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Face-to-face Fundraising

You might have come across our face-to-face fundraisers on the street, in a shopping centre or perhaps at your front door. Médecins Sans Frontières Australia’s face-to-face fundraisers work in states and cities across Australia and provide a vital link between our organisation and the general public. Their job is to recruit donors who are committed to our mission and able to support us with a long-term regular donation.

At Médecins Sans Frontières Australia, 100% of our funds come from private sources. Face-to-face fundraising is currently the best way we have to build our community of long-term regular giving supporters, who in turn allow our field teams to respond rapidly to emergencies, go where the need is greatest and remain independent.

Face-to-face fundraising is often misconstrued in the media. Here, we answer some of the most common questions we receive about our face-to-face program.

Why is face-to-face fundraising important to Médecins Sans Frontières?

Face-to-face fundraising is the most cost-effective way to engage people who might not otherwise know about our work in personalised and passionate conversations, and to provide them with an opportunity to support Médecins Sans Frontières with a regular donation.

Médecins Sans Frontières Australia first began its face-to-face fundraising program in 2005. Since that time, our fundraisers have had inspiring conversations with tens of thousands of people and signed up thousands of new regular giving donors to support our work. Long-term, regular funding allows us to plan and budget for the future of our operations.

What is a Field Partner?

Médecins Sans Frontières Australia’s Regular Giving program is called our Field Partners program. Field Partners are donors who pledge to give a regular, usually monthly, donation via their credit card or bank account to support our work. There are a number of ways to become a Field Partner, but by far the most common way is to sign up on the street, in a shopping centre, or at your door with one of our face-to-face fundraisers. The donation is drawn on one of our monthly pledge dates, which fall on either the first or third Wednesday of each month.

The funding that is generated through our Field Partner program is not tied to any particular campaign and allows us to rapidly respond to emergencies and go where the need is greatest. Long-term, regular gifts enable us able to plan for the future of our operations and remain independent. 

How do I know if a Médecins Sans Frontières face-to-face fundraiser is legitimate?

Médecins Sans Frontières Australia has street, shopping centre and door-to-door fundraising teams working in all states and territories throughout the year.

Our fundraisers can be identified by the following:

  • They should wear an official ID badge, which includes: the fundraiser’s name and badge number, a photograph of the fundraiser, the Médecins Sans Frontières logo, and the name of the fundraising agency that has hired the fundraiser to work on our behalf.
  • They should wear a Médecins Sans Frontières branded uniform - either a white polo shirt or white utility vest worn over their own clothing, each with the Médecins Sans Frontières logo clearly visible on the front and back.
  • They may use an official Médecins Sans Frontières pitch card that describes our work.
  • They will give new donors an official Médecins Sans Frontières Thank You pack to take home.
  • They will use either an iPad or other small tablet to securely record and store donor details. We do not use paper pledge pads.

If you have any concerns about the legitimacy of a fundraiser that you recently spoke to, or if a face-to-face fundraiser is not wearing their badge or uniform, please contact our Supporter Relations team on 1300 136 061.

Why does Médecins Sans Frontières use professional collectors, not volunteers?

Professional collectors can provide the level of fundraising expertise that we need to ensure the long-term sustainability of our face-to-face fundraising program. It is simply not possible to coordinate a large-scale face-to-face program using volunteers alone.

Médecins Sans Frontières also believes that face-to-face fundraising is a fun and rewarding way for many people to make a living working for a cause they believe in. 

How does Médecins Sans Frontières Australia ensure Supplier compliance with Australian workplace laws?

Médecins Sans Frontières Australia is committed to the lawful and socially responsible engagement of human labour in its supply chains, and we expect the same standards of our Suppliers of Fundraising Services (Suppliers). As part of its Fundraising Supply Chain Governance Strategy, Médecins Sans Frontières Australia has prepared a Fundraising Supplier Code of Conduct and Fundraising Services Responsibility Standards Statement.

What is the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA)?

Face-to-face fundraising is regulated by Australian state and territory governments. These regulations ensure that charities and professional fundraisers comply with relevant laws related to licensing, disclosure requirements and hours of operation, among other things.

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) is the self-regulatory body for face-to-face fundraising in Australia. The role of the PFRA is to make sure that the right balance is maintained between the duty of charities to ask for donations and the right of the public to experience high standards of behaviour from our members’ fundraisers.

The PFRA now requires all charity and supplier members to participate in its accreditation program and undertakes routine quality assurance checking of face-to-face teams to ensure a high standard across the face-to-face fundraising sector. 

Médecins Sans Frontières Australia is a voluntary charity member of the PFRA and is committed to abiding by their ethical and professional standards.

How does Médecins Sans Frontières Australia choose the fundraising agencies with which they work?

Médecins Sans Frontières Australia engages professional fundraising suppliers to provide vital face-to-face fundraising services across Australia. Together, they inspire thousands of new donors every year to join our Field Partner program.

Médecins Sans Frontières Australia only works with professional fundraising suppliers that are members of the PFRA and who provide evidence of compliance with all relevant workplace laws.

Can face-to-face fundraisers accept cash or a single donation?

For their security, face-to-face fundraisers cannot accept cash or single donations. To make a donation to Médecins Sans Frontières Australia, please visit our website or phone Supporter Relations on 1300 136 061.

How do I make a complaint?

We value our supporters and like to receive feedback. If you have any questions or concerns related to our face-to-face or door-to-door fundraising activity, please contact our Supporter Relations team on 1300 136 061 or by sending an email to office@sydney.msf.org.

For further information please contact our Supporter Relations team between 8:30am and 5pm (AEST) Monday to Friday on 1300 136 061 or via email.