REAL Fundraising (2019)

REAL Fundraising was formed in 2009 from a desire to create the most ethical fundraising agency in the industry. They work to inspire members of the public to become committed financial supporters of represented charities through face-to-face fundraising. To develop long-standing, trusting relationships with these clients and thus maximise ROI for the charities, they needed a company built on the foundations of the strongest possible cultural values.

These values were embedded into REAL’s identity: Respect, Ethics, Activism and Love.

"They needed a company built on foundations of the strongest possible cultural values"

To put these into action, they began by giving a proportion of early profits to a good cause with a close connection to a staff member: a hostel for children in India. They then formed the REAL ETHICAL GROUP (REG) comprising 6 representatives of business operations. REG meets regularly to ensure cultural values remain at the forefront of the organisation’s actions, feeding back the outcomes at the Senior Management Team meeting.

REG decides on the allocation of the REAL EMERGENCY FUND, a sum of money formed from voluntary contributions of 10% of staff bonuses and donations from REAL. Half of this fund goes to emergency appeals such as the Grenfell Tower Tragedy, and half goes to 3 charities voted on by staff.

The positive impact of living strong cultural values has been immense for clients. Cancellation rates sit at about half of the wider industry. For street fundraising the average complaint rate is 0.049% but REAL’s is 0.001%, for door fundraising the industry average is 0.022% and REAL’s is 0.0024% and for private site fundraising REAL’s figures of 0.0012% trump the industry average of 0.18% complaints. They currently work with 8 clients who have stayed for a combined total of 26 years, and have renewed or extended their contracts over 50 times. In the past 18 months alone, they have regretfully had to turn down 39 charities due to full capacity.