/ Money

Chuggers – get off my doorstep

Shoes on a welcome mat

It’s one thing side-stepping charity muggers (sorry, chuggers) on the high street, but what do you do when you’re face-to-face with one trying to sign you up on your doorstep?

After a long day at work last week, I answered a knock at my door in my secure block of flats to a rather fatigued young woman.

She wasn’t selling anything, she promised – but actually she was selling a sob story, with a somewhat insincere script. And although her charity’s work sounded worthwhile, I wasn’t willing to sign up to a direct debit there and then on my doorstep.

There’s reportedly been a huge rise in doorstep chugging and complaints as a result – from misrepresenting charities to ignoring ‘no cold calling’ signs.

And now many of Britain’s charities are set to attend a summit about the future of face-to-face fundraising, as hosted by the Institute of Fundraising. The Institute’s chief exec has even said that the media coverage of chugging has ‘led to a wider debate about the value of face-to-face fundraising as a technique at all’.

The problem with chugging

Why can’t charities fundraise in more creative, less intrusive ways that don’t lock you in to direct debit payments?

We reported in January that some councils were moving to ban chuggers from our streets – but could that force yet even more of them on to our doorsteps?

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, which regulates face-to-face fundraising, stepped up its rules last October so that chuggers can only use main entrances, not campaign past 9pm and don’t ‘cause alarm or distress after dark’. But it’s the fact that they’re allowed on your doorstep at all that distresses me.

I’m pretty tough at saying no, but I still had to explain several times to my chugger that I don’t believe in giving by direct debit to charity. And I’d have felt more uneasy had there been a knock on my door on a dark winter’s evening.

The PFRA says that 72% of face-to-face fundraising now takes place on the doorstep – but what proportion of those householders feel embarrassed or even intimidated in to signing up?

Fresh thinking on fundraising

Having worked for a large charity in the past, I simply won’t give regularly to one cause. Every year, I pick one or two smaller projects that interest me, I’ll research them so I know how their money is spent and then contribute what I can.

My point is that charities should be more realistic about, and have more respect for, the people who may want to contribute to their causes.

For example, it doesn’t really feel as if enough charities properly embrace the potential of digital campaigning. From online auctions to organising micro-events via social media, innovation is out there, and it’s innovation that offers choice and the potential to truly participate. Not knocking on somebody’s door and compelling them to sign up there and then.

Should chuggers be banned from doorsteps?

Yes - chuggers should be banned altogether (doorsteps and high streets) (53%, 329 Votes)

Yes - chuggers should stay away from people's homes (34%, 212 Votes)

No - if the rules are tightened, chuggers can visit homes (11%, 70 Votes)

No - chuggers visiting homes is an essential way to raise money (2%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 634

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Comments
Louise says:
22 May 2013

I detest chuggers – I give money to charity on my terms which do not include listening to a slimy chugger making remarks about how I must be a model and expressing comments about my figure. I’m not a bad looking old bird but I’m over 50 and do not care to be patronised by a guy in his twenties thinking if he butters up the old bird she will cough up for Battersea dogs and cats home – especially when my hair is unwashed and I’m wearing old tatty clothes and have a spot on my face. I have things to do and was busy when he called. I have made a complaint and I think it is disgraceful that cold calling is allowed on doorsteps. I have a disability and do not like having to struggle to open the door only to be met with a smarmy self satisfied chugger who thinks I am stupid enough to fall for his appalling corny smarm.

Phill says:
16 July 2013

Okay, I am a fundraiser, and I too make comments on people’s appearance, compliment a smile, a dress, that someone looks quite young for their age, and all manner of things. Do I do this to “bettuer them up to giving?” No. Of course not. Having knocked doors for almost a year now I am very aware that stuff like that doesn’t work. I compliment people because it makes them feel good, and because it makes me feel good. Even if that person is then horrendously rude to me I can walk away knowing I was 100% in the right and never once did anything that could offend them.
Yes, a fundraiser (Or churgular – ) is there for your money, but we’re still human. We still appreciate you’re human. We each have our own way of getting on with it. Being nice is something that (while perhaps alien to some people) is a good way of doing it.

Louise says:
16 July 2013

Would you compliment a woman’s appearance when she opened the door with snarly unwashed hair,no make up, beaten up old jeans and a grubby top with a zit glowing like a traffic light on red?
It smacks of insincerity and is patronising to the person. Women aren’t stupid and we are aware when not looking our best. We are also alert to smarmy marketing and I am immune to those tactics.

Megan says:
16 July 2013

Phill – “I compliment people because it makes them feel good, and because it makes me feel good.” It might make you feel good mate, but all it makes me feel is uncomfortable. I don’t want some random stranger knocking on my door and then telling me how nice I look. It creeps me out.

And I most definitely do not want (as happened this evening) some middle aged bloke leering at my 4 year old daughter and telling me how cute she is. All the local kids play out in our street as it’s a quiet cul-de-sac. After I’d seen him off the premises, and watched him go round the corner, I called my 7 year old inside and won’t be letting her out the front again until I’ve had a response from that particular charity regarding how they check their employees’ backgrounds.

And, Phill, “I can walk away knowing I was 100% in the right and never once did anything that could offend them.” I’m afraid that’s just utter rubbish.

Phill says:
16 July 2013

Tell me how that is rubbish exactly? What’s wrong about it? In what way am I mistaken?

And just because someone compliments your child looking cute does not make them an offender. That’s insane.

Finally, if you don’t like the compliments then that’s just you not liking compliments. It’s not exactly a crime against humanity, nor is it something we do wrong, simply a preference you have.

Megan says:
17 July 2013

Phill. I’m assuming that, unlike me, you are neither a mother, nor a middle-aged slightly chubby average looking woman, which is why you don’t understand my perspective:

The male shelf stacker in Asda yesterday who stopped me to tell me my daughters were beautiful, was quite sweet.
Random bloke knocking at my door, leering at my child, telling me how cute she is and that she’ll have all the boys after her before long, then continuing to peer over my shoulder at her while talking to me is inappropriate to say the least.

One of the mums at school this morning telling me she liked my new haircut was a nice compliment, which I was happy to accept.
Answering the door last night to be greeted with “hello my dear, and may I say what a lovely smile you have” doesn’t come across as a compliment to me. It’s just an insincere spiel which I’m pretty sure has been tried on everyone else in the street. The only time a chugger ever paid me a believable compliment was when I was asked what I used on my fuchsia plants as they were so beautiful. For all I know he used the same sort of comment on everyone, but at least it sounded as if he meant it – he even wrote down the name of the fertiliser I used!

As for why it’s rubbish to say that you know you’ve never done anything to offend someone, you can’t know that. Some people are very easily offended, unfortunately. I’m not one of them though, even though you might think so. I’ll withdraw the “utter” bit though, I was a tad grouchy last night – nursing my twin toddlers through a really nasty bout of chickenpox in this heat has frayed my nerves a bit!

David Rodger says:
20 September 2013

Sorry Phil the minute you knock on someones door unsolicited to ask for a donation then you are 100% in the wrong no matter how nice and polite you were and how rude the householder was.
For all you chuggers out there. You want to meet and greet people, because it makes you feel good, go to the pub. No amount of your self justification can make it ok to door step someone.

John says:
26 July 2017

Too right. Like you, I’m in my 50’s. I’m also educated to PhD level, and being patronised by some Redbull-jacked kid 30 years younger than me is deeply irritating.

chris says:
16 July 2013

Its still selling in my eyes, you make money out of direct debits that are set up regardless of what its for. You are selling the need/benefit/gain ect of setting a dd up. Funny how no one is ever selling anything when they knock at the door.

Your not charity fund raisers working for the welfare of those you claim to care for, you are sales people who are fed load of bull from your marketing offices that do the dirty work. God knows how little of that direct debit actually goes towards what its supposed to either.

Phill says:
16 July 2013

For those who consider themselves open to reason, continue to read. Otherwise, I have no interest in your opinions, as a closed mind is not work engaging with.

“”Your not charity fund raisers working for the welfare of those you claim to care for, you are sales people who are fed load of bull from your marketing offices that do the dirty work. God knows how little of that direct debit actually goes towards what its supposed to either.””

I know as well:
100% of the direct debit goes to the charity.
That’s how a direct debit works.
Right from your account, to theirs.
If you’ve gift aided that, none of your money even comes out for normal admin.
When you put money in the pot, normally less than about 60p in a pound can go to the cause. It’s not cheap having petty cash counted and transported.

As for the other point, at first any person does it for the money. I won’t lie. I was the same. However, i’ve had 5 far more promising job prospects in the last year since i’ve been here. I love my job. I’m able to earn a living (albeit not lavish) doing good work for people.
My work does good. Think to yourselves as you re reading this: Each day at work, how many lives do you change? How many human lives do you save? I can tell you that I raise (on average) roughly £1250 for charity daily.
I don’t work for coca cola, or some huge tobacco company, and nothing anyone says will EVER make me lose my fierce pride in the work I do.

Louise says:
16 July 2013

If I wish to give money to charity I will do so on my terms ie through paypal or cash to collectors in the shopping mall – We do not give direct debits to anyone including energy companies or other organisations. I think sending people to solicit on the door step is an uncalled for intrusion into privacy. I feel strongly enough that I advise any sufferer from these visitors to contact the agency used by the charity and withdraw implied right of way to access the front door. Trespass is an offence and legally nobody is bound to give chuggers or salemen the right to infringe on their property.
As you are not au fait with what posters do for a living you are in no position to use the moral high ground to suggest that your job is better than the labour of others.

Phill says:
16 July 2013

I’m not suggesting my job is better than any others, quite the opposite in fact. Only that I want people to stop treating my job as if it is less than others. As if it does not deserve payment.
To be completely honest, my entire argument is simply: “Be open minded.” We try our hardest. If you don’t do direct de it’s then that’s fine. That’s what’s best for the charity’s we work for, as it gives them the best foresight, and lets them plan ahead easily. That is all. At the end of the day, if you don’t want us there, just close the door. It’s not a lot of hassle. Even if you got someone every single day of your life, that’d still only be about 10 seconds a day: often while you’re bored, or just watching a re-run on T.V. Getting all angry over this stuff doesn’t sort anything.

Louise says:
16 July 2013

I don’t spend my time watching television. We don’t own one through choice – and I would rather not have chuggers knocking at my door through personal choice. You might not want unexpected callers at your door when you are busy with something. When that chugger knocked I was attempting to treat my cat with eye drops – a delicate task which does not require distraction which is non urgent.
The cat was not happy when I had to repeat the procedure. I was annoyed with the attitude of the chugger and the charity got no direct debit from our bank. Nobody won or gained – just a complete waste of time.
People who knock at doors appear to work on the assumption that those of us at home are just there to lounge around and are a fair target for disturbance by chuggers and salesmen. An English mans home is his castle – we haven’t signed away our legal rights to quiet enjoyment of the property to cold callers.

“if you don’t want us there, just close the door”, but why should I even need to open the door when I have a sticker clearly displayed.

Last week I had 2 chuggers knock.

Why do they think a no cold caller sign doesn’t apply to them? As I’ve mentioned earlier my daughter was told to ignore them. Are you told to ignore then too ?

Phill says:
16 July 2013

Yes. Most people that have a sticker saying no cold calling don’t actually include charities. A huge number of the sign ups I’ve had are people with those very stickers on their doors. As I’ve said earlier, if you don’t want charities there, it’s normally best to just write up a quick hand written note saying so.
I don’t want to be seen as being rude, this is just the way things are. Most people really don’t have the problem with Fundraisers as you guys do.

Louise says:
16 July 2013

I have a sign saying no chuggers but they have ignored it. My neighbour also has one and he also gets ignored.This is why I have invoked the law of trespass because they refuse to respect my wishes.

Phill says:
16 July 2013

In that case I revoke whole heartedly what I said in these particular cases. Take their names and or I.D. Numbers and file a formal complaint. Stuff like that makes people like me look bad.

Louise says:
16 July 2013

I made a formal complaint to Appco about the last one. I also complained directly to the charity – depressingly it seems a common occurence acccording to fellow sufferers.

Phill says:
16 July 2013

Okay, I won’t lie to you, that makes me puke in my mouth a bit. I want to renounce everything rude I have said. People like that make my job harder. Please report them, every single time. Be sure to specify that your note explains that charities has been specified in your notice, to avoid possibly being met with the same scepticism I gave. If this is common, then it has to be stamped out immediately.

@phil, Do you seriously expect me to list every type of cold caller known to man ( or woman ) in order to stop everyone from knocking?

Phill says:
16 July 2013

Yes. Yes I do.

Phill says:
16 July 2013

Shouldn’t take more than a minute.

David Rodger says:
20 September 2013

Why don’t you take the better paid job and donate the extra to charity then you can leave people alone and stop bothering them. You also get to feel good about yourself and your good deeds.

Keyno says:
16 July 2013

Fro people who are interested in the other side of things: for people who want to broaden their horizons and actually learn, I urge you to look at the Ted Talk “The Way We Think About Charity Is Dead Wrong”.
Finally, I urge everyone to look at the Ted Talk “The Way We Think About Charity Is Dead Wrong”.

Louise says:
16 July 2013

I watched the Ted Talk with interest but nowhere does the speaker insist we should be bombarded by chuggers. I think we are all aware of charities. It was mentioned in the clip that giving to charity in the USA remained static at 2% from 1970 until 2010. This is despite increasingly aggressive marketing in the 21st century. Clearly people are tired of being harangued for money and are not convinced by the charities.
I found the questions posed interesting but felt there was too much pointing the finger at capitalism rather than examining poor marketing strategy. Speaking for myself I like the option of donating to a charity shop, giving money through paypal and dropping cash in the tin of a collector.
I think chugging is bad strategy which will never convince people who do not wish to have their space invaded by strangers.

Keyno says:
16 July 2013

Fair enough. We’re not gonna get everyone involved, but when possible, it’s best to try. Why not? If any person ever tries to guilt trip you, or pressure you, or anything like that, report them. Take their name and I.D. Number and get in contact with the charity they represent, but in the scale of things, a fundraiser at your door trying to do some good and pay their rent.

chris says:
16 July 2013

Dress it up how you like, you are considered by most, a complete nuisance. Door to door pains in the butt. Hopefully one day it will be illegal.

Phill says:
16 July 2013

One last time:
How is what I do a pain in the butt? As I explained, just 10 seconds. That’s not being dressed up. That is a fact. Close the door on us. It will have taken you maybe 10 seconds to come to the door and go sit down again. Tell me two good reasons why we’re a pain in the butt and I’ll go in tomorrow morning and quit my job.

Louise says:
16 July 2013

It takes me longer than ten seconds but maybe you are not aware of the disabled?

Paddy O'Brien says:
17 July 2013

Nuisance by most, hmm, that would by why so many millions of pounds have been raised by chuggers. The company I work for raise over a million a month for one of our charities and also raise cancer research 80% of their funds so if some stuck up people who can’t see past their own selfish needs think I am a nuisance to be honest I couldn’t care less because people will survive cancer or kids will get support for being sexually abused or people who are terminally il get to spend time with family in their home at the end. Now I’m not on commission I’m paid on an hourly rate so if you want to slam your door on me makes no financial difference to me, I just care and 99% percent of our company does to so nuisance, really? 1 minute of your time a nuisance when people’s lives are at stake, I think someone has their priorities way screwed up

Louise says:
17 July 2013

I wonder just how much money is raised by door step chugging? it is one thing to visit a shopping mall or high street with the idea of spending money. However people at home do not expect to be pestered by strangers asking for cash and I don’t believe it is selfish to refuse to give them the money they are soliciting.
We can all choose to donate to charity – in our own time and giving the time and money we decide to offer.
To indicate that people at home are stuck up is a stupid argument and to mention sexual abuse, cancer and other issues is attempting the emotional blackmail chuggers are famed for.
Quite frankly I think I would prefer ones who knocked on the door and said ” I want your F******** money rather than smarming for tren minutes. At least I could be amused by bare faced cheek. I do think treating the infected eye of my cat is more important then being disturbed by a chugger but obviously a fair percentage of these door step chuggers would not agree.
Charity begins at home – not on the doorstep

David Rodger says:
20 September 2013

If you or your company cared you would respect peoples wishes and not cold call. How many times do people have to say no? Why don’t your organisations take note of who says no and then stay away instead of coming back again and again?
What you care about is the money nothing else.

chris says:
16 July 2013

Some people like my grandparents aren’t as mobile and free moving so being pestered would make you a pain in the butt.

Conmen exploit people at the door and some very convincingly, so there will always be an air of mistrust in regards to door to door sales.

We are subjected to sales tactics and techniques everywhere we go. We don’t want you pestering us in our only havens and places to relax. It’s our domain so expect most people to not appreciate you.

Nick says:
16 July 2013

its unfortunate that some people feel this way. Having been visited by charity callers and also having done it as a profession I have experienced both sides of it.

Firstly i’d like to state a large aim of most campaigns is awareness. Until I had fund raised for Save the Children I had no knowledge of the programs that had benefited me personally. Programs such as free schools meals, the first Nursery programs and after school clubs were all initiatives started by them.

Secondly, a fundraiser is told explicitly in training not to emotionally blackmail or emotionally push potential donors. If you feel they are doing this ask for contact details so you can inform their team leader. This will allow you to tell them what happened and know that it will be action-ed upon by their team leader.

Finally, a large majority of people I spoke to were always happy to have an honest and informed discussion about the charities work. I would always be honest and explain I was paid a basic rate and that the campaign cost £xxxx to raise £xxxx total so people could see how effective long term giving is and the difference it will make to the people who need it.

From the side of being approached on my door, I was respectful to anyone who knocks my door. Sometimes its an inconvenient time but politely explaining that to them resulted in a polite goodbye. When I had the time i took it to learn about on going work i found the polite nature of the conversation, which did at times feature grim content, but the overall tone really was inspiring. Its important to know how together we can affect the change of the world – some people have it really bad, learning is the first step to helping. If I liked the work enough then I would give, if not then I would thank them for their time and allow them to be on their way knowing they had made a difference.

Betti says:
16 July 2013

Hello guys 🙂
I am a “chugger” however I truly resent that term since that implies me taking your money by force in a criminal manner. I’m not. I am raising money for a cause I genuinely (wether you believe it or not) believe in. I spend a lot of time researching and learning, getting to know the charity so that I am not reciting a ‘spiel’. I have honest conversations with people and if they inform me (politely or impolitely) that they won’t sign up ALWAYS politely say thank you and leave. Anyone not doing this should be reported.
I have on many occasions been swore at, screamed at and threatened, I still remain polite. However it’s not fair, I am doing a job and doing it legally, well within all guidelines. I abide by stickers on doors. If for some reason I’ve accidentally not seen a sticker (sometimes they are really not in obvious places) I’ll apologise and leave, no arguments.
In the four months I have been doing my job I have raised somewhere between £15,000 and £20,000 for charity. My company guarantees at least a 150% return on any investment from a charity, minimum. If you work in business you’ll understand that is an incredible return!
Also since my cancellation rate is currently at 6% I think you can see that the majority (96%) of people have not in anyway felt forced or guilt tripped into giving since they have committed and happily carried on giving! I’ll go out on a limb and say the small amount that have cancelled have done simply for tight financial reasons, not because they felt pushed. In fact in many cases, people have thanked me for talking to them and a lot of lovely people have told me that I am a credit to the charity and that they admire me and others doing my job for working so hard for a good cause. Any negativity I receive is in the minority.
I struggle on the wage I receive and live day to day on a small amount of money, I do not receive commission, I do receive small bonuses if I get a certain amount of sign ups, but I don’t work for the bonuses. Also these bonus amounts are already worked into the amount invested by the charity and don’t take away any money from any cause. I gave up university to work for charity because I wanted to do something that I felt was worthwhile, I have set up a charity with my mum, and when we are able to, we definitely plan on using door to door fundraising as a way of gaining support as we can see the massive benefits in this method of fundraising. It is definitely one if the most effective ways of raising money. I also passed on a job offer that certainly would have paid me more (in the hospitality industry) because I love my job so much.
I don’t care what weather I work in, the 2 or 3 people out of 150 every day make my day worth it. Also, I work probably 10-15 hours a day and get paid for 6. I am more than happy to do this.
If there is a more effective and financially beneficial way to help charities, please inform me! I’d love to work on new ideas!
Thanks! 🙂

Louise says:
17 July 2013

Door step soliciting is not fun or rewarding for the person at home. Basically the householder is in a passive position being bombarded by an eager person who wishes for a firm commitment of a monthly sum. Frankly it reminds me of the financial demands from energy companies, local authorities and government.
They all have a common denominator – they are not fun and are financially draining.
If a charity wishes to increase revenue they have to motivate people into wanting to provide the money – guilt trips won’t always work.
Why don’t charities organise fun events? people enjoy recreation. They like partying but with the exception of a few exclusive events put on for mindless celebrities – nothing is suggested.
Raffles, charity balls, fashion shows have got to be an improvement on chuggers.

Phill says:
17 July 2013

As I said earlier, we do not guilt trip. It is against the fundraising regulations. Report any fundraiser that does so. That said, they will say a few problems that are going on and how our charity will solve them. Most charities receive a huge portion (often up to 80%) of their income through face to face fundraising. It’s effective, cheaper than a poster in London, or an advert on T.V. With a far higher return.
As for “financially draining” it’s hardly like we’re here to make you suffer. It’s not like we come out on shift with an evil laugh and talk about how many people are going to loose out today – this money goes to a worthwhile cause. It’s a charity.

Louise says:
17 July 2013

You are missing my point. It is not fun – most people dislike being disturbed by strangers when they are at home. This fund raising creates a negative perception which will create a backlash against giving to charity. If a person has a bad experience with chuggers they will remember the charity with less then pleasant thoughts.
Unpleasant perceptions do not encourage people to give money.
I recall a good scheme in Waitrose. There were tokens given out for three different charities and as the customer left the shop there were different boxes for each charity with details of each endeavour and a view of how many tokens each organisation had been given – a simple effective inoffensive idea. I enjoyed reading the information and choosing the charity. I did not feel invaded or pushed and could choose at my leisure just who got my donation.
The aggresive marketing ploys used by companies employing chuggers are working on the law of diminishing returns as public hostility and austerity increases demands on the family wallet.

Betti says:
17 July 2013

You are completely missing the other side of the coin! How about you look at things from the charities point of view? The tokens at waitrose ARE a brilliant idea and good fun, however they provide such a tiny amount of the money needed for a charity, it will be a valuable donation of course, but more in the region of £1000-2000 over the course of a month. Just my office (one region out of 15 or so) in the course of a month will raise 100/200 times that amount!
Also, without sounding rude, but the money raised that way is provided by waitrose, not by you personally is it? Millions of people just in this country alone could not get through day to day life without the help of one charity or another and you’re not willing to help with a very minuscule amount of money? I understand I’m assuming a lot about you, but did you know that from various studies done, 98% of people CAN afford the £2 a week we ask for, with no detriment to their personal finances? I struggle on £240 p/w, I live on my own, pay for my life myself, and I can afford to pay 3 charities and I know I wouldn’t notice any massive benefit in cancelling those charities.

Maybe instead of getting annoyed at something that will last a maximum of a minute, 10 seconds if you politely say no and shut the door, you could instead understand how this method of fundraising is helping billions of people/animals worldwide?

Of course d2d fundraising has a shelf life, everything does. But until some other method of fundraising is created that is more efficient, safe and financially beneficial to charity, it will carry on happening wether you like it or not. I’ll just carry on enjoying my job and raising tens of thousands, personally, for good causes!

🙂

Louise says:
17 July 2013

Firstly you are making sweeping assumptions. How do you know what amount of money and who I donate to? The Waitrose scheme is money handed to them by the customer although I think the importance to the shopper is that this scheme is educational and not compulsory.
You may enjoy your job but your target market dislikes it intensely.
This blinkered reasoning will not get funds for charity. You cannot turn up on the doorsteps of strangers and convince the majority that they should hand over £2 a week – it isn’t the sum but the principle involved.
Many people lead lives of drudgery – as children they are taught how to think by schools and when they arrive at adult life they are burdened with responsibilities and little freedom of action. In order to meet these responsibilities they are often pushed into situations which offer little reward. As a result they arrive home , shut the door and close out the drone of others trying to tell them how to behave who to buy from and who to donate money to. I don’t own a television but understand that during the advertisements the sound is raised to force those people to listen to the marketing.
You chuggers are turning up the volume and people are trying to escape from you – try turning down the commotion – offer a reason for people to be generous. Your hard sell techniques don’t cut the mustard.

aaa says:
17 July 2013

Betti,
Who is your charity and what do they do with £1.5 – £3 million pounds a month?

Betti says:
17 July 2013

Oh besides, a little point, we aren’t forcing you to sign up! We are merely presenting you with an option that you may not have considered yet. We provide all the information about the charity, no money comes out of your account for 6-8 weeks. More than enough time to change your mind if you then decide, for whatever reason, that you no longer want to do it. All of your information is kept safe and confidential. Bear in mind however it does cost the charity if you cancel within a year.
I have had people stop ME while I’m working (not the other way round) to sign up. I’ve had people thank me for coming to their door because they were unsure how otherwise to set up a regular donation.

Again, if you feel guilt-tripped, pushed or you felt the fundraiser was rude, report them!

Louise says:
17 July 2013

When I want the option to “sign up” I shall hang a huge notice on my door saying “chuggers please knock here”

You chuggers all keep trying to come across as caring people and yet you all ignore no cold caller signs. That to me is not the action of a caring person, but of someone driven by targets and a callous attitude to a persons privacy.

It may in your eyes only take 1 minute for me to say did you not see this sign whilst tapping at it, but to them get “well your here now”, “Can I”, “No you can’t”.

And as someone else quite nicely point it, Charity may begin at home, but not on my doorstep.

Just a friendly reminder – please be polite to one another when you’re commenting on Which? Conversation. Thanks.

“You chuggers all keep trying to come across as caring people” – believe it or not I actually do care about the people I speak to. During my time as a ‘chugger’ I have found missing pets, given advice to people struggling with depression, and genuinely tried to brighten up people’s day.

“yet you all ignore no cold caller signs.” – no I don’t ignore cold caller signs, if I see one in someone’s window then I will respect their wishes and don’t knock on their door.

If you want to make broad sweeping statements and give us silly nicknames then that’s perfectly fine but I would find you just as rude as the exact people you described.

This comment was removed at the request of the user

I prefer to be the judge of what is a worthwhile cause and allocate money, or time, or goods, accordingly. There are thousands [maybe tens of thousands] of charities and they are not all worthwhile causes – I am a member of several organisations that have charitable status but they are not all improving health or relieving poverty, and many that do are questionable or undeserving in my opinion. I certainly do not want some annoying individual who has learnt a tiresome script glad-handing me on the doorstep and asking for money for an unspecific or nebulous and untraceable purpose. But I don’t want doorstep soliciting banned entirely because I do like to support local charities whose fund-raising activities and annual collections, prize-draws, or raffles are their main means of being able to carry on their good work. Their doorstep representatives are usually local residents who volunteer to do it, are committed to the good cause, and are friendly and understanding if they get a “Not today thank you” response. The agents employed on behalf of big charities are, without exception [despite what some of them would have us believe], an irritating nuisance and I certainly would not let them have my bank account details

Betti says:
17 July 2013

Again you are completely ignoring my many valid points. My only assumption was that you weren’t one of the many people requiring help from charities.
I do not use hard sell techniques, I am trained to avoid guilt tripping language. I am instead trained to be knowledgable and passionate about my charity, honest about my job and how this method of fundraising works.
I can also assure you that the majority of people I speak to do not share your view. It is almost a daily occurrence for everybody I know that works in my office to have had particularly touching experience. Elderly people telling me that no one comes to speak to then and it’s nice for them just to have a chat. (Also to ease your mind, we are trained to spot signs of vulnerability and in those cases, wether elderly or disabled, we abandon the pitch and just chat with them instead) I spoke to a lovely lady, ruby, yesterday who told me all about her family, showed me her garden and family photos. I didn’t ask her to sign up, we just enjoyed a half hour talking.

You are assuming I’m some hard nosed seller only concerned with scores. That could not be any further from the truth. I dislike that I’m grouped with zenith groups and commission based charity groups. But I have to deal with that.

Louise says:
17 July 2013

How is guilt tripping language defined? it is a nebulous area and very hard to legally pin down an offender.
Your assumption that I am not in need of help from a charity is curious. There are charities to support almost every cause going and I have had experience of the havoc cancer wreaks on families. In fact I was so disgusted by the attitude of a British cancer charity in relation to pancreatic cancer that I donated a three figure sum to the John Hopkins Centre who seem interested in finding treatment and a cure for this neglected form of cancer.
Everyone has experience of situations which involve charity – affluence isn’t relevant.
I wonder how chuggers would feel if the charities found a new way of fund raising which made their jobs redundant?

Unless the collector knows how much spare money a householder has, and how much they might already be contributing to worthy causes, he or she is in no position to justify the nuisance they cause by saying 98% of people can afford to give £2 a week through a drip-feed off their bank account

Knocking on doors in the hope of finding somebody to donate to a charity does not seem a financially efficient way of making money for a charity. I donate directly to my charities as I believe the charities benefit most from direct donations. I wonder what amount of the donations go directly to the ‘chuggers’ charities and how much goes in administration costs.

Chuggers, you would waste your time knocking on my door as I only open it to to the postman, expected delivery men and expected visitors. What is the strike rate from your cold calling?

Phill says:
17 July 2013

What we do is very direct. It’s done by direct debit. 100% goes to the charity, as it’s directly from your account to theirs. And it’s clearly efficient, else we wouldn’t bother. Simple as.

So you or nobody else in the chuggers chain gets paid, either directly or indirectly by the charity. If you get paid, as I presume you do, who ends up paying the bill? How many doors do you knock on before you sign up a donor? If someone donates through your efforts are they then added to a list of likely donors for other charities?

Louise says:
17 July 2013

However often the charity pays a marketing organisation to employ the chuggers and run the campaign eg Appco (google them). Their services don’t come cheap and I bet they cost plenty indirectly paid for by donations.

Betti says:
17 July 2013

Every charity has a certain amount set aside for administration which includes door to door fundraising, tv advertising, leaflets etc. the charity decides how much they use from that set aside amount which is generally 1p from every £1 donated. That is up to the charity. My organisation doesn’t ask for a particular sum, the charity decides that, we then work with what the charity has given us. Door to door fundraising is a lot cheaper than tv adverts, money boxes and organised events, it may surprise you to know! It also has a MUCH better return on the investment.

I did not assume how affluent anyone was. I also think you’re brilliant for donating a 3 figure sum, so thank you on behalf of that charity! 🙂

Charities need regular donations because, like any business, they need to be able to plan what they’re doing for the next year, 3years, 10 years etc. they need projections and budgets to be able function. They cannot cure cancer, set and run homes, hospitals, plan feeding hundreds of thousands of people during droughts that may last years in other countries without knowing for sure how much money they have day to day. One off donations are great of course, they boost daily budgets! But if your employer turned round and said to you, “I’m not going to give you a regular wage, I’ll give you different amounts on an advice basis from time to time without you knowing the amount or when you’ll receive it” how could you then run a household and provide for your family? Be sensible please and reason with logic.

I think my daughter said something like each chugger needs to get a min of 6 or 7 sign-ups, it was either a day or week just to cover their wages, they you get the area manager, then the …….

She was always impressed with the massive cars the managers were driving.

Just because the DD goes directly to the charity doesn’t mean they get to keep it all.

Louise says:
17 July 2013

I’m self employed with a fluctuating income and I do what many self employed people in my situation do and budget for the lean times.Charities must know that during this time of economic austerity like businness they have to cut their coat according to the cloth available and not just assume that regular influxes of money will always be there.
This is a fact of life affecting many people and businnesses. Already we have seen the demise of a few large high street players.

Betti says:
17 July 2013

I don’t know what organisation your daughter worked for but there definitely aren’t any massive cars at my organisation! There are a couple if cheap, small cars used for teams to get around as it is cheaper than trains and taxis!
As for the targets, yes there are targets because we have promised a return on a charity’s investment, to be able to do that and not lose our offices money (because we will always give a charity what we promise, if we don’t meet it, it comes out of my company’s pocket NOT the charity’s) we must hit targets. Retail has to hit targets, hospitality has to hit targets, ANY industry has targets to hit. That is business.

Also how does phill not being a mother or middle aged make his point any less valid? He may be a father and Middle Aged for all you know.

I agree with phill, I have presented facts and statistics to back up the reality of why there are door to door fundraisers and why it’s a great way of providing income for charities. I will also no longer participate in this discussion. I will however continue to raise money for charity and I type this as I am on my way to work, accompanied by a charity representative who is pleased I work hard for them! 🙂

There is no golden rule that says that every charity has to survive, or grow, or carry on along its chosen path. Some should fold; new causes come along which capture the public’s goodwill [where was Help for Heroes ten years ago?]. Charities have to wax and wane and stop guilt-tripping us with lines like “they cannot cure cancer, set (up) and run homes, hospitals, plan feeding hundreds of thousands of people during droughts that may last years in other countries without knowing for sure how much money they have day to day”. Many of these are self-chosen objectives and the public has the right to let them down, especially when times are hard in the home. The amazing thing is how well charitable giving is holding up during the current recession considering the strains on many household budgets, notwithstanding the current low mortgage interest rates – I hope these charities are thinking ahead to the day when the rates go up again and everyone will have a lot less disposable funds.

Phill says:
17 July 2013

The charity pays us in advance. They keep everything after that point. If the charity lost out, they wouldn’t use us. If it weren’t effective, we wouldn’t do it.
It’s annoying. For each time any of you raise a point, we raise a counter argument, raising our opinions, views and points, while using facts and evidence to support ourselves. Most of you are resorting to assumtions and your own personal opinions and emotions while completely ignoring our points. It’s not worth my time trying to reason with you any further.

David Rodger says:
20 September 2013

Why don’t you apply the same decision to knocking on doors then and stop or at least record which doors you get a no from and stay away??

People of a benevolent disposition weigh up the various appeals to their charitable instincts and make decisions on which, and to what extent, they will support them. Once they have selected the beneficiaries of their goodwill they tend to stick with them and generally support no others in the same dedicated fashion; they might give occasional amounts of cash to a variety of other good causes on impulse, but they generally make a direct approach to the collector, be it in the street or at a carnival, or – by attending – at an event known to be in aid of a charity. What is distasteful about doorstep cold-calling is that you cannot see them coming [and thus avoid them if you wish], you are virtually forced to engage with them to find out why they have called, and you are put in the uncomfortable position of having to turn them away from your own home if you don’t like what they are being paid to hawk, which goes against the welcoming and accommodating instincts of most decent citizens. I think most people are naturally indisposed to being disobliging, and that is what the charities are trying to exploit [the chuggers are merely the hapless instruments of the exercise]. I also dislike postal appeals from charities but at least I can deal with them when it suits me and in a manner of my choosing without causing any upsetment on either side. My chief objection to those is that once you have made a donation you get pestered for ever and your details are traded to other organisations.

I agree with John. I don’t know the answer for charities, but cold callers and chuggers are discouraging me from donating to some charities. I like the alternatives suggested by Louise.

Louise says:
17 July 2013

try googling direct donor dialogue tobinaldrich. A PDF gives excellent insight into the world of door step chuggers and it mentions that it isn’t as lucrative as hoped for the charities.

Maybe I’m just lucky, but I think I’ve had only to or three charity people on the doorstep in the last ten years. If I do get one, I just say I am already giving as much as I can afford.
Once you give to a few charities, your name gets passed on to lots of others. I have a favoured few, to whom I give by direct debit. I get a deluge of appeals by post, and respond to a few, but I’m beginning to think that if you can only give a small amount it’s better not to give anything at all, because a small donation just encourages them to send you more appeals, and in doing that they spend more than you gave them in the first place. I’d rather give an occasional larger donation to an emergency appeal, like the present Phillipines typhoon disaster.
I have mixed feelings about freebies. Some are useful, or get passed on to friends: pens, shopping bags, calendars (half-a-dozen already for 2014!), note-pads, address labels. Ah yes, those labels. A few good-sized ones, easily legible, would be OK; but some send you dozens of labels smaller than a postage stamp, with really tiny print, impossible to read; (at my age, anyway!)
Happy Christmas.

christine seward says:
17 December 2013

2 RSPCA male ‘chuggers’ at my door this evening at 4.15pm today – when it was dark!. They were still door knocking at 5.15pm – will the RSPCA never learn????

I will not donate to the RSPCA – My personal experience with them was poor – We had to “rescue” young superb fit dogs that we had little difficulty finding homes for – but they were going to put them to sleep after they accepted them as “pets” – The original owners were shocked – Will donate to Dogs Trust – The DT never put a healthy dog down – Not true with RSPCA

Louise says:
18 December 2013

I have had horrible experiences with RSPCA. They accused me of starving my dog ( she had a pancreatic deficiency being treated by a vet) they removed her for six weeks – she was over 13 and a doberman. She was finally returned after a legal battle suffering from dementia and vomiting. She died a few weeks later. When challenged by the media the RSPCA claimed they had not gone ahead with prosecution because the dog was old!
I would never give them a penny.The inspectors only do six weeks training

Over the years my experience with the RSPCA was appalling – yet they persist in selling themselves as gods gift to animals – they are not. Their experience with animals is very limited and will often mistake fit healthy greyhounds as being too thin – yet often have never seen a fit racing dog. Some vets are equally useless. No money to RSPCA – all spare money to the Dogs Trust an excellent organisation that saves animals

Just received a doorstep chug from Bernardo’s, 19.45. Two males knocking on doors asking for donations. I told him that
1. I never buy on the doorstep.
2. I never donate on the doorstep.
” so you’re not interested in our charity?”
” NO!”
Shut door.

Previously visited by RSPB asking me if I had seen any birds in the area?
NO
Goodnight

Knock at the door ( raining and lowing a gale)
A poor man selling dusters and pegs.
I felt really sorry for him so I said I would have some pegs.
£5.00
Just then my wife appeared behind me and shouted ‘NO Way – I can get a pack like that for 50 pence at the market.
Good Night my ‘wet’ friend.

DO NOT BUY OR DONATE ANYTHING ON YOUR DOORSTEP.
IT IS A WELL PRACTICED CON TO DEPRIVE YOU OF YOUR MONEY!!!

Am I alone in saying I hate any unannounced house calls? After all, we have voicemail and answerphone so we’re not obliged to take phone calls there and then, so why are we expected to be immediately available for a face to face meeting with who knows who, about who knows what, whenever, no matter HOW inconvenient (you might be in bathroom, nightclothes, doing workout etc)? In a property I used to live in, I had a neighbour who did this all the time – and wouldn’t go away until she got an answer, then claimed it was rude of me if I didn’t answer the door to her! On one occasion I was in the bathroom, on another I was very ill at the time. I then feel rude if I don’t answer the door, and guilty because I think, what if it was some emergency or otherwise important, and someone had a very good reason for knocking on the door?
PLEASE – in a digital age where we have immediate and free or at least very cheap access to email, SMS, mobiles and landlines, social media etc – is there really no other way than to just knock on someone’s door? Even if it’s a neighbour, I always text or leave written note as a preference.

Louise says:
1 July 2014

I agree Mandy
I have been interrupted when in the middle of a poker tourney and was furious. I was also disturbed de fleaing the cat. These people never recognise that just because someone is home it does not mean they are aimless and unoccupied. It infuriates me.
Louise

Brenda says:
5 August 2014

I recently raised money from sponsorship for the Race for Life for Cancer Research UK. This greedy charity is not satisfied with what people can do for them or give them. Less than 10 days after the R4L took place I received a call from one of their professional fundraisers going on about how much good they do and putting pressure on me to give them a further £10 per month through my bank account. I am just in the process of sending the money I raised for them with R4L and, at the same time, telling them (as indeed I told the fundraiser who phoned me) that they have lost a supporter and I will never, ever, do anything for them again. If they should call me again they will be reported.

I have also been approached several times in the shopping centre, or at my nearest supermarket, by chuggers trying to get me to sign a direct debit. I refuse to do so – they always say they are just trying to make people ‘aware’ but they are, of course, after money. This sort of thing should be made illegal.