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Face-to-face story: fundraisers are streets apart

After graduating with a degree in Geology, Liam McEntegart signed up to be a street fundraiser in 2005. He soon developed a passionate interest in it and is now an agency Operations Manager who loves his job. Liam and his equally enthusiastic and energetic team of fundraisers represent a number of charities, including the British Red Cross.

They approach potential donors on the street every five seconds and ten out of every 100 people stop to listen to what they have to say. They use their in-depth knowledge about the Red Cross to encourage them to sign up as regular givers.

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Liam said: “Every single person I talk to, I tell them about the Red Cross. Whether they sign up to become a supporter or not, they walk away knowing something about it. They might go home and decide to have a look at the website, decide to volunteer or make a donation some time in the future. It’s about raising awareness as well as money.

"People who complain about street fundraisers don’t know how it works. All we’re doing is asking for support through stimulating conversation. There are so many types of fundraising and although this doesn’t work for some people, we’re trying to target the percentage of the population that does respond to this approach."

On average, every new donor that Liam signs up pledges to give £110 in their first year of support and they may continue to donate to the Red Cross for many years to come.

Liam and his team work eight to nine hours each day throughout the year. He explains: "We work in the rain and freezing temperatures but what’s that when you think of someone suffering in Darfur for instance? It’s nothing. I get abuse hurled at me and I even got spat at once – you can’t do this job just for the money. What I get from it outweighs all of that. You have to be passionate about it and I am – I love it."

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