Telephone fundraising at Sustrans

Our fundraisers play a vital role in raising awareness and recruiting new supporters for Sustrans.

Who called me on 0117 463 2029?

This call was from Sustrans' telephone fundraising team, operated on our behalf by our partner, Ethicall.

Like Sustrans, Ethicall are registered with the Fundraising Regulator and so are held to the fundraising code of practice. 

Telephone fundraising through Ethicall is a cost-effective way for us to raise much-needed income and to connect with our supporters.

All of our telephone fundraising activity is managed by the Sustrans fundraising team.

Who are Ethicall? 

Ethicall are a telephone fundraising agency based in Bristol. They are one of our key fundraising partners with whom we have a long-standing relationship. Ethicall specialises in ethical telephone fundraising, just for charities.

Frequently asked questions



Why are you carrying out a telephone appeal?

Telephone fundraising is a way for us to connect with our supporters and have enjoyable conversations. It helps them understand the work we do at Sustrans and how we can achieve more together. As well as being a cost-effective way to raise funds to support our long-term charitable work, telephone fundraising also allows supporters to make informed decisions about their donations.

During these calls, we also welcome feedback and questions from supporters and users of the National Cycle Network. If the caller can't answer a question, they pass that on to our Supporter Care Team, who will then reach out to the supporter to provide the necessary information. Ethicall help us stay connected to our supporters and users of the Network.

We don’t do any cold calling. All of the people we contact by telephone will have had a previous interaction with Sustrans, when they supplied us with their telephone number.


Are the telephone agency fundraisers paid?

Yes, our professional fundraisers are paid a living wage to fundraise on our behalf. They are always paid a set hourly rate and are not working on a commission model. We do this to ensure that our fundraisers are motivated by our cause and not by monetary incentives. Our fundraisers are not given personal financial targets.

We follow the strict codes of practice set out by the Fundraising Regulator. As a charity we are ever-mindful of how we use our resources. We only use paid fundraisers where the number of donations we receive vastly outweighs the cost of paying the fundraisers, ensuring this is an effective way to raise funds.


Why are you spending money on a telephone fundraising agency?

Across the board of all our fundraising activity, Sustrans raises £2.88 for every £1 spent on fundraising. When working with Ethicall, we invest £6.05 for every contact made.

By working with Ethicall, and their friendly, skilled professional fundraisers, we are able to build stronger and more meaningful relationships with our supporters.


What if I don't want to be called or have any questions or comments?

We are grateful to everyone who takes the time to speak to us, but we do understand that not everybody likes to be called.

If you do not wish to be contacted in this way, or have any further questions, just let us know by contacting our Supporter Care team by emailing or calling 0300 303 2604.


Why have you passed my personal details to Ethicall? 

We take data privacy seriously, and we will never share or sell your information to any third party for marketing purposes. You can trust that providing your details to Sustrans will not result in receiving offers from other companies or organizations. 

Ethicall are a third-party partner that support us in the delivery of our telephone fundraising work. By working with Ethicall, and their friendly, skilled professional fundraisers, we are able to build stronger and more meaningful relationships with our supporters.  

Please be assured that we make all reasonable efforts to keep your personal details secure. We only share your information with carefully selected suppliers or professional agents, like Ethicall, who work on our behalf, and share information with them only when we are confident that they will handle it responsibly and securely. To further safeguard your data, we have a contractual agreement in place with Ethicall, assuring their compliance with data protection standards.  

Ethicall is under strict instruction from us, and we remain the data controller. This means that we retain control over how your data is used and ensure that it aligns with our privacy policy. We are committed to following the regulations set by the relevant data protection laws. 

The use of suppliers and professional agents, such as Ethicall, is motivated by the efficiency and cost-effectiveness it brings to our fundraising efforts. This practice helps us preserve valuable resources, enabling us to focus more on our core mission and make a positive impact. 

You can read our fundraising promise, linked here and find our privacy notice for supporters, linked here.  


Is it safe to give my bank details to a fundraiser?

All of our fundraisers are trained thoroughly to ensure they are compliant with GDPR. The devices we use to sign up new donors use an encrypted system to ensure maximum security.

One of the benefits of donating via Direct Debit is that you are protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee. This means if there’s an error with your direct debit then you’re entitled to a full and immediate refund.

If you set up a Direct Debit with us, you will receive written confirmation which will include a copy of the Direct Debit Guarantee and our contact details. You will then get a 10 working day cooling off period to cancel your Direct Debit, or you can cancel your Direct Debit with us at a later date by contacting our Supporter Care team at


Is there another way I can donate?  

Yes. We completely understand that some people do not feel comfortable giving their information over the phone or would like some time after the call to think about donating.  

There are a variety of ways you can donate to Sustrans. 

  1. Securely online here.  
  1. Over the phone with our Supporter Care Team on 0300 303 2604. 
  1. By sending a cheque to our offices at 2 Cathedral Square, Bristol, BS1 5DD, addressed to Supporter Care.  

If you have supported us in the past, please include your name, postcode and supporter number (this will help us make sure your donation is registered and attributed correctly).  

If you are a new supporter or this is your first donation with us, please include your full name and contact details (this can be phone number, email address, or address). One of our friendly Supporter Care team may reach out to you once we’ve received this to confirm your contact preferences and gift aid status. 


What if I have been called and wish to make a complaint?

We aim to ensure that all our calls are positive experiences for our supporters. However, if you do have a complaint, you can contact our Supporter Care team by emailing or calling 0300 303 2604.


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