What is canvassing and why it’s important?

Canvassing, or Face to Face (F2F) Fundraising as it is known outside the USA is a way non-profit organizations talk to members of the public about the work that they do, and ask those members of the public to become long-term committed donors (sometimes called ‘sustainer donors’) who will give a small amount each month from their credit card or bank account to be part of the work that the non-profit is doing.

It is important because it is the most successful method of recruiting committed givers that the world has ever seen. It is used all over the world, and as more non-profits realize the benefits, you can expect to see more canvassing activity across the USA.

Does canvassing make a difference for non-profits?

Yes, many of the USA’s largest and most well-loved non-profit organizations rely on the generosity of individuals like you and me to achieve the change they want to see in the world. Being able to rely on sustainer donors each month allows those organizations not just to meet the needs of today, but to plan more effectively to meet the needs of tomorrow. Canvassing is becoming an increasingly bigger part of many non-profits’ fundraising efforts.

What involves canvassing?

A role in canvassing is hard work, but is immensely rewarding. Canvassers might be employed by the non-profit directly, or by an agency who specializes in this kind of work. The canvasser will be trained on the key messages and work of the non-profit and how to put those across in a way that will be inspiring and exciting, and allow the potential donor to see themselves as part of that work, and to feel great about making that commitment. After training, well, the canvasser will go to their agreed site, which might be a sidewalk, a mall, or an event, or they will go door-to-door with a view to having as many conversations as possible about how the potential donor can be a hero for the cause they are working on behalf of.

How successful is D2D canvassing?

Door-to-door is a successful method of canvassing; some people will say that it is actually the best form, although at NCE we believe that canvassing done well can be done anywhere. It is all about the person and the proposition, not about where the conversation takes place.

How do I get good at canvassing?

Well, we often say that canvassing is simple, but it isn’t easy. To learn the basic skills takes a few days; that’s why at NCE we have four days of classroom and then field training to help you become a member of the team. However, if you ask people that have been involved in canvassing for a while, they will tell you that they never stop learning, and never stop being amazed at the people they get to talk to.

You will need to be good at receiving feedback, not afraid of hard work, and resilient in the face of rejection, as a lot of people say ‘no’ every day. And that’s ok. It’s the people that say ‘yes’ that make the job such a joy. Focus on the reasons people say ‘yes’ and you will be just fine.

How much money do canvassers get paid?

At NCE, we are committed to our Canvassers being the highest paid in the USA and amongst the highest paid in the world. As an entry level Canvasser, you would start with an hourly salary of $15-$18, plus health and dental, paid time off and paid sick pay (all after qualifying periods), plus an open-ended bonus. For those that want career development we have a path way through Team Leadership to running an Office, and obviously salary and bonus increases with you. Our average canvasser, with bonus, in 2019 receives around $47,000 per year, but there is the opportunity to earn much more than that.

Face to face fundraising training.

You will receive training every step of the way on your journey to becoming the best that you can be, because that is what canvassing requires: you on your best day, every day. From initial training on the cause you will be representing, and the basics of stopping people and putting a presentation together, through to how to lead teams, give feedback, understand motivational theory and how to apply it. We provide structured development in coaching techniques, NLP, personal development, effective communication, presentation skills, training theory and practice, everything you will need to be a successful canvasser and beyond.