Couple filling in form with RSPB Staff member

Phone and face-to-face fundraising

Without the continued support of our members, saving nature would be impossible.

Why we fundraise in this way

Talking to people face-to-face or over the phone is a successful way of inspiring them about nature, explaining what we do and giving them the opportunity to support us by becoming a member.

Speaking to people allows us to find out what's important to them, their family and community, answer any questions they have and explain the different ways they can connect and get involved with the work of the RSPB.

Important driver for support

Feedback from our supporters who have joined the RSPB through face-to-face activities has shown us that the face-to-face interaction and conversation they had was an important driver for wanting to support us. 

Our aim is to provide as many members of the public as possible with an opportunity to have great conversations and a high-quality experience with the RSPB. Face-to-face fundraising allows that to happen.

Our face-to-face fundraising usually happens on our nature reserves, at other places in the community like supermarkets and garden centres, or at events, such as shows and festivals. 

There are three membership recruitment teams representing the RSPB in the community, our In-house team (directly-employed paid staff of the RSPB and RSPB volunteers), RSPB Fundraising Direct (a division of RSPB Sales Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the RSPB) and a third party professional fundraising agency called “Working for Wildlife”. 

Training and support

In-house training

All our face-to-face fundraisers receive in-house training and support by the RSPB to ensure consistently high quality interactions across all parts of our face-to-face fundraising operation. “Working for Wildlife” also ensures that fundraisers acting on our behalf, are fully trained in fundraising compliance and standards in line with the Code of Fundraising Practice, and this is reviewed regularly along with performance, to ensure the highest standards of supporter care are upheld.

As well as meeting people face-to-face, we find that having meaningful phone conversations is a successful and cost-effective way of inspiring people to support the RSPB.  

We work closely with a small number of telemarketing agencies who were chosen as a result of a comprehensive selection process, which includes examination of complaints procedures, training structures and policies concerning vulnerable people.  

Exceeding industry standards

We are committed to working to and exceeding industry standards and guidelines as set out by the Institute of Fundraising and the Fundraising Regulator. 

Our complaint rate is low - 0.08 per cent in 2014 as reported in the RSPB submission to the then Fundraising Standards Board - but we continue to look for ways to improve the way we approach all of our fundraising.  

We are engaging in the current reviews and consultations underway by the Fundraising Regulator and the Institute of Fundraising.  

We complete our own regular reviews and seek feedback from people who have been approached by all our fundraisers – whether face-to-face or on the phone.  

RSPB staff at work at The Lodge, headquarters. Apprentices, working in Information Systems at RSPB, Sandy, Bedfordshire