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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")

IShallWearMidnight Wed 26-Jun-13 13:22:02

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!

ConfusedPixie Wed 26-Jun-13 13:38:12

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?

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