Top 5 Reasons Why Face-to-Face Fundraising is Effective During COVID-19

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face interaction was largely considered the most effective method to interact and engage with the general public to support fundraising campaigns. Face-to-face fundraising existed in many forms, and involved meeting potential donors at their homes (door-to-door fundraising), on the street (street canvassing), at locally-owned business spaces (business-to-business donor acquisition), or at a particular community event or retail venue.

While there are concerns about the effectiveness of face-to-face fundraising interactions during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to our commitment to enhanced health and safety procedures –  physical distancing, wearing face masks, using sanitizers, and introducing a contactless sign-up process – the team at Globalfaces Direct is equipped to manage safe and compliant face-to-face fundraising practices across North America.

To help explain why face-to-face fundraising is still trusted as the most effective way to interact and engage with potential donors – even amid a pandemic – we’ve prepared this summary of the top five reasons why face-to-face fundraising is still effective during COVID-19. For more information on the topic, be sure to attend our upcoming webinar: Reconnecting – Moving Forward with F2F Fundraising.

  1. Ensures Clear, Transparent Communication

Through face-to-face interaction, canvassers get a clear picture of how well your message is being understood, and whether the donor has any reservations about what they are being asked to support. Beyond spoken words and tone, our experienced fundraising team is able to interpret body language and other non-verbal communication signals the donor may be displaying, and will adjust their approach accordingly to establish a rapport.

Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, establishing a rapport is critical to earn empathy. Canvassers are in a unique position to ask how the donors and their families are coping, and share how these uncertain times are impacting your charity and the people who need support. Now more than ever, donors are able to empathize with the struggles and hardships that people are faced with, and are more inclined to help a cause they can connect with.

  1. Enhances Credibility and Trust

All fundraisers need to earn donor trust in order to build rapport. With face-to-face interaction, a canvasser is able to share your charity’s story, explain it clearly, and answer any questions openly and honestly. This quick, instantaneous, and natural communication setting allows our canvassers to handle objections, address concerns, and develop connections – all of which earn trust and confidence in the charity we’re asking potential donors to support.

As some charities are pivoting away from in-person canvassing (such as event fundraising) throughout the pandemic because of restrictions to physical distancing, face-to-face fundraising will allow your charity to stand out from the excess of phone calls, emails, and letters, by offering credibility through human connection while putting a face to your charity. Combined with Globalfaces Direct’s health and safety compliant face-to-face fundraising measures, this demonstrates that your charity is taking all precautions seriously with a commitment to maintain your donors’ health and comfort.

  1. Demonstrates Professionalism

When properly trained, a team of face-to-face fundraising canvassers offer a positive first impression that sets a foundation for a lasting relationship. At Globalfaces Direct, all canvassers are experienced on best practices for creating a genuine, personal rapport, while receiving advanced training to become well versed on the charities they campaign for. In addition, all of our face-to-face fundraising teams wear a clearly identifiable uniform, approach donors with a confident and welcoming demeanor, and initiate all communication with courtesy and respect.

Along with the COVID-19 compliant personal protective equipment (PPE) all Globalfaces Direct canvassers are wearing, they will also be equipped with custom COVID-19 related gear, including buttons, lanyards, door-knockers, and hats. All these additional safety measures clearly illustrate the necessity of maintaining a safe two-metre distance during their face-to-face interaction with a potential donor, as well as speaking to the health and safety precautions they are taking through our 100% contactless approach. This commitment to a high standard of safety provides your charity with an immediate foundation of professionalism and reliability before any word is spoken.

  1. Develops a Strong Human Connection

For a lot of charities, face-to-face canvassing is often the first time a potential donor is exposed to your charitable organization, and is able to put a face to the cause you are supporting. Facial expressions, appearance, posture, body language, and tone all contribute to a positive connection experience that can only be earned through face-to-face interaction. At Globalfaces Direct, a large focus on our face-to-face training and fundraising approach is to prioritize relationship-building techniques to establish rapport and create a trusting bond.

Especially as people are accustomed to spending less time interacting with others during the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face fundraising allows your charity to develop a human connection with potential donors. All of our canvassers dedicate time to addressing and empathizing with the adversities the donors may be experiencing, drawing a connection to the charitable causes your programs are supporting. This face-to-face interaction and socialization help lead to a sense of community and companionship, which sets the foundation for a strong, lasting relationship.

  1. Establishes a Relationship for Stewardship

At Globalfaces Direct, our face-to-face fundraising techniques are backed by repeatable, reliable fundraising metrics. When face-to-face fundraising is successful, we’re able to build a lasting relationship with a donor and identify potential ways to continue the stewardship journey. Here, we cultivate our donor relationships through our proven Contact Centre, The HIVE, to facilitate a wide range of follow-up communication messaging techniques, including phone calls, text messages (SMS), emails, newsletters, and surveys, to increase the long-term potential of the donor relationship.

With the COVID-19 pandemic bringing enhanced requirements for sanitizing and physical distancing, the use of technology and supplemental fundraising techniques are critical to maintaining contact with a donor after an initially successful face-to-face connection. At Globalfaces Direct, we use proprietary in-house software – Insight – to empower canvassers to capture feedback and insights in the field (including whether a potential donor would prefer to receive follow-up contact via phone, email, or mail), and follow up with every donor through our full-service Contact Centre to ensure a positive onboarding experience, focusing on stewardship and the lifelong donor journey. This technology also allows our charity partners to gain real-time insights into the performance of their campaigns through our proprietary, client-facing dashboard.

For these reasons, face-to-face fundraising methods are still a trusted, effective way to interact and engage with potential donors, and is recommended to supplement any existing call centre, email, and direct mail fundraising campaign – even during the COVID-19 pandemic. This proven and reliable method has historically and recently shown to upgrade more one-time donors into monthly, recurring revenue donors, at higher volumes and longer-term ROIs not seen in other channels.

For more information on how Globalfaces Direct can meet your expectations as your face-to-face fundraising partner for your upcoming charitable campaign, or to answer any questions you may have based on the information we’ve provided above, please feel free to reach out and
contact us at any time.


Reconnecting – Moving Forward with F2F Fundraising
Date: Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT

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