Fundraising in a public place

Introduction to public fundraising

The most important source of voluntary income for charities comes from donations given by individuals. People give in many different ways, and charities have many different techniques and strategies to inspire individuals to give their support including direct marketing, advertising, and face-to-face fundraising. Donations from individuals can be given as one-off off gifts, regular monthly payments, legacy gifts left in a will, or a major donation. The range of activities and ways that charities can fundraise with individuals is very varied. The way a charity decides to fundraise will depend on many factors including their size, cause, history, and geographic location – there is no ‘one-size fits all’ answer. For more guidance on putting together a strategy for your fundraising, take a look at our introductory guidance on fundraising strategy.

This section provides guidance on how to carry out different forms of fundraising from individuals, with links to regulatory standards and further resources.

For further guidance on management issues relating to fundraising from individuals, visit the Managing Fundraising section  to find more information including the handling of cash donations, the acceptance and refusal of donations, working with third parties, and data protection.

The Institute of Fundraising runs a compliance programme for charities and agencies that carry out public fundraising on the street, door-to-door, by telephone, and on private sites - including mystery shopping activities and an accreditations scheme.

This section contains: 


sublanding Door-to-door fundraising
Door-to-door (or house-to-house) collections involve fundraisers or volunteers collecting cash or goods
sublanding Face-to-face fundraising
Face-to-face can take place in a public place (such as a shopping high street) as well as private sites
sublanding Working with third parties
Often a charity will want to partner with a fundraising agency to carry out fundraising campaigns