundraising Code of
Conduct which clearly states that they should not present to anyone
who is vulnerable. We act in accordance with the Institute of
Fundraising’s Code of Fundraising Practice.
Why don’t your volunteers do door-to-door fundraising?
Our volunteers focus on providing first aid. They make an
incredible impact caring for people in need at public events and
out in their community. Door-to-door fundraising is actually a very
difficult skill and requires lots of training and support. So by
paying Wesser to employ professionals to fundraise for us, we can
raise more money and focus on training our volunteers to learn life
saving first aid skills instead.
However, if you would like to volunteer as a fundraiser for us,
please visit sja.org.uk/volunteer as we
are always looking for help!
What will the fundraisers ask for?
The fundraisers go door-to-door, asking members of the public to
pledge regular donations to St John Ambulance by Direct Debit.
They will ask you to sign up on small tablet, which ensures your
details are kept safe and encrypted from the moment you sign up. A
small, regular gift given in this way is very valuable to St John
Ambulance, as Direct Debits are cost effective to administer and
the regularity of the gift helps us plan ahead effectively. They’ll
never ask for cash or cheques at the door.
If you would prefer to make a one-off donation, you can request
a freepost envelope from the fundraiser to send in a cheque/postal
order. We advise that cash is not sent through the post.
Alternatively, you can donate via our website.
Will the local authority know that St John Ambulance is
fundraising in the area?
Yes, we attempt to contact the police and licensing department
of the local council before the fundraisers start working in any
area. We also make every effort to contact local Neighbourhood
Do your fundraisers visit houses in No Cold Calling areas?
We do not enter any No Cold Calling Zones that are legally set
up in collaboration with the Trading Standards Board, as outlined
in the Institute of Fundraising’s Code of Best Practice. We also
will not call on houses with 'no cold calling' or 'no charity
callers' clearly signed in the door or window.
How do I know that the person calling at the door is
All of our fundraisers wear jackets, sweatshirts and T-shirts
branded with the St John Ambulance logo so that they are easy to
recognise. They carry a letter of authority from our Company
Secretary, stating that they are collecting under our Exemption
Order as under the Home Office regulations. They also carry
official identification cards, which are required by law.
If you would like to check a fundraiser’s details, please call
the Supporter Hotline on 0207 324 4156 (local rate).
How secure is my donation and my personal details?
Every day we handle the details of hundreds of people and treat
security as a priority. Our fundraisers are not allowed to collect
cash, to protect both you and St John Ambulance. We will only use
the information you give us on secure tablet devices to
collect the contribution you’ve agreed to from your account. We
won’t use it for anything else, as outlined under the Data
Protection Act 1998.
Will you pass my details on?
No, don’t worry. We comply with the Data Protection Act and
won’t pass your details on to any third party.