Street fundraisers approach an average of 180 people for every sign-up they make, according to research commissioned by the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association.
In March this year, researchers from the consultancy Bluegrass observed 115.62 hours of face-to-face fundraising in the street at locations in London and elsewhere, including Glasgow and Leeds.
They watched a total of 8,483 approaches being made, during which 47 people signed up, equating to 180.5 approaches per sign-up.
The PFRA commissioned the research in order to establish figures that could be compared with other forms of fundraising for the Fundraising Standards Board’s annual complaints report, published today.
In previous years the report measured the level of complaints against each successful sign-up, whereas for other types of fundraising it is measured by the overall volume of activity.
The research also found that, although male fundraisers make more approaches per hour, female fundraisers achieve an equal number of sign-ups per hour, meaning they have better conversion rates than men.
The conversion rate from approaches to sign-ups was best in single-site locations outside London, says the study.
Ian MacQuillin, head of communications at the PFRA, said: "We don’t know whether it is a lot compared with other forms of fundraising. How many letters does it take to get people to sign up? How many times do people have to watch charity TV adverts?
"It is still cost-effective and charities still use it."