Doorstep and telephone fundraising are the most annoying fundraising methods, research suggests

Joe Saxton, co-founder of nfpSynergy, says charities need to consider the balance between their 'right to ask' and the public's 'right to say no'

Doorstep fundraising
Doorstep fundraising

Doorstep and telephone fundraising are the two most annoying methods charities use to get people to donate, research by the consultancy nfpSynergy suggests.

The online survey of more than 1,000 British adults found that 51 per cent were "very annoyed" by doorstep fundraising and 50 per cent felt the same way about telephone fundraising.

Street face-to-face fundraising came third, with 32 per cent of people saying they found the technique very annoying.

Those surveyed were asked which phrase summed up their feelings towards each type of fundraising technique: "very annoying" or "I am happy to be asked to donate in this way".

Only 1 per cent of respondents said they were happy to be asked to donate by telephone. Only 12 per cent said they would be happy to be approached by face-to-face fundraisers, but 33 per cent said they would not mind be asked to give to a collecting tin.

Modern methods of connecting with potential donors annoyed a minority of people, with 29 per cent irritated by text messages and 22 per cent unhappy with emails.

Just over half of people, 51 per cent, said they thought charities "strive to achieve the highest professional standards at all times". Thirty-eight per cent of people thought they received too many appeals or newsletters from the charities they support.

Joe Saxton, co-founder of nfpSynergy, said: "At least half the population find doorstep and telephone fundraising very annoying.

"This puts them a long way ahead of face-to-face in the aggravation stakes, which annoys far fewer people and also has more than 10 per cent who are happy to donate this way.

"The big issue for the fundraising community is whether it wants to take action to reduce the level of annoyance that fundraising causes.

"The balancing act is between fundraisers’ ‘right to ask’ and the public’s ‘right to say no’ – not just to each request but to being asked in the first place."

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