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Helen & Douglas House
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How We Fundraise

Would you believe that 88p in every £1 that we spend on caring for families comes from people like you?


It costs over £5.2 million to run both hospices each year, and we rely on voluntary donations and public support to keep our doors open. Without your support we simply won't be able to provide the expertise and level of care our families depend on. There are lots of different ways to fundraise and you can find out about the different ways to support us here.



Like many charities, Helen & Douglas House raises funds from individuals in many different ways. These include face-to-face fundraising, telephone fundraising and direct mail. We are aware that these types of fundraising do raise some questions which we hope you will find the answers to here. 

What is face-to-face fundraising?

We use face-to-face fundraising for our regular giving campaigns and our weekly lottery. You may meet one of our fundraisers on your doorstep, in your shopping centre or at a train station. They will talk to you about Helen & Douglas House and give you the opportunity to sign up to a regular donation. These donations are given by Direct Debit on a monthly, quarterly, twice-yearly or annual basis, providing a source of predicatable income.


Our team of face-to-face fundraisers will be out working in the Templars Square Shopping Centre, Oxford and at Oxford train station from Monday 25 August to Saturday 2 September 2017.


Why use face-to-face fundraising?

Helen & Douglas House has used face-to-face fundraising since 2007 and we have found it really works for us. It's a great way to talk to people about what we do and enables us to reach people who may not otherwise have the opportunity so support us. Last year over £400,000 was donated by individuals who signed up to give a few pounds a month after speaking to one of our face-to-face fundraisers on their doorstep or in their local shopping centre.




What is telephone fundraising and why do we do it?

Talking to our supporters is a great way to find out what they think about Helen & Douglas House, to thank them in person and to find out how they want to be involved with the charity's work. Telephone fundraising allows us to do this and to speak directly, and in a personal way, about the work we do and to directly encourage them to keep giving. Anyone not happy with this method of fundraising will be immediately removed from future phone contact.




How do I recognise a genuine Helen & Douglas House fundraiser?

Helen & Douglas House uses an external agency called REAL Fundraising to organise our fundraising teams and campaigns on our behalf.


All fundraisers will be wearing a recognisable Helen & Douglas House over-jacket or t-shirt with our logo clearly on show. Fundraisers will also have a photo ID with their name and fundraiser number, and they will be carrying up-to-date Helen & Douglas House literature. Our face-to-face fundraisers will also be carrying iPads. If you would like confirmation that the fundraiser you’ve met is working legitimately on our behalf, please email or telephone 01865 799150 and we will be happy to verify this for you.


As always, we have our lottery team out and about in our catchment area supporting Helen and Douglas House with Local Hospice Lottery. Meet our Lottery team.



Do Helen & Douglas House employ external agencies?

Yes, we currently employ agencies to work with us on lottery and face-to-face fundraising. The companies we work with have the expertise to run our fundraising campaigns in the most effective way, and at present we do not feel that we could replicate the kind of services that they offer in house.



Are your fundraisers paid commission?

All our face-to-face fundraisers receive a fixed wage or salary. They are required to work towards targets but there is no direct link between the number of people an individual fundraiser signs up and their salary.

How are vulnerable people protected?

We require all agencies to operate under strict guidelines around protecting vulnerable people, and measures including training fundraisers in how to recognise such indivudals, age verification and cooling off periods. All face-to-face sign ups receive a telephone call to give our agency a second opportunity to check new donors are fully aware of what they are agreeing to. Our fundraisers receive additional training to identify vulnerable adults over the age of 75. All gambling based fundraising is bound by strict legislation around under 16s and those with gaming problems.


Who regulates this form of fundraising?

We are registered with the Fundraising Regulator and the Gambling Commission, and are therefore bound by their codes and standards around best practice. We expect that all fundraising agencies that we work with to also be registered with the relevant bodies.



How does Helen & Douglas House deal with feedback and complaints?

As a local charity, we always have to be mindful of how our fundraising is perceived by the public. We respond to complaints promptly and monitor feedback very closely to find a balance between our donors right to not be asked and our need for money. We also get positive comments about our fundraising activities of course and shout about these very loudly!



Do you accept Gifts in Kind?

We are always grateful to our supporters for offering Gifts in Kind and we appreciate that it is not always possible or appropriate to give monetary donations to help us cover the ongoing running costs of the two hospice houses. Although we welcome these offers and certainly do not want to appear ungrateful, we do sometimes have to decline them, or sell the gifts through our shops, or on eBay. The money raised makes a vital contribution to our ongoing costs, such as nursing care.


Some reasons why we may decline gifts in kind include:

  • We have very limited capacity for storage at the hospice houses.
  • The children and young adults using the houses are not always able to use donated items – including toys and treats, such as chocolate - due to their physical limitations and often highly complex conditions. Many have restricted or no digital ability and can have dietary restrictions, or are tube fed.
  • When we undertake a project, such as the Helen House refurbishment, it is not always possible logistically to include donated items within the timescales and plans. Holding up the project for delivery of items, checking sizes/fit etc, storing items whilst waiting for the appropriate stage in the project etc. could cost us valuable time and money. This would in many ways negate the value of the donation. 

Text donation is an easy and simple way to donate. If a service is advertised as a text donation service then the money is taken from your mobile phone account or pre-pay balance and paid to us by your network.

If you make a text donation, we will receive 100% of your donation(s). You may also be charged for one text message each time you text us at your network’s charity or network rate. Always get the bill payers permission. 

If you access the Internet from a mobile phone you may incur data charges. Please ensure that the connection you use is secure and take reasonable security precautions when clicking any URL or filling in any mobile web form that we might send to you.

We use a company called Vir2 to provide a text helpline for dealing with any issues related to text donation services. Call 0330 660 0425. Please do not use this number for contacting the charity – it is purely for any issues that you may have about our text donation services.

Talk to us...

If you happen to meet one of our fundraisers and have any feedback about your experience, we’d love to hear from you.

You can contact Emma on or call the fundraising team on 01865 799150.


We greatly value any comments, as they help ensure our campaigns are as successful and positive as possible, both for Helen & Douglas House and our supporters.


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