How often will collectors be expected to attend?
This is all up to you. Some collectors may only take part in one collection a year. Others may do one a week. It’s unlikely that volunteers will attend a lot of collections in a month but your attendance at any collection will be appreciated.
We do have several collectors and we hope that for every collection there will be 2 or 3 volunteer collectors. You will probably get to know several of them and enjoy your day out together.
Will I be expected to collect in bad weather?
It’s obviously more difficult to stand in rain and snow than mild, pleasant weather. It’s also worth noting that we will be holding a large number of indoor collections in shopping centres in the winter. However, we will still be holding collections in this kind of weather and if you don’t like it – there is no need to attend. The key thing is to dress appropriately.
What should I wear?
When you collect for a charity people regard you as a representative of it. They don’t realise that you’re a volunteer. So it’s important to feel you are representing the charity.
Collectors will be wearing a T-shirt or a tabard which bears the charity’s name, they will be holding a bucket which also bears the charity’s name and there will be a banner in the vicinity which, again, bears the charity’s name.
What breaks do I take?
Normally you will set off with the team leader – in his or her car – to a town centre at around 9am and arrive at 10am. They will then ask you to collect for a while. Take any breaks you feel necessary. Please remember that the best time for collecting is at lunchtime so it’s always handy if as many collectors as possible are available between 12am and 2pm. For this reason it may be a good idea to take a small break before and after lunchtime. Please ensure that you drink plenty of liquids – and don’t allow yourself to get too hungry. The collection will end between 3pm and 4pm and the team leader will take you back.
If you smoke, it’s best to take cigarette breaks away from the area – especially if you are collecting for a charity connected with health, like a cancer charity. If you are having a cigarette, please go to a quiet area or put a coat over your tabard or T-shirt.
This may seem over-sensitive but as members of the public think you represent the charity which has its name on your T-shirt, please be mindful of the fact that offence could be caused.
You will find that most members of the public appreciate collections and enjoy the opportunity to give. There is a significant feel-good factor in even the smallest donation to charity. That’s why people do it. But there is always the odd “character” who is critical of charity work.
These are normally people who have never been involved in charity work and don’t want to support it. They can even be quite vocal in their dislike of charity work but these are very few and far between. So just ignore these people rather than get sucked into any kind of exchange with them. The general public will give you a smile, even if they don’t give you a donation. They will appreciate that you are making an effort to do something worthwhile.
Very few people have the gumption to get involved in charity work, so you should feel proud of yourself and enjoy your day.
You will also find that you are drawn into friendly conversations with members of the public. Unfortunately you may find it difficult to remove yourself from some of these conversations and they may last well over ten minutes.
Even though it’s impolite to tell people you want to get on with collecting, it may be advisable to do so.
Someone who is engaged in conversation with a member of the public for a long period will be easily ignored by passers-by. You will find that if you are drawn into one of these conversations, you don’t collect much.
Also, please don’t wander round in the street. You will find that if you stay in one place you will collect far more than if you move around. Of course, it’s always best to stretch your legs every few minutes.