Door-to-door fundraising

Wesser logo private site fundraising

Door-to-door fundraisers are fundraisers wearing St John Ambulance t-shirts and badges (with coats and body warmers in the winter), who visit households in England and Wales. 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 debit.

In England alone, we have over 150,000 supporters who began supporting our vital first aid work after speaking to one of our door-to-door fundraisers.

Like many other charities, we also use a professional fundraising agency to help us raise the most funds we can. For over 18 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.

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 sja-support@sja.org.uk 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 fundraising@sja.org.uk. We investigate all complaints thoroughly and as quickly as possible.

 

FAQs

Why do you pay a company to do your door-to-door fundraising?

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.

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 titled ‘Your Direct Debit’, which gives more information as to how donating helps us over the long term.

Costs

How much of my donation goes to Wesser?

The fundraising cost is 45% of the donation in the first two years, and only 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 and we have an excellent track record of fundraising in this way.

How much of the money raised goes to St John Ambulance?

Over the length of a typical donation of five years, St John Ambulance receives 80p of each £1 donated. The remaining 20p is the fundraising fee.

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 services.

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 pitch 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 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 Watch groups.

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.

Security

How do I know that the person calling at the door is legitimate?

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 the Direct Debit mandate forms 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.