WIBU to walk away from this charity?

(91 Posts)
unobtanium Wed 26-Jun-13 13:10:52

I get accosted on my high street at least twice a month by charities asking for donations.

I really want to give -- the causes are always worthwhile, but their "conditions" make it so difficult.

They won't take cash, they won't take cheques, they won't take one-off donations from any card.

No, they MUST have your signature for a direct debit, here and now. Of course you can cancel the arrangement after a year, if you keep all the documentation, and remember to go through all the correct formalities in June 2014.

When I protest that aside from the odd ad-hoc donation, my husband and I already sponsor a Kenyan child and her family, plus contribute to one other cause on an ongoing basis, and that we always agree together on long-term commitments... they don't quite seem to get it.

They won't give leaflets to take away, nor even the direct debit form (the one they want me to sign then and there) to complete with my husband and send in to them later.

I always feel absolutely terrible after these encounters. It's probably very frustrating for them too.

Could they not be more flexible? I know they need to be able to plan, but their terms put so many people off, and surely a one-off donation here and now is better than nothing?

Eyesunderarock Wed 26-Jun-13 13:12:21

That's why they are called chuggers.
Charity Muggers.

I always say that I already covenant to the charities I choose to support and keep walking.

Bobyan Wed 26-Jun-13 13:12:55

Did you know most charity collectors are paid at least £8 per hour? Puts me off donating, if that's what my donation is spent on...

nancerama Wed 26-Jun-13 13:13:17

YANBU. I wouldn't hand over my bank account details to a random person on the street, no matter how genuine they seemed.

I miss the old days of shaky tins and stickers.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 26-Jun-13 13:14:32


You have to give yourself a talking to when you start feeling terrible, you are doing nothing wrong!

The people you encounter asking you to sign up for a direct debit are not employed by the charity, they are employed y an agency and are probably collecting for a different charity each day of the week. If they genuinely care about the charity they are asking you to sign up to, it's a coincidence.

They are paid to do a job, and a big part of that job is being told no.

HormonalHousewife Wed 26-Jun-13 13:15:08

Twice a month ? blimey you are lucky its every day in my parts.

1,2 3 4 steps...Just smile nicely, shake your head and say no thank you and walk on with purpose.

WhoNickedMyName Wed 26-Jun-13 13:15:32

It always baffles me that anyone would be willing to hand over their bank details to some randomer on the street, who can't give you any leaflets or paperwork or proof of what you've signed up for.

I'm really surprised that charities still employ chuggers.


unobtanium Wed 26-Jun-13 13:17:15

Thanks, and yes... but does it break your heart just a little bit?

Who doesn't want to send ten little Senegalese kids to school to learn French??? For 20 euros a month it's hard to say no.

They say "we have to plan"... but there are tons of ways to get the degree of financial stability you need other than insisting on DDs -- putting a percentage of your revenues into safe investments for instance...

unobtanium Wed 26-Jun-13 13:18:44

Loads of responses while I was typing.

Thanks, feeling better already.

But still feel free, anyone who thinks IWBU

WilsonFrickett Wed 26-Jun-13 13:20:06

Of course they plan - but DDs are not the only way to plan. It's a sales technique, plain and simple. Ignore ignore ignore. My old company used to double-match payroll giving, I'd explain that (so my £5 a month would be £15, surely that's better for the charity?) but the chuggers would keep trying to sign me up then and there. That's because they have targets to make. Sod that.

KobayashiMaru Wed 26-Jun-13 13:21:35

They only do precisely what the charity tells them to do. They make min wage and its a crappy job, and its not their fault the script and the rules are rubbish.

5Foot5 Wed 26-Jun-13 13:21:57

I'm really surprised that charities still employ chuggers

Well I assume that, even with a wage of around £8 / hour, it must be cost-effective or the charities wouldn't do it. presumably they simply don't have enough volunteers to raise the cash and the extra donations they make from using chuggers pays for itself.

Also the charities prefer regular DD, even small ones, rather than a one-off donation as the guranteed income makes it eaiser to plan.

However. Like you I don't like this and sometimes there are so many you feel you are running a gauntlet of chuggers just trying to get down the street. I donate by DD every month to a number of charities I have chosen and that is that. They are all worth while causes I am sure but you can't give to everything so stop hassling me? (I dont actually say that I smile and say "Sorry I am in a rush". Or "I spoke to your colleague")

and it's better for the charity for you to donate directly to them as they then don't have the agency/chugger costs to meet. Even via Just Giving is cheaper.

MooncupGoddess Wed 26-Jun-13 13:22:07

God, OP, you're much nicer than me - I've been avoiding these people daily for ten years without a second thought!

In any case it's a really inefficient way to give as quite a high proportion of your monthly donation will be hived off to pay the agency that employs the chuggers. If you think it's a worthwhile cause, go home and make a donation/sign up to a direct debit via the charity's website.

MamaChubbyLegs Wed 26-Jun-13 13:25:27

Don't feel bad about walking away from chuggers.

I used to, until one reduced me to tears after I had a shocking diagnosis halfway through my pregnancy. He kept following me harrassing me about why I was so unhappy. Didn't care, though, just wanted to engage me in conversation so he could get my details and money - exploit someone who was vulnerable.

I don't agree with what they do or charities wasting donations on employing them, so I don't donate.

Simple "no, thank you" tells them that they don't need to waste time with you.

Definitely don't feel bad!

Viviennemary Wed 26-Jun-13 13:25:54

I certainly would never never never sign up to one of those direct debits in the street. I was completely shocked when I discovered a few years ago that these people were getting commission. I thought they would be volunteers. I disapprove strongly of this.

SusanneLinder Wed 26-Jun-13 13:27:42

I just walk past chuggers. If they try to accost me, I give them the "death stare" grin. I hate them with a passion and I choose what charities I support and not what some eejit on the street tells me I should.

MamaChubbyLegs Wed 26-Jun-13 13:27:48

Also, just to add - if they ask you for a one off text donation, don't. They keep your number on a database and then ring you, harrassing you for more money. You don't need that added guilt!

gnittinggnome Wed 26-Jun-13 13:29:03

I always smile nicely and say "I already have a direct debit for this" and walk on. I've got my charitable giving sorted out already, thanks, and have no problems not giving to someone just because they are trying to waylay me in the street.

They can't be flexible, as they only get paid if you sign up - effectively the first x number of months (I think it's like 6, but I could be wrong) go to pay them, so if they handed out leaflets, accepted ad hoc cash donations, they won't get paid.

And it is such a guilt trip - as you say, who wouldn't want to help rescue battered animals/save trafficked children/cure cancer? But if you know you've already got it sorted out, hold your head high and waltz right past.

ephemeralfairy Wed 26-Jun-13 13:31:11

It's not just in the street, a couple of chaps turned up at my door last week at about 8pm, when I'd just got back from the gym and was totally starving. I just about managed to be civil but only because I've done that job myself in the past and I know how unpleasant it can be. Not surprisingly there is a very high staff turnover! I only had to do it for a few weeks at a time during uni holidays but that was quite enough.

MamaChubbyLegs Wed 26-Jun-13 13:32:29

Ohhh, and you can cancel a direct debit whenever you bloody well want to!

I felt like an awful person going to the bank to cancel mine - to Save the Children blush

MiaowTheCat Wed 26-Jun-13 13:32:46

I refuse point blank to give money to ANY charity that employs chugger methods of collection. Never had a pang of conscience about it - you want to employ annoying little twerps to bother people in the street - you accept that it's going to piss some people off to the point they won't donate to your cause anymore. No doubt someone in head office has done the annoyance V goodwill figures and decided the irritating twats are worth it financially.

MamaChubbyLegs Wed 26-Jun-13 13:35:23

British Heart Foundation turned up on my doorstep at 7pm! I was most disappointed, as they are one of my charities! I hope they were volunteers!

Some of the better ones have conditions that their sellers can only take a couple of steps towards you (so can't follow you)

I pass them all the time as I work in the city centre and am expert at avoiding them. (my work matches any payroll donations and does a Charity Friday once a month so I reckon any charity giving I do is best through work, and I'm not wasting my precious time outside of work talking to them)

They usually work in 3's so if you see them ahead of you there will be one at one side of the road and two on the other. Easier to get past one. No eye contact. A small shake of the head and "No" when they ask if I've got time to talk usually works. I don't feel guilty any more!

I won't guide to a charity that uses chuggers. I looked into working for wesser at one point as they pay £8 am hour, with bonuses and reduced fee accommodation (a very very good/will paid seasonal job, which is what I did for a living at the time). Then realised I didn't want to be a chugger and that if I was bettering over a grand a month from these charities, just how much were they paying, from donations intended for the visible cause, to get hundreds of us?

I won't give to a charity that uses chuggers. I looked into working for wesser at one point as they pay £8 am hour, with bonuses and reduced fee accommodation (a very very good/will paid seasonal job, which is what I did for a living at the time). Then realised I didn't want to be a chugger and that if I was bettering over a grand a month from these charities, just how much were they paying, from donations intended for the visible cause, to get hundreds of us?

MrsMook Wed 26-Jun-13 13:48:30

They drive me round the bend too. Added in the Sky/energy companies/whatever product in the shopping centre, you can't go for more than 20m without being hounded for something. I try to be polite as I dismiss them, but it gets very wearing.

DM has a DD with a charity. She started with the £2 a month, then they rang her and it went up to £5, then £10. At that point she ended up playing the pensioner card and began to get shirty. It's completely put me off the idea of a DD.

Bag packers have had flack from here in the last few days, but at least it's unpaid volunteers, supporting a cause they are interested in and doing something that some people find useful.

I'm a volunteer and use my free time to do a bit of good to people in my community. I don't need a DD with a large and beaurocratic organisation to do a little bit of good.

BrandiBroke Wed 26-Jun-13 13:52:50

There was a stand set up in my town today advertising a charity lottery. At least 3 big banners all stating '£1 to play.' I was surprised that there weren't loads of people around it as it was a good cause so I went up to one of the two guys there with my pound outstretched.

"Sorry but we're not actually taking money today."
"Oh. So why do the signs say it's a pound to play?"
"We're getting people to sign up to monthly direct debits."
"Sorry, I was willing to give a one off donation but I'm not signing up for anything."

I was just so annoyed that all the signs suggested you could get a ticket there and then for a pound when that wasn't the case at all. I do give to charities (including one that comes directly from my wages) and I am happy to give to others, as long as I'm not tied to anything.

blueemerald Wed 26-Jun-13 14:00:34

I hate charity muggers.

One turned up at my door and showed my brother (who has ASD and you'd have to be blind not to notice when you talk to him) photos of extremely ill premature babies and took his bank details. (There was similar story on here about a poster's brother who had learning difficulties being signed up to something...Talktalk maybe?) He fretted and had horrible dreams for ages afterwards.

My friend and I were stopped by one when we were students and worked for minimum wage in a pub. We said sorry, we couldn't afford it and she replied 'Yeah, right.' I quickly and sharply pointed out that she probably earned more per hour than we did and she should be ashamed of herself for that comment.

Crinkle77 Wed 26-Jun-13 14:28:33

Even worse is when they knock at your house. I had one the other week and when I answered he said 'don't worry I'm not trying to sell you anything' and I was like well you still want money off me. And then when you say no thanks they start to ask why. None of your business now piss off. Although the ultimate come back was when chuggers representing Dogs Trust came round. We had adopted a dog from them already so when they said where they were from I just said we have adopted a dog from them already so think we have done our bit for that charity. They had no come back to that.

swampytiggaa Wed 26-Jun-13 14:40:43

I had some come to the house for a children's charity. I said no thank you very politely.

They then asked if i didn't care that children were living in poverty? I replied that i did but with five of my own my priority was obviously keeping them out of poverty. Then i shut the door.

Most upsetting for me was when cancer research phoned. I said i wasn't able to commit to a dd. They said oh so you obviously aren't concerned about cancer. I replied that actually my brother had died from cancer the week before -which was true - and i knew exactly how to donate when i was able to.

Chuggers i just ignore tho.

Eyesunderarock Wed 26-Jun-13 14:52:35

You could build a whole series of interlocking polemics if you put a bit of thought into it.

'DOGS TRUST?? SOD THE BLOODY DOGS! Don't you realise that there are children walking 20 miles a day on blistered feet just to get an education? And you want me to care about an animal? Why are you working for dogs when there are innocent children who need schools?'

' Save the Children? What about all the women trapped in dire situations with no access to contraception, family planning or safe childbirth facilities?'

'Amnesty International? What about the Diabetic Donkeys of Damascus?'

The point being that all charities push their case as being the most important and vital and necessary that you support.

CharlieCoCo Wed 26-Jun-13 14:52:39

i got a call from cancer research, reading a script like a robot. I had done race for life so that wasnt enough for them and wanted me to do monthly donations so my money would make an impact..everytime i said no, they read another script with a lower amount til it got to 'just £2 a month". i said, i do my annual walk which the donations add up to more than what £2 a month would be. My monthly donations go to other charities which dont have sponsored walks so i will not be setting up one for this charity when i do my walks! grr, i know they are just reading a script, but i was proud of the fact that i do these walks each year and this script was basically telling me my donation isnt enough.angry

decaffwithcream Wed 26-Jun-13 14:59:27

Go directly to the website of any charity you want to support and sign up for a direct debit there.

I read a guardian article that explained how it was calculated that if you signed up for a direct debit of a few pounds a month, through one of these fund raisers, the first 12 to 15 months of your donations went to pay for the commission charged by the fundraising company.

Which would be why they are telling you you can cancel your direct debit after 12 months. ( you can cancel a direct debit whenever you want )

Tell them, sorry, you only donate directly to charities. There does not seem to be a reply to that in their script.

unobtanium Wed 26-Jun-13 15:02:58

Oh no, Diabetic Donkeys in Damascus? Something more for me to worry about!

SugarMouse1 Wed 26-Jun-13 15:12:43

Its better to just put some change in a charity box when you see one.

Branleuse Wed 26-Jun-13 15:26:22

I already GIVE all my free money to diabetic donkey's of damascus!

I think its quite acceptable to just tell them that you NEVER give money to chuggers, and if they keep on, just say NO THANKYOU and keep walking.

I've NEVER known ANYONE who has signed up through a chugger. I know it must make sense financially (or they wouldn't do it), but I really don't understand how. If they are really persistent, I stand and listen to their speile, make sympathetic noises etc, and then drop the bombshell that I don't possess a direct debit card and ONLY ever use cash - shuts them up!

Madratlady Wed 26-Jun-13 15:40:22

I found out the other day that they can't ask under 25s for donations any more. I'm slightly baffled by this (I am married, have a baby on the ay, earn a salary and rent a house but I'm not allowed to set up a direct debit to a charity?!) but it is useful for getting away without looking like I'm mean for saying no.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Wed 26-Jun-13 16:56:46

If you don't mind looking like a huge meanie you can do what I do. When they say 'don't you care about x', respond with, 'no, not especially'. They will give you a shock look, but meh.

I should add: I do care, I just prefer to donate directly.

Onesleeptillwembley Wed 26-Jun-13 16:59:17

If it bothers you so much why do you even engage with them? It's not obligatory. Just say 'No thanks' and walk on.

Eyesunderarock Wed 26-Jun-13 17:05:58

'If it bothers you so much why do you even engage with them? It's not obligatory. Just say 'No thanks' and walk on.'

Because of the all-consuming guilt that some people suffer when hooked by
'Will no one think of the Suffering Chinchillas of Serbia?'
Few people have the confidence not to be guilted into donating, or the wish to appear, God forbid, rude to those Doing Good Works.
Which chuggers know and feed on.

rainbowfeet Wed 26-Jun-13 17:06:36

Don't feel guilty, I never even stop to listen to all their waffle!! They are no doing it to support a favoured charity they are being paid!! Generally it's people standing there for hours on end with collection boxes are the ones doing proper charitable work!!!

I too support 2 charities with a monthly dd these are charities close to my heart & that's what charity is all about! These chuggers should be banned!

TarkaTheOtter Wed 26-Jun-13 17:17:03

I civilly say no straight away (prefer to give money and time to local charities). Most agencies are signed up to the PFRA code an shouldn't persist after you say no. If they continue, then complain here.

I've had to complain when they've given me a hard sell at the door. It may be effective for charities to use these methods but I don't think they are very ethical and ruins the charities good name.

I think people would be disappointed I they knew how much money was being spent on commission rather than good causes.

ComtessedeFrouFrou Wed 26-Jun-13 17:21:34

I just walk past chuggers. If they try to accost me, I give them the "death stare"

^^ This

It's been quite successful to date grin

mrsjay Wed 26-Jun-13 17:24:54

if a charity is chugging then they are not worth your time look for another charity that you can make donations with how much and when you want, I know charities are struggiling but it is a disgrace that they harass people,

thenightsky Wed 26-Jun-13 17:29:53

The best response to chuggers I ever heard was someone on MN funnily enough wink

They said to hold up a hand, palm forward, whilst saying in perfectly clipped tones, like the Queen.. 'Sorry, I don't speak a word of English'.


MsHighwater Wed 26-Jun-13 17:32:51

I no longer give to Red Cross after they sent a chugger to our door. She got the bum's rush from me on the grounds that I don't make financial decisions on the doorstep or without consulting the joint account holder (DH - we're a "family money" family). Thing is, she returned later when I was out and guilted DH into signing up. I know it was the same woman because she was leaving as I got back. Both the charity and DH got a piece of my mind that day and I have yet to forgive them.

mrsjay Wed 26-Jun-13 17:35:51

My mum wont let my dad answer the door now as he signs up for everything cos he feels guilty

mrsjay Wed 26-Jun-13 17:36:47

I had to cancel the woodland trust and some childrens charity for them as he had signed them up and mum isnt that great on the phone <rolls eyes>

Thenightsky - I have done that, to someone who wanted to sell me something (dead sea skin care or similar) when I was out shopping. In my best BBC English, I said "I am sorry, I don't speak English", and swept on into Primark!

TheFallenNinja Wed 26-Jun-13 17:48:51

I was asked recently "don't I care about starving children?"

The reply, "ask me that again, but call an ambulance first" didn't go down too well.

GetStuffezd Wed 26-Jun-13 17:54:11

There's a knob of a chugger in Newcastle (I think he's scouse though) and he walks down the street beside you yapping away, trying to put his arm around your shoulder - I hate him. He's quite arsey when you don't engage, as well.

Ginderella Wed 26-Jun-13 18:07:59

I foolishly sent a text to donate a few quid to Children in Need. I now get weekly texts and phone calls from various charities begging for money. Never again.

zipzap Wed 26-Jun-13 18:24:16

I always tell them 'too late, I'm already signed up!'

Of course, I don't mention exactly what I'm already signed up for - avoiding chuggers grin

And, it leaves them thinking oh no if I'd got to her earlier I could have signed her up and got commission. [evil cackle]. (I'm not usually mean but chuggers are different!)

Mia4 Wed 26-Jun-13 18:25:30

YANBU, and never sign up to a charity by chuggers and cancel after-that's how charities get stung a lot. They stupidly use chuggers who harass, then people cancel their DD meaning the charity is out of pocket when offsetting what they pay the chuggers company.

Personally I just tell them I do everything online and wouldn't trust anyone with my DD details, they try to harass but then I use then ''cheers anyway' while they are waffling and walk off. Year or so back, I did get one swear and rant at me but i went straight on the charities fb/twitter pages and told them exactly what i thought of said chuggers and how harassing they were. Funnily enough the charity deleted my comment after about twenty other people also commented citing the same! Never saw chuggers for that charity in their normal spot again.

londonrach Wed 26-Jun-13 18:54:56

Friends sister has learning problems and like 11 year old. Very obvious but every time she does into town she signs up with dogs trust as she liked the pictures. Sister spends every Saturday cancelling the dd and saying she buy her pictures of dogs. Must be law against taking advantage of vulnerable people... Got one chugged confused once when I said sorry I don't support bloggers. Gave me enough time to get away. X

No matter what charity is chugging on Northumberland street, I always say no thank you. If they persist I say I already donate. This is never true and the RSPCA chugger who followed me asking 'so do you not care about animals then?"obviously suspected this. He had to be put off by telling him he was making me late for my dog fight. Had one at the door last night for Samaritans asking me to imagine how I'd feel if a child couldn't get through to their helpline and then committed suicide. Answer was still no because that's how mean I am hmm

SueDoku Wed 26-Jun-13 19:29:14

I foolishly sent a text to donate a few quid to Children in Need. I now get weekly texts and phone calls from various charities begging for money. Never again.

Me too - £5.00 for a mosquito net, and Christian Aid are still ringing me up three years later...!! angry

RedToothBrush Wed 26-Jun-13 19:37:00

I always feel absolutely terrible after these encounters. It's probably very frustrating for them too.

You shouldn't give to charity because they make you feel guilty. You give to charity because you think its worthwhile and will make difference.

mrsjay Wed 26-Jun-13 19:41:45

\OP just wanted to tell you these collectors are employed by the charties usually students that probably dont give a lfying fig about the charity they are trying to sell

LittleMissGerardButlerfan Wed 26-Jun-13 19:47:36

I never engage with chuggers as if I want to give money to a charity I will but I won't be hassled into it.

I don't agree with them getting paid, I am a volunteer for a charity because I think their work is important and I want to help them, I would never expect to be paid for it.

In our town they have 2 main streets and the chuggers are on one, I always say no politely but they still make you feel guilty by saying, just a few minutes of your time etc! Then on the other street there are people from different companies it varies weekly usually a broadband or gas/electric company. I just want to walk round town without being hassled!

ladyMaryQuiteContrary Wed 26-Jun-13 19:50:02

You're missing a trick. Never sign up to a charity which knocks on your door as you get enough harassment whilst you're walking through the city centre so your home is your personal space, and you never sign up to a charity which approaches you in the city centre as you get enough harassment from them when you're at home.

I'm rather concerned about those who can't say no to them though and will sign up with all who approach them. Some must have charity direct debits taking up the majority of their income. sad There needs to be more regulation and control.

tiptapkeyboard Wed 26-Jun-13 19:51:34

I live in a fucking cardboard box so the diabetic donkeys of Damascus can have insulin

chocolatesolveseverything Wed 26-Jun-13 20:11:16

I can't stand chuggers either, but those that accost you at home are the worst. I once opened the door to a couple of pushy chuggers who tried to persuade me to sign up by recounting how wonderful it was that all the elderly people they called upon were filling in the direct debit form straightaway. I was sickened that they could boast about manipulating vulnerable people and not see any problem in this at all.

Since then whenever a chugger calls on my at home I interrupt them straightaway and politely but firmly explain that we have a household policy of not supporting charities who use this method. I've had a few shocked faces from chuggers who seem to think their jobs are morally beyond reproach but they do go away quickly.

FWIW I'm a member of the senior management team for a medium-sized charity and would NEVER support any moves for us to use on-street or at-home chuggers. I think they give us charities a bad name.

Just walk past briskly, smiling, and say, "no thank you, no thank you", until they get the message.

ephemeralfairy Thu 27-Jun-13 09:57:03

Have just remembered, a mate of mine used to rebuff chuggers with the immortal line, 'I'm sorry, I'm far too much of a cunt'. Worked like a dream.

JJXM Thu 27-Jun-13 11:29:46

Not a chugger but a salesman from a well-known DVD rental company made a bee-line towards me in the street. I said no thank you in a polite voice and he then moved in front of my plan and blocked my way. I said no more forcefully and he went mad - he got right up in my face shouting 'No, what do you mean no? You don't say no to me.' I said he was representing his company and looked to his manager and they both started laughing at me and shouting things after me as I walked away. I had to get DH to pick me up because I was too scared to walk back through the shopping centre with my two children. I've suffered rape as a child so was particularly traumatic.

I complained to both the shopping centre and company and they didn't care.

YouTheCat Thu 27-Jun-13 11:38:03

I once had an argument with a chugger. He'd followed me saying 'Don't you care about the tigers?' after I'd already said I didn't want to donate.

So I turned around and said no I don't care about tigers or pandas or anything else.

Of course I do really but not enough to give WWF any direct debit info.

bigfuckoffpie Thu 27-Jun-13 11:39:03

On the weirdy salespeople in shopping centres, I was shopping in town with my DH and had one of them making a beeline for me and asking if I wanted to buy a paintballing session.

I was 8 months pregnant at the time and the guy looked confused when DH and I both burst out laughing.

ProudAS Thu 27-Jun-13 11:57:19

Chuggers are bad enough if they are genuine but you've got no idea who you are giving your bank details to.

I recently got accosted in the street and asked to make a one off donation by mobile phone - could have been a premium rate number run by a scam artists for all I knew.

I had to stop my exdp once from punching one chugger in town. Id just lost my dad to cancer and we were having an awful time anyway and this chugger wouldnt take no for an answer and even followed us, mocking us for having long faces.

Was crying and dp went for him but I managed to pull him back and we went straight home after that. I hate them

CruCru Thu 27-Jun-13 13:07:57

A friends mum commiserates with them on having such a terrible job. They usually turn nasty pretty quickly when you do that.

ratspeaker Thu 27-Jun-13 14:05:55

Charities please note, I will NEVER EVER sign up to your cause if you come to my door or accost me in the street or supermarket.

It's my choice what charities I choose to donate or not donate to.
Employing a chugger who states " it's the same info you'd write on a cheque are you afraid I'd steal from you" does not help what so ever.
He may not steal my details but who else sees this information?

Just another wee note.
My daughter was working in a pub when a group of chuggers came in ,when they left they also left their clipboard with all the names, addresses and bank details they'd collected that day.
yeah thats secure data collection

SarahAndFuck Thu 27-Jun-13 14:33:14

Those Diabetic Donkey's in Damascus get everything!

Nobody cares about the blob fish

Eyesunderarock Fri 28-Jun-13 12:42:00

'Those Diabetic Donkey's in Damascus get everything! '

Oh Gods, what have I started? grin
I'm going to have to check that there really isn't a DDD charity, aren't I?

specialsubject Fri 28-Jun-13 12:48:18

they get one 'no thank you'. Any more persistence and you are justified in letting fly with all the abuse you want.

the only way to give to charity is direct, cheque or bank transfer. All else is wasteful.

In Bournemouth with a friend we walked past a chugger twice in the shopping center and both times we gave a polite 'no thanks'.

The third time we walked past he started the 'Hello girls, can I have a moment of your time' spiel so I said 'you have already asked us twice today'! in my best pissed off voice and he said 'sorry love, I only remember the good looking ones'!!! shockshockshock

We were mortified to say the least, especially as we were 15 and thought we were the good looking ones!

lottiegarbanzo Fri 28-Jun-13 13:10:29

Op, you sound lovely, so here's my best 'being very nice' response, which I discovered because it was true on a couple of occasions, then realised that, if you can bear to tell a little white lie, it has universal utility.

'Oh, I already support you, good luck', big smile, supportive wave, move briskly away. They always smile and say something nice back.

If you want to make the most of your donations, choose your own charity, as you have, approach them directly and give long term, as you do. Don't go via an agent, or chop and change, as admin to set up an account /membership costs them a lot.

I feel a need to defend 'face to face' and 'door to door' recruitment though. Charities employ them because it works and makes them money. People who would not otherwise give, do, via these methods. If you're motivated to give anyway, great, don't do it via an intermediary but do recognise that other people are not the same as you.

Of course they are paid, it's a pretty tiring, thankless job and few volunteers would do it, certainly not day in day out, would you? Even if some vols did, it would cost more to recruit and organise enough of them to do it effectively than it does to pay agents.

So, the value to the charity is based on the number of people who stay on after the first year, as the first year's donation pays for the recruitment and admin. There can be a conflict of interest there, if the recruiters are paid commission, which most are (minimum wage base, or commission, whichever is greater), as they want to sign people up for the highest sum possible, but the bigger the direct debit, the more likely someone is to cancel during the first year. Even so, managed well, the charities make money.

babybarrister Fri 28-Jun-13 13:12:56

I was phoned a few days ago to increase the level of my monthly donation to a quite small charity. When I said no, the woman then told me that it was costing the charity £11,000 to pay for this campaign to get people to increase their subscriptions - I was hmm - should I really be donating just to cover their extra bloody costs?!angry

MsGee Fri 28-Jun-13 13:30:03

There is a lot of misunderstanding as to how charities operate financially.

'Chugging' works because it provides a good return on investment. If it didn't charities would not fundraise this way (and many don't if they have a more 'unpopular' cause).

The cost of a campaign to the charity is irrelevant. They might have been calling 500,000 donors for an upgrade and generated £80,000 of extra income - in which case £11,000 is a good investment.

Charities do not want people to be harassed into giving and then cancel their donation- it costs them and its frankly not worth it. So if the 'chugger' is too aggressive complain to the charity and they will deal with it. Or go to the Fundraising Standards Board. Particularly if they lie and say you cannot cancel the DD for a year.

There has been debate about how to get people to sign up to DD methods for years - but as long as they provide the right return on investment charities will use them. And individual giving via DDs DOES allow a charity to plan for the future - particularly smaller charities who struggle to secure unrestricted funding in other ways.

Personally I don't give to chuggers. I don't buy off my doorstep - I research the charities I want to support and set up a DD that way. But I understand that they are just doing their job.

LineRunner Fri 28-Jun-13 13:35:28

I loathe chuggery.

Walk past and ignore.

YouTheCat Fri 28-Jun-13 13:42:09

I had one on the phone last month. She started at could you give £30 a month by direct debit.

I said 'no I have no idea from month to month if I will have any spare cash whatsoever'.

She went down to £20. I repeated the same. And finally (after another 2 or 3 requests) she came down to £3 a month.

My answer was the same. She really didn't seem to get the concept of not having disposable cash left at the end of the month. If I do have spare cash, it goes into my 'disaster fund' in case a washer breaks or the fridge buggers up. It's not going to save a fucking panda.

MsPickle Fri 28-Jun-13 13:46:33

Don't feel bad.

And say "je suis tres desole, mais je n'parle plus Francais" (sorry, on phone no accents available!)

Works every time-they say, oh, sorry and back off then work out what they have just heard. Non aggressive and funny.

TheRealFellatio Fri 28-Jun-13 13:52:29

YANBU. I think it was a very sad day for charities the day they seemingly collectively decided to go down this pressure selling route. Even the fact that these chuggers earn commission and see it as a paid job annoys me no end. I never, ever give money to anyone who thinks only my bank details are good enough.

I was suckered by one of these guys once. In my defense, I was heavily pregnant and stressed out.
I felt hounded into setting up a DD, which the guy was adamant could not be less than £10 a month. Which I couldn't really afford so I cancelled it almost immediately. Basically they got a one-off payment of a tenner, which I would gladly have given, but no, DDs only.

Makes my blood boil, a lot of chuggers purposely target vulnerable passers-by because they're easy prey. I got roped into a Lovefilm subscription once the same way (I admit, I get anxious and will sign up just to make the person happy) and now I'm not allowed to go to the local city without DP grin

babybarrister Fri 28-Jun-13 17:36:37

I am a trustee of two small charities and I very much disagree with McGee. Charities will never be able to predict what their lost revenue might be if they piss off possible future donors - but lose money they will and it will also have an effect on reputation in relation to which it is very difficult again to predict the affect on future income such as grant income from trusts or government etc - such income frequently forms a much much higher percentage of total income than individual donations. Certainly the charities I am a trustee of would never use such methods as we would certainly assume it would impact on this grant income. So, some charities decide to go down a route where they will do anything as they guess that the amount they will gain will be more than they will lose - who in fact knows though ....in relation to my point about spending £11,000 on a telephone campaign, as I emphasised, it is a small charity. I therefore really wonder what 'profit' will be made for the charity once the fixed costs are deducted. Volunteers have a fundamental role in charities and frankly it is not a bad thing for people to know that the money they give is not being used in admin or to pay fundraising costs

lottiegarbanzo Fri 28-Jun-13 18:12:16

The key there babybarrister is they are small charities. Their fundraising model is very different from large charities. I worked for many years for a few closely-related medium-sized charities (staff of 25-60 each, plus many volunteers) and the evidence of their balance sheets, over 15-20 years now, is that F2F and D2D works.

In fact it is particularly valuable precisely because it gives you that holy grail 'unrestricted' income (which for these charities, heavily dependent on grant income, was indeed a small proportion of overall funds), that you can direct towards your core charitable objectives, including those areas of work that external funders aren't interested in. It can give you the freedom to really 'be' what you're there to be, rather than being pulled in other directions by funders. It can also be used as the 5 or 10% matched funding needed to enable you to apply to those funders, so multiplying the value hugely, of course. So it gets you more of both types of funding.

I don't understand your point about these methods having a negative impact on grant income. What counts is the quality of your application and your ability to deliver reliably. With grant giving bodies, never assume anything, always discuss and use solid evidence.

There is a potential reputational issue with the public of course but that's about managing the way you do this kind of fundraising. Do you employ your own people, or use an agency? How much information about the charity do your fundraisers have - a lot with the risk they'll get things wrong, or a little, perhaps looking poorly informed? Like all sales jobs it's possible to do it in a polite, friendly, informative way, rather than a pushy, rude way.

Doing this sort of thing well is a specialist sales job though. I think people who imagine that many volunteers have the skills, inclination, or time to perform this sort of role well are being quite naive. I'm a specialist in other aspects of the charity's work and I wouldn't do it.

If you have evidence that long-term reputational damage, which impacts upon funding, crucially (the opinions of people who were never going to support the charity anyway aren't so important), will outstrip the fundraising benefits of face to face recruitment I'd be really interested to see it. The evidence at the moment, as far as I'm aware, is that this works and has done for quite a long time for many charities.

No excuse at all for arsey chuggers of course and certainly no reason to feel bad for walking away from them.

RevoltingPeasant Fri 28-Jun-13 18:31:09

lottie exactly. DH is a fundraising manager for a charity and I frankly find it absurd that people expect them to be entirely staffed by volunteers. Do you really think any charity bigger than a local residents' association would survive without the organisation of professional administrators and fundraisers?

Fundraising doesn't take away from the charity's work - it ensures that it can continue.

DH employs door to door fundraisers who are especially selected for being easy-going, friendly types. They do have an interest in the charity - they just also need jobs. I really fail to see why this is a problem.

DH gets paid for what he does supporting the charity. Does that mean he is some kind of cynical git? Obviously not. We give generously to the charity he works for, he also volunteers for them, and he works countless hours of overtime. But, you know, he needs to pay the bills.

However, the key in face to face fundraising is that no means no. If a charity collector is aggressive towards you or even overly persistent, report them.

And yy to the point about volunteers not being ideal representatives of the charity. Have you ever tried to escape from a National Trust volunteer??? <scarred>

MsGee Sat 29-Jun-13 15:18:48

Agree with Lottie and Revolting - am surprised by the views of babybarrister. Pissing off donors is about how you implement your fundraising methods, not the methods per se.

Whilst grant income does make up more of a % of income for smaller charities, institutional funders (lottery, statutory or trusts) want to see evidence of diversity of income, and that the charity is taking steps to boost unrestricted funding. If the charities you work with won't explore individual giving due to thinking that there will be a negative impact on grant income, then they are misinformed in their thinking. It may not be right for the charity but I would be surprised that this is the reason. The decision to invest in individual giving tends to depend not only on the size of the charity, but the cause and the investment available to diversify funding.

As I mentioned - the 'profit' for telephone and F2F fundraising is all based on return on investment and there are fairly standard expectations of return as to whether a campaign is successful or not.

I don't think anyone in the sector disputes the role of volunteers but volunteers do not match every type of fundraising. Community and event fundraising - yes, regular giving and institutional funding - probably not. I am amazed at the number of people who think that volunteers can do everything that paid staff in charities do.

sandwichyear Sat 29-Jun-13 15:37:23

As an aside- everyone always feels guilty about this, and tends to preface their refusal with "I know it's a good cause...." etc etc. But after being involved with two major household name charities in recent years and seeing how inefficiently, wastefully and bureaucratically they were run (as well as having some real problems with the substance of some of what they were doing) I have been a lot more sceptical about giving to charity without knowing a lot more about how exactly the money will be used.

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