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Maximizing Door-to-Door Fundraisers: Tips, Techniques, Alternatives

Door to door fundraising - knocking on the door

Selling anything door to door — whether it’s cookie dough, candy, or professional services — comes with a unique set of challenges. The obstacles and personalities you may encounter “out in the field” can be unpredictable, and convincing neighbors to support your cause can be difficult.

But there are ways to boost your success and ensure your safety even on the toughest door-to-door fundraising days. Read on for our top door-to-door fundraising tips and techniques (as well as alternative fundraising methods to make your next campaign a breeze).

Tips and Techniques for Door-to-Door Fundraisers

Safety is paramount when it comes to door-to-door fundraisers — you never know who’s behind any particular door. Additionally, even once safety is assured, there are other factors to keep in mind to maximize your fundraising success. 

Below are some of our top tips and techniques to ensure safety, respect, and an effective fundraiser that meets your goals.

Take Steps to Maintain Safety and Respect

A growing number of schools are banning door-to-door fundraisers, and following a 1997 tragedy, New Jersey almost passed a bill banning door-to-door sales by students. Safety is a serious concern, especially when minors are encouraged to sell door to door and incentivized or pressured to sell as much as possible.

Taking steps to ensure your safety is the most important thing you can do before door-to-door fundraising. Below are some safety suggestions:

  • While you might want to conduct your fundraiser after work hours when more people are home, be sure to avoid selling too late at night or after dark. 

  • Maintain a safe distance from the door — take a step back after knocking or ringing the doorbell. 

  • Bring a friend or parent with you and establish a safety code word or signal, whether they’re joining you at the door or waiting in the car.

  • Always stick to selling in a familiar neighborhood.

  • Never enter a customer’s home.

  • Develop a system for putting away and safeguarding profits between sales.

  • Be wary of your surroundings as a pedestrian or driver.

When you take such precautions, especially if you’re selling to your neighbors, door-to-door fundraising can be relatively safe and effective.

Have a Pitch Prepared

One way to maximize your door-to-door fundraiser is to rehearse a pitch. Even if you know your product or cause inside and out, presenting it to a stranger on the spot can be daunting. 

Studies show that mental rehearsal helps our brains prepare for real-life scenarios and can reduce anxiety. Preparing your pitch will enable you to present it confidently to each customer while maximizing the effectiveness of the words you choose.

Be Ready to Handle Objections

When approaching neighbors who don’t expect you at their homes, you may face some backlash. For this reason, it’s important to know how to handle objections should their reaction become rude or abrasive.

If a customer is merely hesitant, it’s okay to offer more information or speak on additional benefits of your project or service. But if you get an outright “no,” it’s best to respectfully move on to the next home. If a customer is rude or raises their voice at you, leave the situation immediately.

Plan for an Investment of Time, Energy, and Effort

Selling door to door is a numbers game. In other words, the more time, energy, and effort you put in, the more sales you’ll likely make. If you naturally have a “salesperson” personality or prefer to put in that extra effort, door-to-door sales have the potential to be highly profitable

It’s up to you to determine how much time you’re willing and/or able to invest — if resources are limited, an alternative type of fundraiser may be a better answer.

Gift Card Fundraising: The "No-Selling" Method

If you’re wary of the safety risks, long hours, and unpredictability of door-to-door fundraisers, gift card fundraising may be for you. You can earn money for your cause or organization instantly, just by purchasing gift cards for the stores you already shop at.

RaiseRight's gift card fundraising platform offers gift cards from hundreds of retailers and puts a percentage of the gift card value (up to 20%) directly toward your cause. The earnings come directly from the brand, so there’s no need to knock on doors, sell goods, or run intensive fundraising events.

RaiseRight gift cards have no activation fee, never expire, and are even available in eGift Card form (easily accessible from the RaiseRight mobile app). It's a win-win for everyone!

Get started today

Ready to swap your door-to-door fundraising method for a more simple, convenient, and effective alternative? Check out gift card fundraising and start earning money — without asking for money. 

Here are some next steps to get the ball rolling:

  1. Learn more about how gift card fundraising works.
  2. Download the Gift Card Fundraising Playbook and share it with others.
  3. Start a free program by completing a short, online enrollment form.  

If you’re a member of an organization looking to join an existing program, you just need your enrollment code to create an account and begin fundraising right away.

alternative to door to door fundraising