Face-to-face fundraising – Oxfam’s agency in-house team

As a human rights-based organisation, Oxfam ensures fair working conditions in all areas of our business, including face-to-face fundraising.

As well as working with external fundraising agencies, we’re proud to have our own agency in-house face-to-face fundraising teams in Sydney and Brisbane.

All of our face-to-face fundraisers are valued representatives of Oxfam and they have an important and challenging job to do.

We, like other charities, use face-to-face fundraising as it’s the best way to help us increase the number of long-term supporters and donations to fund our program work around the world.

Increasing the number of Australians who support Oxfam through regular donations increases our ability to plan and run our programs with a view to supporting long-term, sustainable change in people’s lives, and to respond to changing needs.

The dynamic nature of the environments in which we work – from the cyclone-prone Pacific to the drought-stricken Horn of Africa – makes it essential for us to have a regular, predictable source of donations.

If you have any questions, please contact our Supporter Services Team between 9am and 5pm (AEST), Monday to Friday on 1800 088 110 or via email.

Meet Victoria Hayles, Face-to-Face Fundraising Team leader, Brisbane.

Face to face fundraising

Why do you do this work on behalf of Oxfam?

Working in the charity sector is a really rewarding job because you’re raising money for an amazing cause that has a huge impact on people’s lives. By using your voice to inspire people, you’re saving lives. Working on behalf of Oxfam is great as you can make a real connection with the charity you are representing and I love Oxfam and the work it does.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The people you meet every day, and the like-minded people you get to work with.

What is a typical day for you?

I wake up, shower, take my ferry to the city and make my way to the site at which we’re working. I get myself up and ready to get my team motivated. I meet my team, we have a catch-up about our week so far, and I then do an inspiring team talk to get them feeling ready to go.

Then we start work, and I make it my aim to go and make a friend on the street and inspire them to sign up with Oxfam. I try to create a consistent good vibe throughout the day, and I get to meet lots of interesting people who tell me interesting facts and stories about their lives. I meet people from all over the world and get to tell them all about the great work Oxfam does.

My role involves keeping my team motivated and positive, and I ensure they are following the PFRA code of conduct at all times and representing Oxfam well. At the end of the day I debrief my team, give out high fives, and go home!

What are your plans for the future?

I would like to become a Face to face fundraising manager for Oxfam and have my own section of superstar fundraisers. And to become prime minister – of course!

My quote for life as a fundraiser is;

“Everybody’s actions are a reflection of them and not of you, so always represent yourself and Oxfam as best as you can!”

Common questions about face-to-face fundraising

Why does Oxfam use face-to-face fundraising?

Increasing the number of people who support Oxfam through regular donations means we can plan and run and plan long-term programs tackling poverty, and respond to changing needs in our business. The most important work requires ongoing support for several years, which is exactly what the commitment of our regular donors allows us to do.

Face-to-face fundraising is the most cost-effective way of finding people who are interested in Oxfam’s work, and who can support us through a regular donation.

It’s also one of the most popular, affordable and easiest ways for donors to support Oxfam, with a small gift each month deducted from a nominated bank account or credit card.

We find it’s one of the best ways we can speak to the public directly about our work. Our well-informed face-to-face fundraisers have discussions with people about how their support can make a significant difference to the lives of people living in poverty around the world.

There’s been negative media about this form of fundraising, including allegations of underpayment or poor treatment of workers. What’s Oxfam doing about it?

Media coverage in 2016 and 2017 on face-to-face fundraising has largely been about a particular supplier, Appco, which Oxfam doesn’t use.

In our extensive experience, the vast majority of people’s interactions with our face-to-face fundraisers are extremely positive.

This is demonstrated by the fact that tens of thousands of new supporters join Oxfam each year through this form of fundraising and continue to donate for several years after that.

We take allegations regarding fundraising suppliers within the charity sector very seriously, and have been working with the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) and other charities towards setting better standards within the face-to-face fundraising sector.

We’ve transitioned to suppliers that engage workers fundraising for Oxfam as employees. Our approach takes into account guidelines issued by the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission.

The potential that people might face unfair or harsh conditions whilst representing Oxfam is unacceptable.

We’ll continue using external suppliers, whose core business is fundraising and with whom we have good long-term working relationships, freeing us up to get on with our core business of tackling poverty – by saving lives in times of crisis and helping communities develop long-term solutions.

How do you choose the fundraising agencies with which you work?

We only work with professional agencies that are registered with the PFRA.

How many people does Oxfam help each year?

Our face-to-face teams, and our fundraising efforts more broadly, help fund our life-changing work, which reaches millions of people living in poverty each year.

Oxfam Australia directly reached more than 2.5 million people from July 2015 to March 2016 — 1.3 million through our long-term development work, and more than 1.2 million affected by disaster, in partnership with our 18 Oxfam affiliates.

Through our advocacy work aiming to improve government and business policies that affect the lives of people living in poverty, we’ve reached millions more.

Thanks to our generous supporters, families are growing more food, earning a living, accessing clean water and toilets, living healthier, safer lives and having their voices heard.