It’s Children In Need tonight and in the spirit of charity we’ve been thinking about part time jobs working as a charity street fundraiser. You might think it’s not the best job in the world, but it can be surprisingly well-paid and you can go home with a cheery glow knowing that you’ve done your bit to make the world a slightly better place.
You might also be under the impression that the charities don’t get the money raised by street fundraisers. But you’d be wrong, street fundraisers are actually really important to charities and guarantees a major source of income for them.
All that aside, we know it can be a great job if you’re looking to earn a bit of extra cash and we had a chat with Zoe who used to work as a street fundraiser for The Red Cross to get her advice on how to do a really good job of it, have some fun and get some really good transferable skills.
How to do a bloody good job
1. Remember the cause
You have to remember why you’re out there in the freezing cold and rain to get people to sign up to the charity. “Keep the cause at the heart of what you’re doing,” Zoe says. “Get away from the fact that you’re pestering people. You’re helping the charity bring in really valuable revenue that they will need to keep running.”
2. Be confident
Going up to people on the street can be kind of awkward. Especially when shoppers don’t want to talk to you and will actively try to avoid you. “Be confident,” Zoe says. “And don’t feel ashamed. You’re there to do a really important job that’s really valuable.”
3. Know your stuff
People like to try and catch charity fundraisers out on the street and trip them up over their facts. So make sure you know your stuff. “Know what you’re pitching,” Zoe says. “Don’t have just the same old spiel that you repeat for everyone. It’s about having something that people can empathise with.”
How to have fun
We know that street fundraising isn’t the most fun job in the world. It can be hard work standing in the cold as people rush past you and into shops. But there are a few things you can do to make it a bit more bearable.
1. Keep in mind why you’re doing it
One thing guaranteed to keep you going while you’re working is reminding yourself why you’re stood out there. “Find an incentive,” Zoe says, “whether it’s a month’s rent or money for a gig. Keep that in your head to keep you going.”
2. Make friends with your co-workers
It can be a long day if you’re out on the street on your own. Make friends with the other fundraisers in your team and suddenly your shift will go a lot faster. “If you enjoy the company of your team it’s almost like you’re on the highstreet with your friends,” Zoe says. Almost…
3. Live for the funny stories
Interacting with the public gives you the possibility for so many things to go wrong or so many amusing things to happen. You can meet so many different people working as a street fundraiser. Zoe told us about one time when she was working as a street fundraiser and got scouted for a porn agency. See what we mean?
Transferable skills you get from it
Street fundraising can be a great way to gain loads of different skills. There’s a lot more to it than just getting those sign ups on the piece of paper.
1. Thinking on your feet
“It forces you to be able to think on your feet quickly,” says Zoe. “And dealing with situations as they come up. You’re dealing with a range of people and you have to deal with them appropriately.” And that can help in so many other situations. Like when it comes to job interviews, nothing should phase you.
2. Remembering facts and figures
To be able to answer people’s questions effectively you’ll have to be able to fire out loads of really useful facts and figures at the drop of a hat. This can come in really useful for other jobs where you’re required to make presentations or if you’re trying to remember facts about a company in order to impress them in an interview.
3. Confidence boosting
Having to walk up to people on the street and talk to them about things can really build your confidence. “You have to put yourself out there,” Zoe says. “You can’t be really timid.”
Confidence is really key in so many parts of your life – you’ll perform much better under pressure (like in interviews) and also your CV and cover letters are likely to be much better if you’re confident in your abilities.
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