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Supporter FAQs

Ways you can donate to Shelter

How your gift makes a difference

We put your money towards work that makes a positive and lasting difference. We help millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through our advice, support, and legal services. And we campaign to make sure that one day, no one will have to turn to us for help. We're here so no one has to fight bad housing or homelessness on their own. Find out more about what we do.

How we spend your donation

For every £1 you donate, 79p helps people struggling with bad housing and homelessness. The remaining 21p goes towards raising the next pound to continue our work.

  • 79p is spent directly on helping people through advice, support, and campaigning

  • 21p is spent on fundraising

Pie chart shows that for every £1 you donate: 79p is spent directly on helping people through advice, support, and campaigning and 21p is spent on fundraising

Gift Aid

About Gift Aid

If you’re a UK taxpayer, Gift Aid increases the value of your charity donations by allowing charities to reclaim the basic rate of tax on your gift at no extra cost to you. That’s an additional 25p for every £1 you give. Visit our Gift Aid page for further information.

How to Gift Aid your donation

You can make a Gift Aid declaration over the phone by speaking to our Supporter Helpdesk team on 0300 330 1234. Check if Shelter has a current Gift Aid Declaration on record for you.

Please contact us on 0300 330 1234 or, and we can confirm whether we have a valid gift a declaration on file for you.

Managing your Direct Debit and regular payments

Increase, reduce, or cancel your Direct Debit

You can change the amount and frequency of your regular gift by contacting our Supporter Helpdesk on 0300 330 1234 or

Cancel your regular gift

We're sorry to hear you would like to cancel your gift. Please contact our Supporter Helpdesk on 0300 330 1234 or and they will be able to help. It would help us if you can tell them why you need to cancel, as there might be other options that would suit you better.

Direct Debit guarantee

The Direct Debit Guarantee (or the ‘Direct Debit Indemnity’) is the Direct Debit scheme's customer protection and one of the main reasons the scheme is so popular. As a supporter of Shelter, the Direct Debit Guarantee protects you against payments made in error or fraudulently, making Direct Debit the UK's safest payment method. For more information see Direct Debit's official website.

Manage your text donations and communications

Unsubscribe from texts

If you have donated by text, from time to time we’d like to get in touch to tell you about our work and how you can help us make a difference. You can opt out from these calls or texts at any time.

  • to unsuscribe from texts text 'NOTHANKS' to 70007

You can also call our supporter helpdesk on 0300 330 1234 to tell us how we should keep in touch with you.

Skip a text donation

We’ll send you a free reminder message the day before your gift is due. The following day, when your gift is given, you’ll receive another message thanking you for your donation.

If you’d prefer not to give for a month, reply ‘SKIP’ within 24 hours of receiving the first text message. We won’t take your donation for that month.

Don’t worry if your phone is out of range or switched off when we send the first text. We’ll only take your gift 24 hours after we know that your phone has received our message.

Cancel your text donation

To stop your monthly text donations, all you need to do is text us.

  • If you’re donating £3 per month, text STOP to 70007

  • If you’re donating £5 per month, text STOP to 70025

  • You can also call our supporter helpdesk on 0300 330 1234 to tell us how we should keep in touch with you

How Shelter raises money

Face-to-face street, and door-to-door fundraising

The benefits of face-to-face fundraising

Face-to-face (F2F) fundraising is an extremely effective way for us to raise vital funds to help us continue our work. It means that our fundraisers can highlight our important work helping people who face bad housing and homelessness to people who we may not otherwise speak to.

We’re proud of our fundraisers and hold them to the highest standards of conduct and professionalism. In 2018 our in-house fundraisers helped us attract over 22,000 new supporters of Shelter.

Where we fundraise

Our teams work on high streets and in shopping centres, as well as going door-to-door throughout England and Scotland. We have teams based in London, Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Leeds and Glasgow.

Paying our fundraisers

Shelter is a Living Wage employer. We pay all of our F2F fundraisers an hourly rate, which at the least meets the Real Living Wage as determined by the Living Wage. Our in-house fundraisers may also receive small incentive payments based on hitting certain targets – however, they do not receive commission for people they sign-up to support Shelter.

Using agencies

We work with several professional fundraising agencies across England who carry out fundraising campaigns on our behalf. These agencies promote our Weekly Lottery and secure long-term regular donations from supporters. They operate door-to-door, as well as in public spaces such as stores, shopping centres and train stations. We regularly train our agency fundraisers and carry out observations to ensure you have the best conversations about our work.

We can’t end the housing emergency alone. Working with agencies who have the same beliefs and values as ours means we can talk to more people who can join our fight for housing justice. Have you met one of our fundraisers recently? Tell us what you thought at

How to tell if a fundraiser is genuine

All Shelter fundraisers have an ID badge, which includes their name, as well as the Shelter and Institute of Fundraising logos. They also wear branded clothing. If you’d like to check whether the person you spoke to was genuine, then you can get in touch with our Supporter Helpdesk on 0300 330 1234 or at, and we will be able to confirm that for you.

Is F2F fundraising regulated?

Yes. Shelter is a member of the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) and is registered with the Fundraising Regulator. All of our fundraisers are trained to adhere to the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Fundraising Practice and rulebooks which are monitored and enforced by the IoF’s Compliance Directorate.

We are regularly mystery shopped on behalf of the IoF Compliance Directorate, ensuring that our fundraisers uphold our standards. The IoF Compliance Directorate has site-management agreements with over 100 local authorities, regulating access to towns and cities throughout Great Britain. Find out more about the work of the IoF Compliance Directorate here.

Telephone fundraising

Why we use telephone fundraising

Telemarketing is one of the many ways we communicate with supporters. It remains one of the most cost-effective means to engage supporters and update existing ones. You may receive a call from Shelter or one of the agencies we work with. This means you may see these numbers appear on your phone:

Ethicall: 0117 463 7278
QTS: 07458122846
Shelter's inhouse team: 0114 229 1334

We rely on the generosity of individuals and organisations to help us continue our work, which means embracing all forms of communication to reach different people. We understand that some people would prefer not to be called and we take care to record contact preferences, so if this applies, please contact us on 0300 330 1234 or to update your details.

What to expect during a telephone call

Telephone operators will make it clear they are raising funds for Shelter and the purpose of the call. Telephone operators will declare how much the campaign costs and the benefits to Shelter.

If you don't wish to give contact or bank details over the phone, you can request a paper form in the post. All Direct Debits created or updated on the phone are covered by the Direct Debit Guarantee. Calls may be recorded for training purposes.

Appeal mailings

Benefits of appeal mailings

Mailings to supporters are a key part of how we raise funds and update our supporters with the work we do. Writing to supporters helps us to keep costs low and, for every £1 we spent, we generate £5.12 in funds that are spent on our work.

Appeals for support cost approximately 66p per mailing, which includes the creative design, printing and posting.

We sometimes send fundraising appeals to potential supporters who are not already on Shelter’s database, and who we believe may be interested in supporting the work Shelter does.

If you would prefer not to receive our appeals, or would like to change the frequency at which they are sent to you, please contact us on 0300 330 1234 or

Why our mailings are so emotive

We often highlight the challenge facing thousands of families struggling with homelessness and bad housing by including the experiences of some of the people we have helped in our newsletters and appeals for support. Everyone who is featured in our appeals has agreed to appear, and are often very passionate about sharing their experiences to ensure that others don’t have to go through the same.

If you would prefer not to receive our appeals or would like to change the frequency of which they are sent to you, please contact us on 0300 330 1234 or

Why did I receive a follow up mailing even though I donated?

Thank you for your recent gift to Shelter – we really do appreciate it. We apologise for contacting you so soon after you sent a donation. Our appeals are often prepared weeks in advance of posting and it’s likely that there was not time to prevent the second letter being sent out once your donation was processed.

If you would like us to check that your gift has been received or update your details, please contact us on 0300 330 1234 or

Updates from Shelter

How to get updates from us

To sign up for fundraising and campaigning please contact us on 0300 330 1234 or

All emails from Shelter are delivered from an email address ending in: If you are unsure if an email is really from Shelter, please contact our Supporter Helpdesk:

Updating your details

To inform us of a change to your details, please contact us on 0300 330 1234 or

Removing a deceased relative from your mailing list

To update the record of a deceased loved one please contact our Supporter Helpdesk on 0300 330 1234 or, and they will be able to assist you with this.

Removing yourself from our communication lists

We are sorry to hear you don’t want to continue receiving our fundraising and campaigning communications. Please contact us on 0300 330 1234 or

The information we collect about you

The personal information we collect from you in order to process your gift or campaign action may include name, date of birth, email address, postal address, telephone number and credit/debit card details. We may also use publicly available information or data from third parties. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.

We also gather general information about the use of our websites using cookies, such as which pages users visit most often and which services, events or facilities are of most interest.

We also track which pages users visit when they click on links in Shelter emails. We may use this information to personalise the way our communications are presented to contacts and supporters, to make improvements to our websites and to ensure we provide the best service.

Wherever possible, we use aggregated or anonymous information which does not identify individual visitors to our websites. Please see our cookies policy for more information.

How we use this information

We will use your personal information to provide you with the information or services you have requested and if you are happy for us to do so, we would like to be able to keep you up to date with our work and contact you about our fundraising and campaigning activities.

To make sure we’re contacting you in the most appropriate way, we may analyse your information to help tailor the content we share with you. For example, we may use your postcode to send you information about events and campaigns in your area.

We may need to share your information with our third-party suppliers for the purposes outlined above. We may use a third-party company to manage mailings for fundraising appeals and campaigns, to conduct research surveys, or for storage of your personal information on our behalf. We actively screen and monitor these companies to maximise the protection of your privacy and security.

They are only permitted to use the data in accordance with relevant data protection legislation, under strict instructions from Shelter, and in accordance with a data processing agreement entered into between Shelter and the supplier.

We do not share, swap or sell your details to any other charity or company for the purpose of their raising funds or sending you marketing materials.

How we protect your personal information

We use secure servers when you make a donation or payment via our websites.

All sensitive payment data that we collect through these forms is protected in encrypted databases. We take appropriate measures to ensure that the personal information disclosed to us is kept secure, accurate and up to date, and that it is only kept for so long as is necessary for the purposes for which it is used.

Our complaints procedure

If you feel you would like to make a complaint about Shelter’s fundraising activities, please contact our Supporter Helpdesk on 0300 330 1234 or

They will work with the relevant Senior Fundraising Manager to respond within 10 working days for a non-service complaint, or within 15 working days for a service complaint.

We’re here for everyone, but only with your help