Why do people hate chuggers?Voici quelques uns des commentaires laissés par les lecteurs :
Chugging, or street fundraising, is hated by the general public, as well as local businesses and government. Paul MacInnes attempts to find out why
I hate them because very little of the money actually goes to the charity in question. The chuggers are mostly employed by fundraising agencies, and their commission is often more than 90% of the money they collect.
I can't stand the insincere little toss bags. Getting paid to guilt trip money out of people all day, they make me sick. And what with their ridiculous techniques to try to ensnare you, jumping out at you, waving their arms about, or asking you stupid, obvious inane questions, or pathetically emotive ones. They should be treated as beggars and moved along. Cattle prodding is to good for them.
One chugger shouted after me in the street, along the lines of "do you know how many puppies will die if you don't sign up". I should have gone back and decked him...
Surely they're no more hated than anyone who tries to grab you in the street to sell you something? It's just the intrusive sales tactics, nothing to do with what they're actually selling. (And to be honest, I hate pushy sales people in shops almost as much, but I guess they've got a small amount of justification, as you're on their turf).
Why? Easy. They're paid £50-60 per day, maybe more. Just how many punters need to sign up before any of the money finds it's way to a good cause? It's nothing more than begging, using the usual emotional blackmail, but given a patina of respectability by the fluorescent gilets and recognisable charity badges. Also, some of the twerps who do this need to realise that people who don't have the time or inclination to listen to their spiel perhaps don't necessarily avoid giving their money or time to charity, so perhaps should drop the snarky 'thank you' parting shot. Lunch breaks are short, people are busy, and there are more effective ways to assist charities.
The sanctimonious explanation given by the chugger in the video as to why people hate them is a good example of how annoying they can be. Most of them seem polite enough as long as you acknowledge their request though I have run into a few annoying ones who try to keep pace with you along the street. There's also the fact that you normally have to run a 'gauntlet' of 3/4 of them spread out in a row along the footpath.
When asked by said Chugger 'Excuse me Sir/Mate/Luv , do you have a minute?' I l always reply 'Yes thank you" and cary on walking.
I'd love to see some statistics on the amount of charitable giving in the UK over recent years. My guess is that charitable giving has increased considerably with a big increase in internet giving. I think the problem we have here, and this is an issue that annoys people, is that we have a charitable industry being created that as some posters already point out, raises major questions over where "your" money will go if you hand it over in the street. Does your cash go to the charity's offical purpose? Or go on "administration"? Or go on employing chuggers? As both main parties are keen to expand the role of charities in the future, I think it will be interesting to see what happens with the number of chuggers appearing on the streets.
Its the business plan that bothers me, the agency keeping most of the money and making interest out of the rest for a financial year. Its incredibly parasitic and cynical, and I find the implication that the chuggers themselves are unpaid volunteers to be dishonest. I'm not concerned by tactics, as I give them a flat "no" before they even start - I see no point in being rude for no reason, so I don't blank them, but I'm also not going to waste my time and theirs with insincere apologies. I'll happily chuck spare change into a bucket, but I'll never sign anything or give away details and I wouldn't commit to regular donations anyway in this or any other economic climate. They'd do better with a bucket.
At first they were kind of novel, and it was/ is, a way to learn summat about "good causes", and I have chatted to a few chuggers; but that was back in my carefree early 30s, when living in laid-back Brizzle. Now as a busy Londonner and a sometimes put-upon Dad, in my grumpy 40s, I just don't have the time as I'm running for the tube, or the inclination. And besides, not all causes are equal. I couldn't give a toss about mangy old moggies, but I do give to Oxfam and Amnesty, and it didn't take a chugger to sign me up to them.
Let me see? Could it be that they are everywhere and you can't safely leave the office for coffee/lunch/meeting without meeting one. Could it be the insincere flattery about hair/clothes/smile in vain attempt to get you stop. Could it be the multicoloured yet interchangeable tabards that surely disguise the same person you saw last week selling a different charity. Or could it be their absolute inability to understand that I choose which charity to support and for how much and do so with every penny going direct!
You regularly find chuggers patrolling Park Street in Bristol. And don't think you can cross the road to avoid them - they usually work in pairs on both sides of the street. I once got stopped four times in one lunch hour. In the end I was practically running down the middle of the road windmilling my arms around. The thing is if they were collecting change, I might donate. I'm just not keen on handing over my bank details to a complete stranger. They can cut the cheery "Hey! How are you today" bull as well. We all know they're only being nice because they want our money.
I just blank them. I've only lost my wig twice, once when I was asked if I "Grew my own beard" (resp : "tosser") And once when I was stopped for a cancer charity. I did the usual blank, and he responded with "You wouldn't feel that way if you knew someone with cancer". I was actually walking up to the general hospital to pick up my girlfriend who was having chemotherapy. He wasn't to know that, but that doesn't make it any less of a horrible thing to say. I blew my top, a minute of shouty nastyness ensued, I pushed him, and he fell. It remains the only time in my 36 years when I've reacted to something with violence. But from day to day, I just completely blank them. They're stopping me while I'm walking the streets of my hometown, and hassling me for money - so I don't see why I should have to be polite to them. Most of them work for a company called "dialogue direct" have a look at their website. If you're really bothered by them, you should write to the charities they're collecting for, expressing how disappointed you are.
I dislike them personally. The money you end up signing away has to go to their wages. I've known several people who worked for a fundraising agency - I know for a fact that none of them give a shite what they are raising money for, it's just another commission to chase. I'm sure this isn't the case for every single chugger, but I do think it applies to the majority. I don't really want to pay the wages of these people, so I would rather give directly to a charity. As someone has pointed out above, an aggressive sales technique designed to not let you speak for several minutes and then guilt trip you for wasting their time when you don't sign up is bound to annoy people. However, despite all that, there is no doubt that chugging revenues are important to charities. I think therefore most useful thing you can do is get the full sales pitch from a chugger, and then if you are interested go and seek out the charity's website and donate directly to them. That way they get all of your cash, instead of a small percentage.
Oh, and forgot to mention the chugger that opened his spiel with "You've got a conscience, haven't you mate?" "No, I'm a robot. Bye."
What bothers me is always the implication that the effective prevention of child poverty, animal cruelty and leukaemia actually comes down to me wearing a sticker and parting with my last bits of silver. I just struggle with the idea that third world poverty is genuinely being best served by handing stickers out in a hi-visibility sash, and posting the odd tin of 20ps to an office above a video shop in Plumstead.
Just confront them with "Look m8, just forget about your comms and I may hand over some money for your favourite charity" see how quickly the conversation falls flat then.....
Reading these comments, I am a bit aghast to know just how much goes to the fundraisers. Have been giving to 3 of them, almost £50 pm, and all through chuggers - if I had known that the agencies keep so much, would never have given them anything and gone direct.
Beacuse they do not embody the spirit of charity and giving. Because they are often rude, insulting and confrontational. Because they harrass people, do not take no for an answer and chase you through the street. Other than bus drivers, they are the rudest people I have ever had the misfortune to come across. Is that a good enough reason?
It's fine to have a go at the chuggers, for all the reasons outlined above, but charities need ways to raise money and, like it or not, street fundraising is a very effective route, even taking account of the upfront cost when using an agency. Unfortunately very few of us spontaneously give to charities, we generally have to be asked. Unfortunately again this costs money, that dreaded admin that gets so many people exercised about when it comes to charity fundraising. Street fundraising doesn't just bring in short term income, it helps charities recruit more long term supporters, which is the holy grail for so many of them. It costs a lot of money up front, and comes with the very real risk of alienating a lot of people for the benefit of recruiting a small number. It's been an area of intense debate for many years within the charity world, and many charities have stopped using it, but no-one has come up with a better way of recruiting younger donors. Online giving has expanded hugely over the last few years but it is still small beer compared to more traditional ways of giving, and actually requires even more investment up front. Charities need to be more honest about how money is spent to raise money, but we the giving public need to be more honest and accepting about their need to spend money. It's all too easy to rationalise not giving to charity by saying all of the money donated is spent on admin, but that simply isn't the case. Most charities spend between 10 and 15% of what they raise on administration, the rest goes to the cause. The flipside of that is that any charity which says it doesn't spend anything on admin isn't being completely honest. Regular giving is a commitment, so it is worth having a look at the charity's annual report, which should be available on their website, before you make that commitment.
I have no problems with chuggers. If you don't want to talk to them, just walk on by. I'm not sure where 'blighty' has got the 'implication that they are unpaid'. If you have been told that by a fundraiser on the street, then take his/her badge number and speak to the Fundraising Standards Board, but don't act so shocked that they are paid. It's expecting a bit much from someone to think they are standing on the street asking for money on a voluntary basis, isn't it. All fundraising costs money. Websites, mailings, phone calls, everything. But it clearly works. Do you think that some of the biggest, most professionally run organisations in the country would use chuggers if they weren't making money from them?
I dislike running the 'gauntlet of guilt' but there's an upside. Find a cute one, pretend you're really concerned about their 'cause' and flirt shamelessly. I'm a 50-year-old male and it's not often I get approached by delightful young women in their 20s...the best bit is their reaction when they realise that I've been stringing them along. Is that unfair? I don't think so - they're the ones who make the approach so it's tuff luck sweetheart!
I agree with christelle. My home town of Reading is regularly filled with four to six chuggers pestering you for the same cause. If it was one person I'd be inclined to say 'sorry, not interersted', but because you get 'approached' by all of them my attitude is to ignore them completely. I end up zig-zagging up the street to avoid them, and actively don't support any charities that use this approach.
Best response you can give them when they ask Do you have a minute? is to reply Do you want my time or my money? This usually baffles them for enough time for you to walk past. If they then say oh just your time a response, good I have lots of time by very little money works a treat.
Just give them a wild stare and shout "Fish!". They tend to back off...
Most of them work for a company called "dialogue direct" have a look at their website.
The UK arm went into liquidation last year, apparently. http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/news/949042/dialogue-direct-fundraising-uk-goes-into-liquidation
I sometimes get the impression that "chuggers" have pre-concieved ideas about people before they speak to them. In which case, should they be doing the job in the first place? I've met some really friendly people who've given me some useful information about their charity work. However I get the impression that some have a bit of a God complex when it comes the understanding of their given charitable cause. If I was doing the job myself, (which I would be rubbish at), I would ask myself, why has that person put their head down and turned away. Again, I get the impression that many of the people I have met are quite insular in their understanding of the world and of people in general as they approach them. Can you really sell a profession on the word mugging. It's not really a joke is it?
Because charities should be run ethically. And instead they employ people to walk the streets to bully people into donating, which is most likely to work on the most vulnerable members of society. That's why I hate them.
I think the general direction of this article is quite agreeable. Some of the above comments completely reaffirm the aforementioned needless hostility; "I should have gone back and decked him..." and the constant use of the word "hate". Some of the reasons that have been given above are slightly superficial and are masking deeper problems that are an inevitable sociological factors of our culture's underlying philosophical issues and Britain's political ideologies (for instance, the angle in the clip is individualism and the private sphere). Two disregarded, and perhaps more cynical explanations, are the public's general resentment for anyone who believes practical and theoretical ethics, ecology, religion and political philosophy have a place outside of class rooms and debating halls. This is some kind of ironic liberal dogma...The slightest moral judgement sounds to most people like a lack of tolerance that they think is entailed by cultural relativism, a misguided theory last popularly held by pre-fifties anthropologists! It could also be a resentment for students, young people, people who challenge their pre-verified basic beliefs about the world - for instance, when people get nervous around vegans, political demonstrators who don?t just do it because of youthful sense of thrill and just about anyone who cares about things they feel too guilty to consider... And a bundle of other common prejudices that are not based on rational assumptions (yes, some may be). Sadly, people think these workers are egoists, or even worse, smart-arsed grifters, but the fact is, even if they pocketed 90%, at least they contribute slightly towards something that they think is important, and yes, such things are "pathetically emotive" and "obvious", but that does not mean that such things are not important in an objective (not absolute or universal) sense. It may be a job rather than a purely altruistic cause, but it is still helping more than working in almost anywhere else on the high street they stand on. How many people will think this and tell themselves 'I know more than them about world politics', 'I am already a vegan', 'I already give to a charity', but do not know exactly how ineffective their charity is, or how consequentially flawed their principles are? It's this esoteric reaction that maintains an inability to overcome understandable ignorance, such as the consequences of where you buy your clothes, lunch, and pharmaceuticals. No one can only promote good or right consequences (whatever your teleological values are), nor assess the outcomes of every action. However, it is clear that you don't have to be a rule-worshipping deontologist or hedonist because of these human limits! you can instead uphold principles that can be constantly held up to challenge and can evolve through philosophical dialogue... oh yes, but you only have an hour lunch break so you can't.... please. You do not have to have a PHD in philosophy or read that much more than the guardian or other insulated pompous nonsense to do such things, just drop the defensive attitude and consider that the annoying chuggers and their tedious tactics may actually be highlighting things that you do not fully understand. A less sceptical and more open mindset does not mean that you are a hippy with little epistemic basis and a childish sense of social injustice. Moral laziness occurs when we use unconsidered, yet reasonable sounding arguments to silence our moral emotions, such as those concerning the flaws of religion, relativism, evolutionary theory, egoism, determinism and the attitude of all or nothing - 'what's the point - I can't change things'... Such things may be very reasonable, but whenever I hear people's wacky arguments for why, say, they have chosen to adopt a Nozick or Hayek-sounding view on the free market, it?s based on misconstrued historical information, and what someone even less intellectually motivated told them.. many journalists talking about things that they are unqualified in, which is fine, but then act as though they are an authority...take the time to look at these things yourselves.. Do not read extreme attention grabbing books by Singer and Chomsky and then go the other way either, weigh it all up. Although I am not denying that the chuggers are flawed in the same way, I am claiming that maybe we should be more mitigating when moaning about their 'selfishness' and cheek.
So many predictable and one-sided comments here so far. My theory of street fundraising is based on my own experience. I signed up to two charities in the street because I supported both causes and never got round to do anything about it. If you have been meaning to give to a / the charity you will stop, and if you are too stingy to give you don't. .If you don't give, you will complain about the method of fundraising and if you do you won't. Simple as that! It is so easy to blame the fact that street fundraisers are paid as a reason not to give, but why are we all so pious and bloody mean? Do we all want chairtable causes to raise as much dosh for their chosen cause as possible? Yes we do! Do we like being targeted at? No we don't! That is the nub of it. When you consider that the average person in the UK gives less than one per cent of their annual income (that is 0.9p in every pound) charities should be allowed to ask us to give more without being attacked. Average giving has fallen by 11% in amount given and the number of people giving has fallen by 2% which shows that chairities do need to ask us even more, and if that means pay people to do so then so be it. Bear in mind that the street fundraisers are normally asking us to give £10 per month. That is less than 30p a day. It is peanuts! Yet, £240million - or therabouts - was raised from the street last year, so it clearly does work. I hate them because very little of the money actually goes to the charity in question.
says @jonbyrce, but do you or we ask the same question to Tesco's about how much of our money goes to the farmer when we pay the cashier for the 6 pints of milk that we have just bought? No we don't! As I have said earlier, I believe that when it comes to giving we tend to give to charities where there is a personal or emotional connection first. (How many individuals give to homeless charities who have actually been homeless or known anyone to be homeless? Very very few.) We also limit our giving by the number of chairties that we give to rather than the amount that we give overall. Finally, we begin to search our souls for excuses not to give! Interesting that there are no complaints from those who have signed up on the street? The bottom line is that we can all give more if we want to!
I work for a charity and I understand how hard it can be to raise money but these people are being paid to harrass people and if my employers start using chuggers I'll no longer support them. Walking through my town is like running a gauntlet of rude, pushy, idiots being paid to bully money out of people for whichever is the charity of the day. I know you have to spend money to make money but there are more ethical ways of doing it.
I agree with out of bubble and sue and probably others. (BTW I don't like turning to a page and finding a video starting -although at least there wasn't an advert. Sort it out, Guardian.) However, from the video you can see that the chugger you interviewed thinks he's morally superior to the passers-by and presumes to know what it is people in a metropolis are thinking. Crazy. You wonder if they were born of human parents.
@YouSillySoren - good read, I think you're quite accurate. I ignore chuggers because I have made the decision to contribute at my choosing. I also don't carer much for my time being taken up - 99% of the time I'm on a town/city street I'm going somewhere I want to be and don't appreciate being held up. I'm happy to plead selfishness, but I'd prefer to be selfish than hateful & bile-filled based on wild assumptions, like many of the posters here.
I hate the ones that skip towards you, have purple hair, and a Home Counties accent.
A simple "Chug off", said with a smile works for me. An organisation I worked for used them, and oh, the embarrassment at knowing that.
Because their sales pitch is akin to those TV ads that ask: "Do you have spare gold lying around that you no longer NEED?" Sure I have - I'm tripping over the bloody stuff. Can't give it away. I'll tell you what, though - I WILL donate to the charities I feel are deserving of what little disposable income I have, that I have researched myself and who don't solicit me on the street/my doorstep.
Personally, I quite like signing up - especially if there is a free gift involved. Oh, and then cancelling the direct debit mandatre before they get a penny. Any Charity that uses these methods to get money deserves what it gets. I donate direct.
Bear in mind that the street fundraisers are normally asking us to give £10 per month. That is less than 30p a day. It is peanuts! Yet, £240million - or therabouts - was raised from the street last year, so it clearly does work.
But cycleloopy...how much did the chugger-pimps get?
I don't like the practice of chugging, but to be fair, the chuggers I come across (in Southampton city centre) are generally polite, and it's not a job I'd like to have to do. Usually a polite "no thanks" works for me. I'm more bothered by door-to-door chuggers: recently I've had a couple of visits at home from a woman claiming to represent the Red Cross. She wasn't rude as much as over-familiar - call me old-fashioned but when somebody knocks on my door and starts addressing me as "mate" my hackles rise immediately. I give a monthly donation to a well-known charity whose work I admire, but they wind me up by calling me every few months to try to get me to increase my donation. I wouldn't mind so much, but after 20 minutes of listening to heartfelt pleas about the importance of their work, I then find out that it's an agency worker who's reading from a script and probably doesn't give that much of a toss about their work in any case, provided I cough up. (And I second tunaalbacore's comment about the video starting immediately on this page.)
As far as I know, if you sign up with a chugger, none of your money is going to the agency. It's all going direct to the charity. The charity actually pays the chugging agency a set amount for each sign-up as long as the direct debit isn't cancelled by the donor within a set time frame. (How it works could've been explored in this video instead of MacInnes 'have a go' showboating.) I used to be chugger. I hated it. Mainly because the large majority of people you were able to stop were the more vulnerable, poorer elements of society like students and the unemployed. They usually ended up making up your daily targets. The richos never stopped. But I can't understand the ire from some posters on CiF. I'd rather see chuggers out on the street than mobile advertising hoardings that promote adulterous dating sites ('Encounters' - saw it yesterday) or people trying to get you to buy a gym membership, or the ones that ask if you've had an accident in the last 3 years. Or Tory canvassers.
I hate the Triangle Chuggers; perma-features of and around Dublin's Grafton Street. You know... you're walking along, minding your own business, and then, suddenly... you spot a yellow-jacketed shark dead ahead, already launching into a cod-friendly: "Hey man, have you got a minute?" So, you involuntarily lurch to the right... where a second Chugger awaits, who's immediately lumbering towards you with a clipboard and a leaflet. Panic ensues, and you decide to barrel straight down the middle, between them... Rookie mistake. After all, that's where the third Chugger awaits, dead ahead, usually with both hands up like an American Footballer, launching into: "Excuse me mate, I just want a quick word..." Classic Chugger Tiangle, aimed at maximising revenues - and annoyance.
Listen to one of the chugger's suggestions as to why members of his profession are ignored: passersby may feel "guilted-out", he says, which presumably gives this master of vapid doublespeak the moral high ground over others who may already be contributing to one or more charities of their own unprompted choice.
A lot of sanctimonius bleating here - you'd think refusing to give to charity was an act of courageous moral fibre. Does anyone honestly think charities would do this if it wasn't cost effective? Anyway it's those costumed tits from Gym Box I hate.
I work for a charity and cannot afford to employ the services of chuggers. Judging by some of the comments here, this might be a blessing in disguise.
It's the guilt trip they try to impose on you that's so offensive. The pressure they try to exert is based on confronting you in a public place and creating a sense, however unjustified, that if you don't give to them you are being mean. The point is though, how the hell does a chugger know what I give to charity already and what right does he or she have to try and make me feel under pressure to explain myself in public. Personally I plan my charitable giving the same way I plan any other outgoing so I'm never going to sign up to a direct debit on the street no matter what the charity. Any conversation with a chugger is a waste of their time and mine. Anyway if I don't feel like having to brush them off there is a fool-proof way to stop them approaching you as you go past. Just whip out your phone and pretend to be on a call. They never come near.