At REAL, we believe that our Fundraisers are the backbone of the company. All of us behind the scenes, with only a couple of exceptions started our careers as either telephone, street, private-site or door to door Fundraisers. So whether we are a shareholder or a member of the senior management or office support team, we have an understanding of how fundraising works at grassroots level. We believe this gives us insight into a charity fundraising campaign where it matters most: the prospective donors we have conversations with. These value-based conversations are where a fundraising campaign truly takes shape and our passionate, charity-focussed Fundraisers are the key to us creating the best return of investment in face-to-face fundraising campaigns in the industry, in every region of the United Kingdom.
With Respect, Ethics Activism and Love.
James Davis, REAL Fundraising MD
When we decided to create a new fundraising company in 2009, it was incredibly important to us that we had a clear vision and a sturdy set of values that would carry us into a new decade and beyond, successfully, sustainably, ethically and effectively. Our company values are an important part of the REAL culture - and the REAL culture is an expression of the individuals who live these values. To say they are important is to undervalue them. These values, this vision, define us.
Following on from our Runners up place in 2018/19 REAL is incredibly proud to have been nominated as finalists for 4 categories in the Business Culture Awards 2020.
- Brand, Purpose & Values
- Small Business(less than 250 employees)
- Corporate Social Responsibility
- Culture in a crisis (Less than 500 employees)
REAL are incredibly proud to have been announced winners for the Business Culture Award for Small Business 2020/21 and to have been awarded a Highly Commended award for Brand, Purpose & Values.
So what is the REAL vision? Quite simply, we are out to change the world. No small task, we think you'll agree! How many times do we watch the news in horror as we witness the global abuses of human rights, we see that poverty isn't yet history, we see politicians afraid to tackle the causes of climate change and we see devastating problems like homelessness in our own supposedly developed country? How many people know these things need changing, but feel they don't have the drive or skills to participate in changing them?
That’s where REAL Fundraising comes in – we help people feel empowered to change the world by being a charity supporter. We know that the front line of positive change worldwide is the incredible project work carried out by our charity and NPO partners. We also know that this cannot be achieved effectively without sustainable, long-term funding. Providing this is our contribution to the positive change we want to see.
REAL is about being solution driven. We only employ people who we feel have both the values and the drive. Then we just help them learn the skills. Real problems, Real solutions, REAL fundraisers. We didn’t choose our name REAL lightly, it serves to keep us focussed on what we are here to achieve for our clients:
Return on investment, using
Ethical methods, which are
Analysis driven, so we can ensure
So if our vision is to change the world for the better, then our values are integral to achieving this. We asked our fundraisers to think about what being REAL means to them and how this reflects our values day-to-day. They said that we are about; Respect, Ethics, Activism and Love. These four principles are our fundraiser’s core values, informing the way in which they talk to future donors and inspiring them to feel empowered and positive about their crucial role in the positive change we all want to see. This is why we always try to keep it REAL!
Respect for our charity partners.
Ethics; embracing a responsible attitude to everything we do.
Activism; creating positive change one sign-up at a time.
Love for our jobs and the people and causes we help.
As an organisation, REAL Fundraising is committed to having a positive social impact in the world and we share the aims of our charity partners in wanting to improve the conditions that many people face in the world today. We would hope that all businesses would share this desire and adapt their business practices accordingly. REAL Fundraising feels that any business can make a profit without compromising basic human ethics. In order to encourage ethical business practices, we participate and encourage ethical consumer boycotts of the worst offenders in the marketplace as identified by long-standing, respected sources. The source we currently refer to is www.ethicalconsumer.org
To reflect the interests of our workforce and charity partners, we boycott the worst offenders in each of 4 categories: Human Rights, Animal Cruelty, Environment and Developing Countries. We will not use any of the boycotted companies products in our office or field operations, or allow any company re-imbursements of expenses incurred in buying these products. We have also been clear with our staff about our reasons why, in order to raise awareness of these issues and empower people to think about their own consumer choices. This said, we are absolutely optimistic that companies can and do change policies in response to public concern and we will be pleased to lift any boycotts when we see evidence of sufficient improvement. We shall be monitoring respected ethical consumer organisations in order to track the progress of these companies and very much hope to replace the organisations on our boycott list, with other deserving companies! We have written to each of the companies on our list, explaining that we have decided not to do business with them, giving them clear reasons and giving them a right to respond.
Here is our current boycott list:
- KFC, Kentucky Fried Chicken
- Coca Cola
James Davis - Director of Innovation
James started as a doorstep fundraiser in 2001 and has a vast experience of face to face fundraising. He set up the successful Residential operation for DialogueDirect UK (DDUK) in 2004, which within 6 months became the largest and most productive fundraising operation in London, with some of the best attrition rates seen in the industry. He then grew the overall operation in DDUK to the point where, at its peak, up to 3,800 regular givers and 7,000 prospective donors were being signed up each week. James reduced attrition and improved quality within the company by recognising the importance of excellent profiling of donors and sites and introducing new quality benchmarks across all campaigns. James' new role focussing on Innovation across the business shall allow REAL to deliver new, exciting, interactive and innovative campaigns that always uphold our core values.
Liam McEntegart - Client Services Director
A Geology graduate, Liam moved from Australia to the UK in his early twenties looking to pursue an ethical career. He joined DialogueDirect UK in 2005 and began his career as a street Fundraiser on the pavements and private sites around London. Liam excelled as Fundraiser and Team Leader and soon forged a reputation for developing high quality, productive fundraising teams. This reputation was enhanced even further as Liam became a coach and then Residential Manager. Liam is regarded as one of the finest managers in the sector and has managed up to 25 quality focussed teams. From an early point in his managerial career, Liam demonstrated great ability in managing the connection between field and client and therefore his transition into Client Services was the natural next step in his career.
Lewis Honney - Managing Director
Lewis began his career in fundraising as a doorstep fundraiser, just three weeks after the Managing Director, James Davis in 2001. In his long career in the industry, Lewis has managed successful Doorstep fundraising operations for various fundraising agencies and in 2009 spearheaded a new national doorstep operation for DialogueDirect UK. Lewis has also been instrumental in implementing the sites profiling strategy at REAL Fundraising. In 2010 Lewis moved into the role of HR Director and was responsible for maintaining our best employment practice, company payroll and account objectives. Since late 2019 Lewis has brought his high standards to the position of Managing Director. With a background in HR and his previous extensive experience in operational management, Lewis seamlessly manages a high-performance culture which also emphasises empowerment, quality, productivity and REAL standards.