Our face-to-face and telephone fundraising: FAQs

At ActionAid, we use several methods to fundraise for our various streams of work such as the use of telephone marketing and face-to-face fundraising on the street, to acquire new supporters and connect with existing ones.

From how we ensure compliance with all the various data and fundraising regulations to how you can tell if an ActionAid fundraising staff member you meet on the street is genuine, we have answered your frequently asked questions about our fundraising methods below. 


Why do we work with fundraising agencies?

At ActionAid UK, we work with professional fundraising agencies to help spread our message of how we are changing the world with women and girls.

We work with both face-to-face and telephone fundraising agencies to sign up and update our committed supporters.

We find having informed conversations with supporters about the positive impact their regular donations can have helps us spread the word about our work and what we’re able to achieve together.

We use these methods as they are some of the most cost-effective ways for us to raise vital funds for our essential work ending violence and fighting poverty.

Back to top

Are face-to-face and telephone fundraising regulated?

Yes, we are registered with the Fundraising Regulator and comply with the Fundraising Code of Practice, as well as contractually requiring our agencies to do the same.

It’s important to us that members of the public have a positive experience with our fundraisers, therefore, closely monitor our agencies to ensure they meet these high standards, so we can guarantee they are representing ActionAid in the best possible way.

We regularly train our fundraisers and update them on our current projects, campaigns and work with women and girls.

We also use these training sessions as opportunities to test our fundraiser’s knowledge of the fundraising code and to refresh their knowledge of our high standards.

This, along with our regular mystery shops, call listening, and spot checks help us ensure that our fundraisers are engaging with our supporters in the best possible manner.

Back to top

How can I be sure that my personal details are secure?

We know how important data security is to you. Our privacy policy explains how we process data, including how we keep it secure.

As part of our contracts with agencies, we require them to have demonstrable security measures as part of their own data protection obligations, including measures like encrypted tablets for our face-to-face fundraisers.

Please be assured we would never sell your data or share it with another organisation for their marketing purposes.

Back to top

How are the fundraisers paid?

Individual fundraisers working on our fundraising campaigns are employed and paid by the fundraising agency, not ActionAid UK.

It's our policy not to work with any agency that operates zero-hour contracts or who pays on a commission-only basis as we believe it’s important to work with organisations who share our passion for social justice and show alignment with our feminist principles.

Back to top

At what times do you fundraise?

We appreciate that many people who would like to support our work could be working during the day.

For this reason, our telemarketing agencies mostly call in the evenings as we know this is a more convenient time to talk to our supporters.

Our agencies can call supporters until 9 pm Monday to Friday and until 5.30 pm on weekends.

Back to top

Where do you fundraise?

For our face-to-face fundraising campaigns, we use both street and private site fundraising locations.

This means you could see fundraisers working on behalf of ActionAid on the high-street or in venues such as shopping centres.

Our face-to-face campaigns are run nationally so we can raise awareness of ActionAid across the UK.

Back to top

How can I tell if a fundraiser is genuine?

Our street and private site fundraisers will always have an ActionAid UK branded ID badge, with the name and ID number of the fundraiser.

The badges also have the name of the fundraising company they’re employed by and ActionAid UK’s contact details on them.

The fundraisers also wear an ActionAid UK branded T-shirt or jacket.

Please also note that fundraisers collect Direct Debit or recurring card donations only and are not permitted to ask for, or accept cash donations.

Our Supporter Contact team know the areas fundraisers are working in and will be happy to confirm if fundraisers you encounter are legitimate.

You can call our supporter contact team on 01460238000 or contact us via email at supportercontact@actionaid.org

Please find further details for our team on our Contact Us page.

Back to top

How can I tell a call is genuine?

 ActionAid are currently working with Ethicall, a telephone fundraising agency, who are carrying out some calling on our behalf to chat about our work and the ways you can help.   

With more than 15 years of responsible, ethical fundraising behind them, Ethicall empower and support donors with their charitable giving.  

You may have recently received a call from one of the fundraisers at Ethicall. Any calls you receive from Ethicall on our behalf will always be from the following number: 01174634186  

If you’d like to find out more about Ethicall, please visit their website.

Alternatively, get in touch with our friendly Supporter Contact team to find out more on 01460 238 000 or at supportercontact@actionaid.org.   

Back to top

How can I get in touch about my experience with your fundraisers?

If you’d like to speak to us about the experience you’ve had with one of our fundraisers, you can get in touch with our Supporter Contact team using the details above.

For more information about our complaints procedure.

We view communication and feedback as an opportunity to learn. We genuinely want to hear from you and are grateful for the opportunity to respond.

Back to top

I wasn’t able to donate when I spoke to your fundraisers, but can I make a donation now?

Thank you so much – that’s incredible.

You can set up a regular donation or make a one-off contribution online.

Alternatively, you can call our Supporter Contact team on 01460238000 or express your interest in supporting us by emailing supportercontact@actionaid.org and the team will be able to highlight different ways you can support our work.

Back to top

What are you and the agencies you work with doing to ensure F2F is safe?

We are returning to F2F fundraising in accordance with the guidance of the Institute of Fundraising and the Fundraising Regulator, which outlines how to safely return in a Covid-secure way.

All our fundraisers are required to have PPE to hand whilst fundraising and ask the person they are speaking to if they wish it to be worn as well as maintaining social distancing. We have also introduced contactless giving mechanisms during this time to limit transmissions and have worked hard to digitise our welcome journey, meaning we will not be handing out thank you leaflets on site.

We are virtually training fundraisers on social distancing, and interaction with members of the public have been limited to 15 minutes.. Daily health checks are being conducted by managers and fundraisers are not permitted to work until this is completed and managers are satisfied.

ActionAid, alongside our fundraising agency, will be conducting regular spot-checks to ensure fundraisers are following Covid-guidelines and observing social distancing.

All fundraisers are required to pass a test to certify their comprehension of social distancing measures and any member who fails this test will be required to undergo the training again.

We are also increasing training around safeguarding members of the public who may be struggling with their physical, mental or financial health due to the pandemic and will conduct regular site visits to ensure these guidelines are being followed.

Back to top

What is your process if one of your fundraisers has a positive diagnosis of coronavirus?

If one of our fundraisers receives a positive test, they will go into isolation. It will be requested that any colleagues they have come into contact with get tested immediately.

They will only be able to return once they have a negative test. This is a precautionary measure, as they should not have broken social distancing as per our guidelines or the guidance published by the Institute of Fundraising and Fundraising Regulator. 

Back to top

Do you have a process to alert new supporters if the fundraiser they spoke with has a positive coronavirus diagnosis?

We would not alert new supporters they may have spoken to as the fundraiser should have followed social distancing.

Back to top

Isn’t it dangerous to be doing F2F fundraising when we are in the middle of a pandemic? Are the results worth it for putting the health/ safety of the public and your fundraisers at risk?

Face-to-face fundraising is a vital source of income for our organisation.

The Covid-19 outbreak has created additional challenges for our industry. When the pandemic hit, we paused our face-to-face fundraising activities and have waited to return to face-to-face fundraising until we were sure we could do so safely.

We are taking every possible step to ensure the safety of our fundraisers and members of the public we will interact with. We have undertaken a risk assessment, which we will continuously update with any new considerations or following any new requirements. 

Our agencies are following the guidance of the Institute of Fundraising and Fundraising Regulator, which outlines how to safely return to F2F, as well as guidance from Public Health England and the UK Government.

We are committed to ensuring our supporters have a positive experience when interacting with fundraisers representing ActionAid. If you’d like to speak to us about the experience you’ve had with one of our fundraisers, you can get in touch without our Supporter Contact team using the details above.

Back to top

What can I do to help?

The new coronavirus is already affecting the poorest communities in Africa, South-East Asia and Latin America.

We know that the impact of the disease caused by coronavirus is likely to be more severe on people who are already weakened by poor nutrition and by the additional vulnerabilities arising from humanitarian emergencies, conflict and the climate crisis.

The rapid spread of Covid-19 means we must urgently step up our response to help communities who need us most.

Donate now


Top image: In Vietnam, ActionAid models sustainable methods of growing vegetables so farmers can mitigate the impact of climate change. Credit: Than Thi Ngoc Bich/ActionAid

Page updated 8 August 2023