The F2F Hub – collaborative working keeps fundraisers on track through coronavirus

In a companion piece to Daryl Upsall’s article from last week, SOFII trustee Rachael Moore celebrates how face-to-face fundraisers are fighting back against the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Written by
Rachael Moore
Added
April 14, 2021

Face-to-face has always been the marmite of fundraising, it’s a topic that not many people sit on the fence about.  What I’ve learned over the years is that those who are pro face-to-face, are very pro face-to-face and will passionately defend the channel and its merits. 

Superb visuals and clear, helpful signposting create an inviting environment as people return to the streets. Photo courtesy of Shelter.

Over the years face-to-face has had its issues, with negative publicity and rising costs squeezing ROI tighter, but resilience and willingness to change, adapt and improve has always shone through.

Thanks to the passion and enthusiasm of those in this industry, collaborative working has always existed in this space, with many informal groups meeting and sharing their knowledge and experience for years. There are networks which look at experiential opportunities, groups that look at compliance and monitoring and groups that simply strive to improve campaigns for the better.

In 2020, when the pandemic hit, this posed a great threat to face-to-face fundraising, which at the time seemed nearly impossible to overcome.

The industry started to fight back against the uncertainty. Greenpeace, having always been an advocate for the channel and the first to adopt this approach many years ago, began to organise collaboration calls via Zoom. These started off with a small network but spread like wildfire as more and more people caught wind of this resource.

On these calls we heard from charities all over the world – many of whom at that time, were ahead of the curve compared the UK. We heard about how their return was received by the public and how they had adapted and innovated to be able to continue recruiting supporters safely. One that stood out was the social distancing mats developed by Save the Children Netherlands, something you’ll see replicated on doorsteps and high streets by many different charities. For me, hearing these stories was the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

It soon became clear that collaborative working was the greatest tool face-to-face fundraising had to ensure its survival during 2020, which is where the F2F Hub was born. F2F Hub was to be the central place where charities and agencies could share best practice, have a sounding board for ideas and join forces in the fight for sustaining this channel. F2F Hub was formed by a steering group made up of representatives from several different charities. 

The F2F Hub website (www.f2fhub.org) was put together, a space with a forum –  to engage with other people in the same boat as you, to ask questions and seek advice. But the true value came in the form of the individual Hubs. Starting with five hubs – future of F2F, compliance and monitoring, training, new managers, and diversity and inclusion. Each hosted and facilitated by a hub champion, these Hubs began to meet regularly via Zoom, to discuss how fundraisers can go back out with face-to-face, stronger than ever before.

This past summer, as fundraisers started cautiously re-emerging on high streets and doorsteps across the UK, we regularly held meetings and shared our experiences both positive and negative. We compared notes on how we’d overcome the challenges.  

As these Hubs begin to bed in and gain traction, attracting now 150 members from across the industry, ambitions grew. Projects formed to recognise and mentor minority groups, provide help and guidance to those new to face-to-face roles and support those looking to develop resources that will raise standards across the board.

Are stands like this the future of face-to-face fundraising? Photo courtesy of PDSA.

If we keep anything post 2021 –  as the world begins to return to normality, I hope it’s this widespread collaborative approach to working, and I look forward to our very first in-person F2F Hub meeting when the time is right. This past year has reminded us how valuable human interaction is, I’m excited to see how this reflects in our fundraising in the years to come.

To join one or many of the F2F Hubs please email the Hub Champion directly. Contact details for the Hub Champions can be found here: https://www.f2fhub.org/hub-champions-list

About the author: Rachael Moore

Rachael Moore

Rachael began fundraising in 2008, first as a street fundraiser before working her way up the ranks to become a team leader and later a national field ops manager – coaching fundraising teams all over the UK. Rachael then took a three-year break from fundraising to work in the events sector, specialising in pharmaceuticals and working with brands such as Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca. 

She returned to fundraising in 2015, working charity side managing both in-house and third party face-to-face fundraising campaigns. Rachael is currently public fundraising manager at PDSA. She also dedicates time to F2F Hub, a collaborative resource aimed at sharing best practice in face-to-face fundraising – Rachael serves as a member of the steering committee and compliance hub champion.

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