Organising a street collection on behalf of Viva! is one of the most direct ways of helping us to combat animal cruelty. And it’s remarkably easy to do! All you need is a bit of preparation, a few like-minded friends to join you, and a free day in your diary.
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First and foremost is to ensure that your activity is all above board and legal. The licensing department of your local council must issue you with a permit, so this must be your first port of call in planning your collection. All councils have slightly different regulations on when you need to apply, so the earlier you contact them the better. Normally they require at least a months notice, but do check! You will need to let them know the date and location, and maybe the number of people along with some information about Viva!
The council will send you the relevant forms and to complete before and after the collection. Some have been know to ask for the return forms to be signed by an accountant to verify the amount collected, but again it depends on the council.
Additionally, Viva! must be aware of your activities. You are likely to have to show you are authorized to collect on our behalf so contact us beforehand and we can send you a ‘Viva! Street Collector’ card.
What to take
Now you’re on top of the admin you can start making sure you have everything you need for the day. Viva! has a vast array of resources which can back up your discussions and give people something to look back over, so get in touch and find out which leaflets/posters/collection tins/booklets/videos/costumes best suit your campaign need. Of course this is only part of it and nothing beats being well informed, articulate and polite to get the important information across.
Possibly the most important leaflet to have in your arsenal is the ‘Join Viva!’ leaflet as these collections are an ideal opportunity to get other people like you on board.
Don’t forget the other items you will need such as clipboards, pens, table, chairs and plastic wallets (for rain).
On the day
Make sure your team are committed to spending the whole day in that location, if not individually, then in shifts. You’ve got the permit for the whole day, you might as well make the most of it! Also, bear in mind the most lucrative time of day is around 10am, so best not have a lie in.
Choose the location wisely, it’s a numbers game and the more people who pass your stall, the more chance you have of success. Be mindful of the clientele in that location, you’re likely to have different result outside Lush than you are McDonalds. And be courteous to the shop you set up in front of – if you’re nice they might let you use their facilities.
Be creative. Attracting attention (in an appropriate way) can be beneficial, and can be a useful icebreaker. Some Viva! street collectors take their dogs and offer a bowl of water for other passing canine friends.
Street collections are not only about getting money, it’s about spreading valuable information and being a voice for animals. That said, a successful day could yield as much as a few hundred pounds towards the cause. So if you feel like this is something you can do, what is stopping you?
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Thank you for your support. Happy campaigning! Good luck!