Charities vow to continue street fundraising after Gift Fundraising goes into administration

The agency, which said it worked with 18 major not-for-profits including the National Deaf Children's Society and Rethink Mental Illness, ceased trading on Friday

Street fundraising
Street fundraising

Charities that used the street fundraising company Gift Fundraising to carry out face-to-face fundraising have said they will continue to use the method, despite the agency going into administration last week.

Gift Fundraising, the UK’s largest and longest-established street fundraising company, went into voluntary administration and stopped trading on Friday with the loss of 300 fundraising jobs. The company said it worked for 18 major not-for-profit organisations.

James Huitson, associate director fundraising at Rethink Mental Illness, which used the agency, said the move would have a short-term impact on how the charity would raise money. But he said Rethink had planned for street fundraising to be a key part in the growth of its donor income over the next few years.

"Face-to-face is an important component of how we raise money," he said. "I would hope it’s something we can find a way to continue to do in the future."

A spokeswoman for World Vision said it was sad to hear that Gift had gone into voluntary administration and that it would have a short-term impact on the charity as it sought to find another partner agency.

"We will continue to support face-to-face fundraising," she said. "Our research shows that over the last 10 years this method has consistently been able to engage and inform people about World Vision's work."

Ben McNaught, head of supporter marketing at the National Deaf Children’s Society, said face-to-face fundraising was a successful source of income. "We will continue to work with our other face-to-face fundraising suppliers," he said.

Liz Tait, director of fundraising for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, said it would continue to use face-to-face fundraising.

A spokesman for the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity said: "We only heard about Gift Fundraising on Friday and we are evaluating the position. We routinely reconsider our fundraising approaches from time to time, but no decision has been taken to discontinue face-to-face fundraising in principle.

Ian MacQuillin, head of communications at the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, said that although charities’ demand for street fundraising outstripped the supply that agencies could provide, the absence of Gift from the market could allow other agencies to grow.

He said other agencies had already started bidding for use of the face-to-face fundraising sites that Gift had used.

"Our figures show that face-to-face and door to door donor sign up rates are up by 10 per cent so far this financial year," he added.

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