Street fundraising agencies move in to fill the hole left by Dialogue Direct

Gift and Future Fundraising report a surge in demand, after the second biggest player in face-to-face went into voluntary liquidation last month. Kate Youde reports

Street fundraisers
Street fundraisers

Face-to-face fundraising agencies are expanding to fill the gap left by the closure of the second biggest player in street fundraising.

Professional fundraising organisations have reported a surge in demand after Dialogue Direct Fundraising UK, which had a 23 per cent share of the market, went into voluntary liquidation last month.

The agencies Gift and Future Fundraising are expanding to meet demand, and Together Fundraising has recruited seven former Dialogue Direct staff.

Future Fundraising, which runs between 15 and 20 fundraising teams from offices in London and Bristol, plans to increase its capacity by 30 per cent next year, expanding into Manchester and north-west England from March and potentially into Scotland later in the year.

"Dialogue did have a national reach, so we are looking at capacity," said Rupert Tappin, managing director of Future Fundraising. "Our clients have been asking us to go national anyway, and this has been the trigger."

However, Tappin warned agencies against a "knee-jerk reaction". He said it was important for the sector to take a measured response and adopt a long-term view that ensured quality.

Milly Ahmed, joint managing director at street fundraising agency Gift, which has the largest market share, said the company would "grow a little bit to take up some of the slack, but not dramatically". It will add two fundraising teams of five people to its current total of more than 40.

Ahmed said Gift would also target Manchester and Bristol, where the agency was already busy and the absence of Dialogue Direct would ease congestion.

Charities and agencies last week put in bids for the use of face-to-face sites in London for the first time since Dialogue Direct went under. The applications cover a four-week period in December and January.

However, a Public Fundraising Regulatory Association spokesman said it was too early to tell whether organisations would alter their bidding as a result of Dialogue Direct's closure.

He said the PFRA would re-assign the 40 London sites that had been allocated to Dialogue Direct for the four-week period from 16 November to other agencies and charities on a proportional basis.

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