Face to face fundraising

What is face to face fundraising?

Face to face fundraising is the use of fundraisers to engage with members of the public and ask them to donate to a charity or cause. In 2019/20, Cancer Research UK received over £6 million from face to face fundraising carried out by paid professional fundraisers on our behalf. This fundraising method raises over £100 million per year for the entire UK charity sector. 

We use professional fundraising agencies to recruit, manage and train our fundraisers. We have also recently launched our in-house face to face team, whereby our fundraisers are employed directly. Specialist trainers from Cancer Research UK also give regular training sessions. This means that all our fundraisers are passionate about our work and are able to answer any questions you may have. 

COVID-19 Update

From April 2021, Cancer Research UK’s face to face fundraising teams will be gradually returning to work.

We have made careful plans to ensure all of our fundraising activity will be carried out in line with the latest government COVID guidelines. Our fundraising staff will be fully briefed and equipped to fundraise in a safe and responsible manner – the health and safety of our fundraisers and supporters is our priority. 

  • Expect our fundraising staff to be wearing appropriate personal protective equipment at all times
  • Our working area and equipment will be cleaned regularly throughout the day
  • We will be adhering to social distancing guidance
  • We will offer you a contactless ways to make your donation safely
  • There will be hand sanitiser facilities for you to use
  • Cancer Research UK have conducted and are regularly reviewing risk assessments for all of our fundraising activity

As government guidance changes we will review our approach to our fundraising activity.

Fundraising methods

Private Site fundraisers

'Private sites' are privately owned areas, such as shopping centres and train stations. Our fundraisers will work from a booth or stand and will have materials that will help them share with you our work and breakthroughs. The times that fundraisers work on private sites will vary according to the opening times of the site


Cash collections

Cancer Research UK also does cash collections around the UK for events like World Cancer Day and Stand Up to Cancer. These collections will be carried out by volunteers who may go house-to-house and collect at street and private sites. The volunteers will be wearing branded clothing, which may differ in appearance depending on the campaign that they are collecting for


Questions and feedback

If you have any feedback or questions about our face to face fundraising, we'd love to hear from you. Please see our feedback page for ways to get in touch.

Face to face fundraising is very effective; since we started using this method in 2008, we’ve spoken to hundreds of thousands of people about our work and successfully recruited over 600,000 long-term supporters who have donated over £61 million to help us beat cancer sooner.

Face to face fundraising is also a fantastic way to meet new people who’d like to talk about our work and support our life-saving research. We understand that some people don’t like being asked to donate in this way and all our fundraisers are trained to recognise and respect when someone doesn’t want to engage with them. Our fundraisers aim to make people feel comfortable to say no so that you are empowered to say yes when it suits you. 

All genuine Cancer Research UK face to face fundraisers wear a blue Cancer Research UK branded t-shirt or jacket and a photo ID badge that will be visible at all times.

When you’re approached by a face to face fundraiser, they’ll tell you that they’re a paid professional fundraiser raising money for Cancer Research UK. If you do decide to regularly donate to us, they’ll also give you details of the campaign they’re working on and how much money we’re aiming to raise.

Our face to face fundraisers are currently asking people to make a regular donation via Direct Debit or to sign up to our weekly lottery via Direct Debit. They’ll also talk to you about our research, how it’s helping more people than ever beat cancer and exactly how your support will benefit our work.

You should receive a welcome call within a few days of committing to a regular donation. This is a short phone call to say thank you for your donation and see if you have any questions. You’ll also receive an Advance Notification Letter (ANL) in the post at least 10 days before your first payment leaves your bank account, to confirm that the Direct Debit has been set up.

Cancer Research UK also does cash collections around the UK for events like World Cancer Day and Stand Up to Cancer. These collections will be carried out by volunteers who may go house-to-house and collect at street and private sites. The volunteers will be wearing branded clothing, which may differ in appearance depending on the campaign that they are collecting for.

Any personal information that you give to one of our fundraisers will be kept completely confidential. All our fundraisers receive guidance and training on data protection and adhere to the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Practice. We and all our fundraising agencies are also members of the fundraising regulatory body and follow their guidelines on all fundraising practices. 

We’ll need your contact details to set up the Direct Debit donation and to send you confirmation once this is done. When you do sign up you’ll have the opportunity to choose how you’d like us to keep in touch and whether you would like to hear about our latest breakthrough, campaigns and how you can support our life-saving work; either by phone, email, letter, SMS, or not at all.

You are in control of how we contact you, but we would like to let you know how your donation is helping to beat cancer sooner and you’ll be the first to hear about our latest research and campaigns. We will never sell or share any personal supporter information to other charities or marketing agencies. If you’d like to know more about how we protect data, please see our Privacy Policy.

Contact us online

If you are interested in becoming a professional fundraiser for our in-house face to face team, or if you have any questions please email us here.


Phone us

Sometimes it's easier to speak to someone on the phone. 

Call us on 0300 123 1022

Get involved

Want to start fundraising yourself? Take a look at our tips and get a fundraising pack.