I have a pet peeve whenever I go into any town or city centre. I can't stand the annoying people who jump out in front of me wanting some of my money. I'm not talking about someone selling the "Big Issue" which I think is worthwhile, I do at least see something for my money. So I do buy a Big Issue from time to time.
The people I dislike are the "Chuggers" or Charitable Muggers found hunting in packs on our high streets. Charities seem to feel that I and everyone else are incapable of finding a charitable cause to support. The thing is I am much less likely to support a charity that doles out money. Money already given as a charity donation to some company that organises (For a fat fee) Chuggers to annoy me in the street. I simply feel embarrassed at being confronted and asking them to go away in the street.
I am being accosted by a stranger in the street. There is no way in this world that I am going to give my bank details to a stranger in the street. I spent years teaching my children how to avoid being accosted by strangers. We are constantly warned by banks to keep our details secure.
I would question the effectiveness of such an approach and I would also question the sheer morality of fund raising in such a way. Not only do I want to escape the attentions of a street collector. I want the whole process to be banned. I also refuse to support in any way any charity that fund raises by accosting me in the street.
British Waterways have decided to join the Chugger gravy train. However, towns like Newcastle want to go a step further with a by-law making Chugging an offence.
Read the full British Waterways Chugger Tender -Here-
Here is a list of some known charities that use chugging for fund raising. However, if you were going to donate to charity would you prefer British Waterways (CaRT) to any of the ones listed below.
ActionAid, Action for Blind People, Action for Children, Action on Hearing Loss, Action Medical Research, Action on Disability & Development, Addaction, African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust, AgeUK, Amnesty International, Anthony Nolan Trust, Aspinall Foundation , Association for International Cancer Research, Asthma UK, Barnardo's, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Berks, Bucks, Oxon Wildlife Trust, Blue Cross, Brain Research Trust, Brainwave Centre, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross, Cancer Research UK, Care International UK, Cats Protection, Caudwell Children, Childlife, Childreach International, Children in Crisis, Children's Society, Children's Trust, Christian Aid, Christian Blind Mission, CLICSargent, Concern Universal, Concern Worldwide, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Diabetes UK, Dogs Trust, Epilepsy Action, Erskine, EveryChild, Fire Fighters Charity, Framework Housing Association, Freedom from Torture, Friends of the Earth, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Greater London Fund for the Blind, Greenpeace, Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, Guideposts Trust, Health Poverty Action, Heart Research Institute, Helen and Douglas House, Hertfordshire & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Home Farm Trust Ltd, Karuna Trust, Kent Wildlife Trust, Kings College London, Leonard Cheshire Disability, MacMillan Cancer Support, Make a Wish Foundation, Marie Curie Cancer Care, MENCAP, Mental Health Foundation, Merlin, MIND, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Naomi House, National Autistic Society, National Deaf Children's Society, NSPCC, Oxfam, Plan International UK, Platform 51, Practical Action, Quarriers, Refugee Council, Rethink Mental Illness, Royal Blind, Royal National Institute of Blind People, Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Samaritans, Save the Children, Scope, SeeAbility, Send a Cow, Sense, Shelter, Sight Savers International, Soil Association, St Mungo's Housing Association, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Surrey Wildlife Trust, Sussex Wildlife Trust, Sustrans, Thai Children's Trust, UNICEF, VSO, War on Want, Whizz-Kidz, Wood Green, Animals Charity, World Society of the Protection of Animals, World VIsion, WRVS, WWF-UK , Zoological Society of London
The vast majority of those who are chugging in the street are paid by an agency. Chuggers receive an hourly rate of around £10 to £12. The agency is hired by the charity. Often the whole of the first years take on the charitable donations collected on the street are used just to fund the chugging agency.
So what is acceptable in the street. I prefer to have people handing out information on the charity. I can then peruse at my leisure and choose to support or reject at my leisure. I do not want to have to make an instant commitment to a chugger in the street.
While chugging is regulated in part by the Charity Commission and the Institute of Fundraising. The solicitation of direct debits is regulated by the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA). The Solicitation of cash, on the other hand, is regulated by Local Government. To take a donation in the street requires four Commissions, Institutes, Associations and Local Authorities. Yet at the same time chugging is largely self-regulating.
How safe are you in giving a direct debit to a chugger. There have been a number of reports about "Fake Chuggers" taking donations on the street.