/ Money

Why I won’t stop to donate to charity collectors

Pebbles with letters spelling out the word 'charity'

Many of the charity collectors you see on the streets don’t work directly for the charity and get commission for every person they sign up. Is this really a cost-effective method of fundraising for charities? I don’t think so.

Walking home last week, an exuberant woman jumped out in front of me waving her arms. Yes, the dreaded ‘chugger’.

You know the ones, those in-your-face young things (I’m 37 and feeling old this week) clutching a clipboard and trying to get us to sign up to a monthly direct debit for the charity of their choice.

I’m not particularly proud of the words that crossed my lips in response, but I equally don’t feel guilty that I refused her advances. I already donate each month to a charity that I believe in. I don’t want to be accosted in the street by a charity collector who is being paid to sign up as many people as possible.

Show your support independently

Often, the chugger doesn’t work for the charity, but rather for a private contractor. This company earns a fee for every person signed up. In many cases the chugger is on commission too. Which means the charity in question may see not a penny of your donations for at least the first few months, if not longer.

Even signing up online yourself is not without hurdles. When I set up the direct debit for my monthly donation I made it clear that I didn’t want any further day-to-day interaction.

I told the charity: just take my money and spend it wisely. Don’t waste half my donation on sending me begging letters, fridge magnets and mass-produced ‘personal’ notes from ‘beneficiaries’.

It didn’t stop them sending me junk mail though, and I had to contact them twice more to stop it. I support the cause, but if I think a charity is wasting my money on unnecessary marketing, I won’t donate at all.

Does the benefit justify the cost?

I realise that all this must be an effective money-raiser for many charities – that’s why they do it. But which of the following is better?

(a) A charity earns £1m a year from voluntary donations and traditional fundraising
(b) Chugging and direct mailing brings in an increased total of £3m a year, but £1.5m of this goes in commission and advertising.

For the charity’s coffers, option (b) is obviously better. For the donating public, it’s much less clear-cut and will leave many people feeling ripped off.

Making me feel bad for rejecting a chugger in the street or for not buying an orphan-and-maltreated-donkey calendar just damages a charity’s brand. And if a charity loses public trust, it might as well pack up and go home.

PS. A note to chuggers: I admire your enthusiasm, but zany jumping about went out with Timmy Mallett in the 80s.

Comments
Joe says:
5 July 2011

I’m really getting fed up of chuggers. They must be breaking the law. I believe charity tins can’t be shaked so why are chuggers allowed to make such nasty comments and chase you down the street and why is a simple no thanks not enough. My husband was made reduntant last year (don’t worry we didn’t claim a penny off the state), so money is very tight as it is with alot of people at the moment. I don’t like being accused by a chugger demanding my bank details. Is there a list of charties that use them as I do give to charity but alot less than want they want and not regular and if a charity uses chuggers I wanta know. I was accused by greenpiece today.

Jim says:
24 July 2011

I went to my local Morrisons this morning and had to run the gauntlet of half a dozen firemen, each with a bucket and collecting for some obscure African charity. I don’t want to appear mean and uncharitable but I’m getting sick of it every time I go shopping. I believe some supermarkets have now completely banned this form of, what is nothing less than, aggressive begging. Anybody tell me which supermarket chains have banned them please?

Mary-Anne says:
31 July 2011

I have worked as a so called “chugger” for over a year and a half now, and to see people’s responses to this form of charity fundraising is a little distressing.
Yes, I understand you may be in a hurry to go somewhere, and I will definitely agree fundraisers shouldn’t get arrogant or rude at all – that is definitely against the rules – but there is honestly no need in verbally abusing them.

ALL street fundraisers are paid an hourly rate, not commission. Door to door, if they’re casually dressed, then it’s an hourly rate, if they’re suited up and forceful, it’s usually commission. The question you ask about whether these fundraisers are out for themselves, or out for the charity, can be answered easily. I am a Team Leader door to door, and if I can see someone who doesn’t care about the charity, I send them straight home. The charity pays a SET fee to the agency, and in return each pound they pay a fundraiser returns £5.62 approximately. Why do charities use agencies? Because the fundraisers are strictly trained under the rules and regulations of the PFRA, and do it right. It’s much like a business hiring an external company to aid their income – last year, the particular charity I work on behalf of got 80% of it’s income from door to door fundraising. If it wasn’t for door to door and street fundraisers, charities wouldn’t be able to provide the services they do.

I can honestly tell you, hand on heart, I have cared, from the bottom of my heart, for every charity I have represented. If you don’t care, you won’t keep the job, because it’s very obvious to Team Leaders, as well as managers, whether the person actually gives a s**t, to put it bluntly.

Another reason charities do this is for awareness. The charity I fundraise/team lead for are quite unknown, and I feel happy enough knowing I’ve made someone aware about the work, even if they don’t sign up through me, they will look into it online, and will possibly donate that way.

Why do charities want regular donations? Simple. Regular support = regular gift aid = effective planning due to costs being spread out and distributed equally = better results from various campaigns. Charities appreciate one off donations entirely, but regular supporters are the backbone of what they do, without them, they would be extremely limited.

In conclusion, I only ask you all one thing – and believe it or not, it’s not to sign up. Be polite, the person on your door/talking to you on the street is a human being, someone who (if they are like myself) love the charity they work for to bits, and it can emotionally hurt them a lot for someone to be rude when they honestly want to make a difference to the people they talk for. If you have the time to listen, then do, because you may learn something new, even if you don’t donate, it’ll make you aware, and you can look in to it personally. Yes, we are paid, but we all have to support ourselves. If it was entirely voluntary then VERY few people would be able to do it, which means the charity would be struggling massively. Imagine that’s your daughter/son/sister/brother etc. on the door, and how you would want someone to speak to them. Be considerate, it is all I ask.

Brian Andrews says:
31 July 2011

Good to hear from the other side of the argument for once and get an informed – and interesting – perspective. Anne’s main point can’t be emphasised enough – be polite whether you want to give or not, whether you agree with the charity or not and whether you are in a hurry or not. Civility costs nothing but is a sign of humanity.

SPAM and phishing are both very financially productive and are major revenue earners for the practicioners.

Just because it raises revenue doesn’t mean that it is right.

I would point out that the overwhelming response in this discussion is against ‘chuggers’ – the only defence seems to be from people who are or have been ‘chuggers’ themselves.

If you are alienating most of your potential contributors you are doing something very wrong.

Claims that all ‘chuggers’ are supposed to be polite also do not hold water when the recurring complaint is about the offensive and intrusive nature of these people.

So regulate ‘chuggers’ and ensure that they have to give you a ‘complaints’ card on request so that you can identify them and object to their employers and the charity about their attitude.

Short term gain by harrassing people into giving money more or less against their will can only result in a longer term loss to charities as people get increasingly fed up with this approach.

mikey says:
22 November 2011

In reply to martyn, I completely agree with what you’re saying from my own view of nog wanting people to approach me. But like in my other posts I take a neutral view because I used to do this job.

The way I look at people stopping you in the street or knocking your door is that I don’t like it but at least its for a good cause and at least I have a choice. The way I look at it is, a charity is formed when a large group of people are effected by something they can’t control, disasters, disease, abuse. Things they can’t say no to. Touch wood I am lucky not to be in that situation, but if I was I would probably wanna know that someone was doing everything in their power to help me. At least when someone knocks our door we have the option of having a no charities sign in window, the option of just ignoring it, the option of saying “no thanks mate”, in the street we have the option of the other side of the road, walking down another road, or just simply walking past and saying sorry I’m not interested.

The best thing is you’re not even meant to feel bad for saying no, the street rep is gonna try and speak to over a thousand people over the course of the day, believe me within 2 minutes they won’t even remember you, they won’t hold a grudge.

The majority of this forum are against this form of fundraising, that’s fine, and most people won’t donate through these reps, but it is the same for every form of fundraising, more people won’t then will, more people will not like it then will. But while people do it will always be there. And they are there, when I knocked doors for charity, you would be surprised how many people were glad to see me, how many people invited me into their house before I said a word just because straight away they knew why I was there and they wanted to donate, you would be surprised how many people came out their house and walked 2 – 4 streets to find me because they heard that charity were in the area and wanted to donate. There are far mire of these people than you would believe, mote then I would have believed (at the same time, there were far more people ready to slam their doors or tell you to f**k off, but you gotta take the rough with the smooth)

The nature of sales will always be that more people won’t buy than will, that’s true in all fields of the business, and charity is no different, and while there are people who don’t mind this for of advertisement, the charities will continue to utilise it. I think it hits more nerves with the public though because through being unable or unwilling they feel bad for not donating, just like walking past the big issue guy who’s been around for years. And I personally don’t think that our guilty consciences are a good enough reason to put a stop to this effective form of fundraising.

Spotted today that there is (or will be ) a new code of practice for street fundraisers to avoid them overstepping the mark when approaching people in the street: http://www.guardian.co.uk/voluntary-sector-network/2011/sep/08/street-fundraisers-invade-personal-space

This is welcome but the points system could penalise large charities with many collectors. It would not take many rogue collectors for them to face a penalty.

I would like to see collectors given a permit and being allowed no more than two warnings before they had to surrender their permit.

At one time I was happy to give to collectors but now I won’t give a penny to anyone who is pushy.

i dont give to charities AT ALL.

the directors and managers take most of the money and whats left goes via corruption.

not cynical – just reality.

Brian Andrews says:
12 October 2011

How you spend your money is entrely your own business, but why try to justify your personal stinginess with such an obviously baseless and grossly inaccurate comment that flies in the face of all the evidence? A feeling of guilt perhaps? We’re not talking about Foreign Aid here (which may well sometimes get ‘diverted’), we’re talking about regulated UK charities. Try thinking before commenting please.

i may have hit a raw nerve here.
i wont venture into speculation or mindreading.
others may be interested in more of my thoughts on charity.
most of the chuggers i see are clearly incentivised ie on commision and i will take up cudgels with them – there is too much politeness.
however ive noticed that they dont often bother with me – being obviously over 60 – they to latch on to younger more vulnerable people – often young women – to give their sickening sales pitch.
why arent charities such as cancer research and save the children – which affect everyone – properly funded out of taxation.
giving to charity can be seen as a voluntary tax.
i agree with a previous poster that directors at least should be unpaid and on minimal expenses.
i also sympathise with one who finds it hard to get info on directors/managers pay/expenses- dead right it is – and for the usual reasons.
i dont feel guilt but anger.

National Charities – stories of highly paid execs et al, plush London Offices, Chuggers. And, now financial contributions from the Government (that us). He who pays the fiddler……………. !
I can heartily recommend giving support to the real deserving local charities. No big business here, just loyalty and dedication. They have missed out badly with the Nationals ‘posh’ charity shops on the High St., The Lottery, and professional marketing by the big Nationals too.

cantankerous says:
21 October 2011

The charity muggers I’ve encountered nearly always claim to be paid the minimum wage, or slightly more, and deny they receive bonuses or commission. This is what the companies’ trade association, masquerading as a regulator, also claims. The job adverts tell a different story. See the link below:

http://cantankerous.co.uk/?p=718

The easiest way to see where you money is going is to google an organisation’s job ads.

Last time I looked at the major players’ opaque accounts at Companies House, they all seemed to be non-charitable private limited companies, making no or pitifully small donations to charity and paying directors far salaries. The profit-making companies names are misleading too imho. The whole face-to-face fundraising process is based upon deception. If the public knew how much of their direct debits were going to private profit-making companies rather than the charity, quite simply, they wouldn’t give. You know their is something rotten when charities claim fundraising costs are ‘commercially confidential’, as they frequently do when asked how much they pay the chugging firms.

Give to a small or local charity, where you can see the overheads and how the money is used.

collector says:
23 October 2011

I’ve finally had enough of reading these ‘holier than thou’ comments on here about paid charity workers. I am one myself and guess what! I feed my family on what I make AND the charity does very well out of it. As for reading rubbish like ‘I donate to who I want to’ that is like saying you and you alone are totally protected from any kind of advertising for any of your buying decisions. You’re not, so don’t kid yourself. By the way not every charity collector is a ‘chugger’ (a disparaging title..thanks). I announce I’m there wherever ‘there’ may be. If people are interested I explain why. If not I thank them for stopping and wish them a good day. I put up with inane comments and advice from charity ‘experts’ and never speak to lunchtime office workers because as a rule, they are rude and uncharitable. (Uhh yes they are actually…just take my word for it) and I don’t want to waste my valuable time on someone whom I consider ignorant.

Paid canvassers are a highly efficient way for charities to collect donations and it precisely because we live in a nation where people need to be encouraged financially to collect as a job of work. Who else is going to put up with freezing cold weather, standing up all day and receiving stupid comments from the great British public? I’ve done it for two years now. I can tell you I would rather have remained blissfully ignorant than to have found how self-centred and rude 50% of the population is. In THAT respect I wish I hadn’t done chose to do it.

I doubt very much if anyone on here would be happy to do the job they do for free. Quit knocking people who are getting off their backsides, working AND getting funds for a charity. I read somewhere that someone was astonished that paid workers can get £10 per hour. Well woopy doo. I guess that will be building up a fearsome retirement pot then! As for clarity on my earnings..yeah sure..like any businessman is going to tell his prospective customer ‘ Well I pay £2 for my pottery item so will you give me £10 for it please?’. Please stop being so blinkered. And the amounts vary on what goes to each charity. I’m happy with what goes from my action. They simply are not all the same!

We wil live in a capitalist country. I explain how important a donation is to someone, they say yes or no. If they say no then I let them go instantly. If they say yes I sign them up eventually receiving a commission if they stay a supporter for a good time period. The charity receives, in general, a lengthy donation than otherwise would not have been forthcoming had I not stood there that day and used my ability to converse with people politely yet pointedly. By the way, if I am ill or cannot get to work I receive nothing at all which means I can’t cry off with a note from the doctor for depression and still get paid. I earn from solid graft…not income support.

collector

you havent mentioned a big issue raised in several posts here.

that is – what happens to the money raised by yourself and others for the CHARITY.

how much goes on directors pay and expenses and managers pay and expenses.

when what is left gets to a recipient organisation, how much goes again on pay and expenses and also how much is syphoned off by corrupt officials.

we dont know – its all very opaque and secretive.

i would also be interested in how honest truthful and decent your sales pitch is and the type of person you approach.

only asking – i dont know you and i make no accusations.

ps

i will add that i have ear wigged a lot of sickening sales pitches – many made to selected vulnerable people.

collector says:
23 October 2011

davetparke:

The truth is I do not know exactly how much goes into the charity box because I am a canvasser and not the owner of the organisation I work for. However, I have been TOLD that 73% of the monies donated end up in the charity pocket. My understanding is also that this is actually an exceptionally good rate. Yes, my commission comes out of the lost 27% and that of the organisation I work for but this is a VERY cheap source of funding. There are no advertising costs, no mailshots, no internal admin costs for the charity. Just my shoe leather and that’s why they are very happy to receive in this way.

There are charity collectors and charity collectors. The people that tug your arm in the street, won’t take no for an answer and start by asking a transparently leading question, would get my goat up too but there are other ways to explain the needs of a charity that allow listeners to decine and for that answer that to be gracefully received. I have to live with myself at night and so vulnerable people, people just made redundant, afraid of losing their job, clearly not understanding the message, low paid etc etc, I will send on their way, wish them luck and tell them jokingly that I will catch them another day.

I also deal in standing orders, not direct debits and advise each and every subscriber that they will not be contacted and can cancel at any time by contacting their bank. They can choose to donate for short medium or long term. It’s their choice.

At the end of a day, I am physically and mentally exhausted. It’s like being a stand up impromptu comedian who changes the presentation dependent upon the person receiving the message, their attention level, how much time they have and so on.

In fact, I receive a payment only if the donator stays on board for several months. Yes it is opaque but as I mentioned earlier, no-one would sign up for ANY charity whether by this method or in response to any other advertising if the costs were shown up front. Some of the big players take out enormous sums for ‘admin’. Thankfully, I do not work for them.

I posted up my initial response because I see everyone getting labelled in the same way and it was beginning to bug me. It’s not fair and like all professions there are goodies and baddies. I imagine every single person who has posted on this board keeps their wages secret for a variety of reasons. The charities LIKE this form of collection. It helps them to survive and that’s why they encourage it. In this respect there are well run charities and poorly run charities but there is no way jose that a collector will EVER tell you what they will earn from your donation and nor would a double-glazing salesman or your bank manager. (Actually financial advisor’s do and it always strikes me as being excessive but thats another story).

J Girl says:
26 October 2011

Hmmm…. It is true not all are the same. And I agree it would be a pretty thankless job to have. I would not be able to handle the rejection, and feigned invisibility of the job.

I’ve done it. ….walk past, pretend to be in conversation or in a hurry. Countless times. I’m going to rethink this now though.

If I were standing there with a smile, and politely trying to get someone’s attention, and watch hundreds move past, scared to even make eye contact…. yes, that would be excruciating. I can’t imagine being ignored to that level, to not have someone recognizing I’m a living, breathing human being. And as someone above mentioned…long hours on your feet, and being subject to whatever temperatures…. not something I’ve really considered. No, it isn’t a job I could take on. And it is sad that there are good and decent charities and “collectors” out there competing with others that…well.. aren’t.

I won’t donate to just anyone either. Certainly someone who represents themselves more professionally would be worthy of my attention. But then again, if I truly don’t have anything to spare, I don’t want to waste their time in conversation. There are worthy causes to contribute to. But I disagree with one of the posts above… it doesn’t matter if you contribute online, or to…maybe I’ll say.. “a representative” of the charity. You will never really KNOW where your money goes, any way you donate. So…there’s a fine excuse to just keep our money in our pockets isn’t it? I definitely would not put money directly into the hands of someone off the street. I don’t think any reputable charity would allow their representatives to collect that way anyway.

So I understand the need. It’s not like I’m going to look up a charity online and donate. If I’m not approached, the thought wouldn’t even enter my head.

I think, at the very least, I’ll probably acknowledge the human beings doing this work more than I have been. The ones that are personable at any rate. I can make eye contact. I can try to return a smile and say “no thanks”. That costs me nothing.

mikey says:
20 November 2011

Hi. I used to be one of these dreaded people, but the door to door kind. I completely understand why people don’t Like them for I don’t really like people trying to get to me to do that sort of thing either, I like it to be my own choice.
In terms of “is it worth donating through them?” all depends on the company the rep is working for (thats company, not charity).
There are a few companies out there for which the rep will purely get paid on commission, and the commission isn’t great but if they are good at it, they can make a lot of money. Where is the benefit for the charity? These commission based companies usually have a deal with the charity in that if the person cancels before the fee is paid off the charity take all that money back. The result of this is the charity is never out of pocket, reps do their best to only sign up the people who they think will commit for the asked time, 1 – 3 years to ensure that they don’t lose out on their money. People might say that its not in the nature of fundraising but this kind of fundraising can make charities a lot of money at a much cheaper price than advertising on prime time tv, which costs hundreds of thousands and doesn’t ensure a return on investment.
This is why I hate the word ‘chuggers’, because I worked really hard in that job for a long time (i’m thankfully in a different job now) , and when I say really hard I mean 70 hours a week, purely on commission, no sick pay, no holiday pay, no pension, just pure sell and get paid, don’t turn up or genuinely be sick on deaths door and look at your empty bank balance the next week. For this I don’t think the people who work for these such companies deserve the title ‘charity mugger’.
But then there’s the other side of it, the ‘paid’ ones. There’s are other companies out there, and theses are the ones you are likely to see in the city, who get paid an hourly rate for what they do, which I completely disagree with because if they have a shit week, a couple of donations, maybe less (it does happen every now and again) they still get paid the same, they could have a high percentage of cancellations, and still get paid the same. I don’t see any benefit for the charity when there’s no money back agreement.
Due to a change in circumstances I joined one of the hourly paid door to door companies to free up some time for me to find another job (one which didn’t involve commission, or knocking doors in arctic conditions in December) and what I discovered was quite shocking, they provided 2 days of training before you started, that’s it, and all it consisted of was a script of what to say. Where as in my last company we had 3 hours training a day, on subjects such as relating with the customer, when to walk away, the history of the charity and their current prodjects, being professional, protecting the ethos of the charity, and many more. This company were encouraging their reps to be pushy, not give up when they say no, and many more things I disagreed with (i quit after a week).

If you ask to look at the back of a sign up form it should tell you briefly, how much the charity invest into the marketing company and all other different stats on where your money goes.

My conclusuon, you always have the power to say no, don’t be afraid of that, but at the same time while they might be stopping you after a hard shift at work, although they are smiling they have probably spoke to 500 who are in the same position and mood like you, who might not have been as nice as you might be. Little white lies are good, saying you’ve already signed up a few months ago for £8.50 or a tenner a month, and they’ll just thank you and let you pass.
In terms of door knocking, what I learned was that there are certain signs that say ‘no cold callers’ which aren’t recognised by who ever the people that say ignoring that sign is illegal, although they are common signs, so if door knockers do bother you, just get a piece of paper and write “No sales, religious of charity calls” and stick it inside you’re window, if it specifies no charities then they have to abide by it, even if hand writen.
But my opinion about street fundraisers is more of a bias one. This world, even this country, suffers from epidemics, diseases, natural disasters, child abuse, animal cruelty, extinction. Some of these things happen in our own back yard, look at the terrible damage flooding has caused in the UK over the last decade, the homes that were destroyed, the people that died. I would prefer for someone to stop me in the street asking for money anyday over being in that situation, especially as I have the choice to say no, unlike them poor people in Japan who didn’t have the choice to say “no thanks, I don’t want a tsunami wiping out my house and community today”.
And if anyone has ever walked down a high street in a place like Egypt, or Turkey and been stopped by every single shop owner and their dog to come in their shop and buy, could probably compare and see that being approached by one person, for a good cause, every now and again, isn’t really that bad.

Thanks for reading.

[Hi Mikey, thanks for your comments on this Conversation. We have edited out some of the information about specific companies in this comment for libel reasons. Thanks, Mods]

mikey says:
20 November 2011

I know I’ve already touched on this subject but the thing that really p****s me off are the people that properly have a moan about charity reps trying to stop them when everybody has the option to say no. I did used to do this job, but I don’t really like people knocking my door, or stopping me in the street, I don’t have any direct debits of my own, but when these people approach me I remember a few things…
I remember that firstly I worked that job once because the economic climate was bad (and still is) and even though I have a degree and a bulky CV I couldn’t find any other job.
I remember that I have a house, a family, there is always food on the table, that my family and friends are healthy and well, and apart from the odd spout of cancer i’m not watching my friends and family die in an epidemic. In other words I’m lucky enough not to be living in a country thats been hit by famine, disease, earthquakes, tsunami.
I remember that these people don’t have the choice to say “no”, when Haiti started shaking the people couldn’t say “not interested today mate” they couldn’t see the tsunami from a distance, put their head down giving it a wide birth like they hadn’t seen it.
I remember that if I was walking down the street in places like Turkey or Egypt, every person that works in a shop would be standing in front of me to get me into the shop, with the next shop keeper waiting to speak to me after the first, with the next one after him. Just ask anyone you know that’s been to one of them countries.
It annoys me when I hear people say “they have a disgusting sales pitch” in other words they probably go into a bit of detail and you are to guilty to listen. But if they told a rosey story where everyone is happy and no one dies would that encourage people to donate their hard-earned cash in the middle of an economic crisis. But then they’ll probably get home and see an advertisement with heartbreaking images of skin and bone African children with flies all over their poor faces. Them images are far harsher and disturbing than any words that could out a reps mouth but I don’t hear anyone saying these adverts should be banned.
Which brings me onto money, this method of fundraising generates a large amount of money for the charity when done right, weather people agree with it or not. I can only comment on the way the company I worked for operated. The charity would give the company a budget which would equate to a certain amount of sign-ups. We would go out door to door and work very hard to find them donors, I would get paid roughly £30 for a sign-up, my marketing company would get £25, it sounds a lot I agree, but that would be for a £10 a month donation in which the donor would have verbally agreed to donate for a minimum of a year, the rep by law has to state this to before the donor signs else the rep is liable of a £5000 fine. Through the statistics recorded by the company over the last decades was that the majority of people would donate up to 3 years if they got past that initially agreed first year. So that person is a potential £360, a net profit of £305 after the fee is taken away. So you imagine, if that person signs up 4 people a day, 6 days a week which they work, 51 weeks a year that person is worth just a bit less than half a million for the charity. Like it or not that’s not bad.
Obviously people cancel, so the company had a system in place for that. When the rep gets paid their commission they only get 60% of that £30 right away. The 40% was placed into a monthly bond, which the rep would receive 5 to 6 months later as a lump sum. If anyone cancelled their donation before the fee was payed off the charity got every penny back which would come out of that bond, this way the charity is never out of pocket as the rep is payed completely on commission. It meant that unlike expensive tv advertisements it other forms of fundraising the charity received 100% return on investment.
It’s like if I said to you “give me £1, I will go out and generate that £1 into £5, and if I can’t i’ll give you your £1 back” and when you see that works you’ll start giving me more money, £10 to generate £50 , £100 into £500 and so on. It’s easy to see why the charity use this method of fundraising.
Although that is for purely commission based reps, as I mentioned I’m an earlier post 90% of the street reps are paid an hourly rate and it doesn’t matter hoe good or bad they do they get paid the same, so I can’t see the benefit from the charities perspective for when these people gave a pour day.
I think we are very lucky in the UK, there is a lot of pain and heartache around the world at the moment, famine, natural disasters, quite a few cival wars going on. But we moan that enthusiastic people with big silly smiles on their stop us once and a while in the street to donate to a good cause. We really haven’t got it that bad have we. Someone in an earlier post moaned that they had to walk past firemen raising money for some African children, do some of you people realise how self centred and completely unreasonable you sound? No way am I saying donate, I don’t , but realise that that worst thing that could happen is people sit back and do nothing. These firemen dedicate their life to being prepared to save tour life if you house burns down, and they’ve decided that in their spare time they will hold a bucket for a charity they believe in, mearly give the people the choice to drop some spare change in out the kindness of their hearts. How mad does it sound that someone would complain about that? Someone even complained that a big issue person asked for money, get over yourself mate, that bloke is homeless, probably has been for a while and probably through no fault of his own, you don’t have to give him money, but at least have the compassion to realise his life is most likely alot worse than yours.

I believe that some people need to take a long, hard look at themselves, at their lives, the problems in their life and compare them to what is going on around the world, and even here in the UK, ask themselves is it really disaster in my life that these people ask me for money every now and again. And seriously put these things in perspective and realise how lucky they are.

mikey says:
22 November 2011

Daveparke and other people that quoted about the sales pitch :-

I’ve noticed a few points raised about the pitch and how disgusting it is?
So i’ll give a few examples of what pitch I would use and explain why.

Now i only did street fundraising for a week so I can’t comment much on who you chose to pitch. But firstly I would rule out anyone that looked to old, even if I signed them up the marketing company would then check on them via the phone a couple of times to see if after 2 weeks they remember what they had done. This is a prevention of getting complaints for signing up the people you shouldn’t. I also wouldnt approach anyone who didn’t look in their 20’s, statistically they don’t donate for long with their studentish live for the weekend lifestyle, the rule of thunmb is roughly 25 and up.

So I’ve chose a Target. Firstly I give a massive smile (it goes without saying how important a smile is) and then depending on my mood I throw a funny icebreaker or ask them politely if they can spare a minute (so far, no reason for anyone to complain about me, right?)

Then the selling starts, I sell myself first, because if they like me the rest of the job is easy. Quickly getting to know them “been shopping?” “good day at work?” “how cute is your kid, how old?”.

Then about the charity

Let’s pretend I’m rep’ing a well known animal charity in the UK.
First question is if they have any pets? If no I ask if they like animals, if they don’t, guess what they ain’t gonna donate anyway so everything goes out the window lol and you just ask if they are remotely interested in donating, the chances are slim, wave goodbye, next person.
But if they do have a pet, you relate again, 90% of the time its a cat or dog, the rest is normally obscure like a lizard or a spider. If its not a cat or dog then my next line of questioning is massively excited and inquisitive “what made you get one?” Have you always had one?” What do you feed it?” Stuff like that, make them feel good about their abnormal choice of pet.

If a dog or cat then relate some more “does it bark/scratch alot” “does it bring you presents?” (dead rodents) “was it from a rescue centre?” And the best line always is “my mom has one, they’re great with kids aren’t they” (yes it is a little white lie, but wake up people this is still sales)
The point of this jibba Jabba is people love talking about their pets, and the longer they do the more they like you for listening and agreeing.

Now comes to the nitty gritty, the pitch. If the have a cat I would ask them do the remember the woman who through the cat in the bin on the knews, or more recently the guy swinging the cat by its tail in Kent. I ask them how that makes them feel, what they would like to do to them people, most peoples reaction is a p****d off one or one of disgust. Then I drop the good knew “well did you know the……..(charity in question) are the only charity in the country who can put these sick and twisted people behind bars?” A good enough reason to help I think, and then I drop another fact about the charity receiving a phonecall for help every 17 seconds from all over the UK and the charity only have 200 inspectors so they need more help do they can employ more people and help more animals before its to late.
Now none of that info above is untrue, it a genuine problem. And now I most likely have the persons undivided attention, and honestly some people will be tearful.
Let’s switch it a bit, they have a dog, big problem in England – dog fighting, so guess what I’m talking about. I live and work in a big city which does have this problem, I ask them where they live as there is a big chance they live by one of these areas. so I say “did you know in (such and such an area) dogs are turtured, abused and made to rip another dogs face off while thugs bet on with survives, how would you like it if you were in your local park and one of these beasts attacked your child/grandchild, how would you feel?” And then I talk about prison again like I mentioned with the cats.

Now so far I’ve been polite, sparked up a conversation, made them feel good about themselves, maybe told a quick joke, maybe made them laugh. As an animal lover i’ve highlighted issues around the UK and locally specific to the animal they have, I’ve put them in the shoes of someone effected by these problems, I’ve told them that the charity does provide a solution, but the charity needs support as the problem is more then they can handle. Can anyone honestly say so far that I’ve been out of order or been unethical in anyway, or misrepresented the charity?

Ok now comes the business side, the money. I ask “do you think the charity do an important job?” Believe me, some people do say no, at this point I can say some time and move on to the next person. If they say yes then I strengthen the final out come people they have verbally agreed with me, then I tell them “great because a lot of people today feel the same way” I say a lot of people because if a person thinks everyone else is doing it they will be mote inclined, we see it all the time on tv advertisements when a company announces they are having a sale “they are flying off the shelves” “buy now while stocks last” “everybody is getting their hands on one of these” “the top selling item this year”, all these statements are false, but they create a sense of urgency, the idea that “if everyone else is doing it….”. Then the money “and they said they would be willing to try and help us out just for 1 year with just something small like £2 a week, that’s £2 a week out of their whole weekly shopping budget” and then I ask them “lets face it, its not much is it” they normally agree and then I recap on the help “exactly but collectively it’ll help around 50 000 innocent animals have a second chance in life” (once again, the figure isn’t spot on but its true)
A quick recap, they’ve just agreed its a good cause, and that £2 a week isn’t much, so the final question comes “can we count on your support to?” And that’s it, they say yes or no, some people may still need a tiny bit of persuading but that’s another lecture for another day.

What about another charity then, let’s say, a famous swiss humanitarian organisation.

The structure is the same, getting to know them at the start, quickly building that rapport, and at the end the asking for money bit is almost identical. The only thing that changes really is the middle bit about the charity.
Firstly its a matter of generalization and stereotyping, its a bit naughty but it works. For example I believe a white person will more likely then not care more about the white community then any other (no way am I saying they dislike the others at all, its just a generalization) , and the same for black people and their community, Indian/pakistani people and theirs, Chinese and other aisian communities. And I will talk to them about natural disaster relating to their community, to black people i’ll talk about Haiti and how 5 more years of help are needed over there, with inidians and pakistani’s I talk about the devistating floods in Pakistan. And to oriental looking people I talk about the tsunami in Japan. To white English people I talk about the local floods for example worcester and higlight how close to home they are and how equally devistating they can be.

You may say this generalization is wrong but it happens on tv everyday. Early morning are dominated by toy adverts for the little children that get up super early, especially on Saturday mornings, afternoon adverts are cheap loan adverts, and cash for gold adverts for people out of work who need more cash because they have low incomes, and lawyer adverts for the people off work with injuries, the prime time adverts are all expensive products because now the money makers, the ones who can afford it have come home from work. And the late night adverts are dominated by gambling websites and sex phone lines for th people looking for a reason to play with themselves. Also ad breaks surrounding football games tend to bet sports gambling websites and alcohol such as carling and fosters.

So as you can see, stereotyping in advertising happens all the time, it works.

Another subject that can be talked about with that charity is the elderly in times of bad weather, I.e snow. It’s a good one because any culture and ethnic group can relate to it.
That pitch would go along the lines of
“in this bad weather there are a lot of old people who are effectively prisoners in their own home, alone with no one to turn to, too frail or scared to leave their own doorstep for fear of falling over and hurting themselves. The …(charity in question) have a befriending scheme where they make home visits on a regular basis, to help with shopping, medicine, hospital trips, or sometimes just to have a chat over a nice cup of tea. Can you see how important the (charity in question)’s work is?”

Once again, none of the information is false and if executed well its a heartfelt and passionate pitch.

Now when we consider the types of charity adverts that are shown on tv and the methods they use, they are similar but sometimes can be quite disturbing and a lot harsher then what I’ve highlighted that a good street rep will do.
If its an animal charity, the animals are always cute, with big sad eyes to make you (especially woman, and most definatly children) go “awwww!” And children are the worst when it comes to children, because once your child wants you to donate they will bug the f**k out of you until you do. Hense why when I represented an animal charity and a mother would open her door with her child, I would speak to the child about 90% of my time whilst in their company “have you got a pet?, what’s its name?, is it fluffy? Can it jump high? Some people are nasty to their pets aren’t they naughty? Do you thinly we should tell them off? (look up at the mom) I wonder what your mommy thinks???” Lol it works.
Children’s charity adverts, really when have you seen one of these and not thought that the kid was adorable? They use kids that you just wanna cuddle , never an ugly kid, why? Because people will be less sympathetic if the kid was not cute, less sympathy, less donations, harsh but true.
The worst are the natural disaster and third world appeals because they tell it how it is, they show us images that put us off our dinner, which you could argue is far worse than any salesie pitch from one of the reps. Basically the use any image they can that has as much horrific shock value as possible that they can find with no blood.

I can’t speak for every rep, door to door or in the towns and cities, but the above is what I’ve been taught, picked up off other people and just added through my own initiative, most of which should be taught to the other reps working for the various marketing companies. It is how I did it, it is how I taught other people to do it. And in my opinion how a good rep, should do it to. Being funny, friendly, adaptive, passionate, enthusiastic, professional, confident and representing the ethos of the charity while not falsely advertising the facts.

Let me ask, if the reps are like that, and I certainly was, is it wrong? Is it disgusting? Or is it necessary?

My parting thought on this post – Bob Geldof received a knighthood for shouting “give us your f****n money!!!” (Before anyone says anything I am aware that them words didn’t actually come out of his mouth at all, but he was fail mouthed, and it was accepted) infront of millions of the British public, and he received a knighthood. What’s wrong with using a sales pitch you encourage people to donate?

Thanks for reading

What do people think about calls at the doorstep from people claiming to be on some rehabiliation scheme and where they try to get you to buy over-priced inferior merchandise from a large ruck sack.

I have no sympathy with such hawkers. We have local markets and charity fairs where people offer quality craft goods and hand-made articles for sale in a transparent and organised way [with their contact details declared] so I have no desire to reduce my ability to spend freely at such events.

Fiona says:
27 January 2012

MaryAnne and all your sanctimonious ilk – CHARITY IS NOT A JOB! As all the people who’ve donated for years, given time and money for no wage/commission, will testify.

All you’re doing, by contrast, is begging for your salary. The fact you’re doing it with a clipboard, and for an agency, doesn’t make it any less like begging. Ever occur to you most of the people you stop already give to charity? Where do you think the charity got the money from in the first place? From people who donated money, time and expertise WITHOUT needing to be paid for it.

Collector – some of your points here are a perfect representation of why people can’t stand chuggers – from the complaints about how hard you work, right down to the inappropriate comparison with non-charity workers’ salaries. Charities depend on donations, which is why all salaries derived from a charity should be transparant. Do you honestly not get that?!

There are far too many chuggers around, with far too bad an attitude. People who used to be polite to them, like myself, have given up, out of disgust, stress, lack of respect from the chugger. Ask a chugger to justify their job, and the way donations go on their salary, and all you get is a lot of waffle, with the usual sanctimonious edge, and hint of ‘how dare you ask that?!’

Because their job IS indefensible.

There’s nothing intrinsically good about getting paid £10.00 an hour by the very people you’re harrassing and trying to guilt-trip. Have a bit of respect, instead of whinging on about how tough the job is. If you want respect for that – do it for free in your spare time, the way the real supporters of charity do.

Interesting how very few chuggers, if any, will admit the fact that most of the money they raise does in fact seem to go mostly on salaries, commission and the marketing agency that hired them.

Mikey – interesting post. Completely wrong. Know how many white people donate to African charities? Millions of us. Grow up on that one (on all of it, really.) Just shows how very shallow and market-oriented the chugging business is, with no understanding of the real compassion and humanity shown by those who do donate. And, again, in your post, there’s the attempt at guilt-tripping. What do they DO to you lot on those training programmes?! Or is it a chicken and egg thing? You DON’T KNOW how much stress the person in the street has. You don’t know if they’re just lost their job, are one cheque away from homelessness, dread every bill through the post. You don’t care how much guilt you attempt to pile on people who care. (Try piling it on the directors of the charities, who ean six figure sums, while sending you lot out on the streets to manipulate for more. It’s getting a bit like Fagin and the boys, only more overt.) So blinkered, all of you who’ve been chuggers posting here. Same old spiel, same old nonsense, trying to justify an unjustifiable tactic. Get over yourselves! You don’t get kudos for harrassing people. Funny how the chuggers yowl on all the time about how ‘hard’ it is, while the Big Issue sellers, in the main, compliment their clientele and have a much more upbeat attitude, despite facing the same hardships, much greater danger, and with, probably, a much less cosy and safe home to go back to.

Chuggers – you DON’T help the charity, financially or otherwise. People are actively avoiding the charities which use you. Stop kidding yourselves that you’re doing anything other than harrassing people, and making life in this country that bit nastier. It’s not about one person every now and again asking for ‘two minutes of your time’ – even that’s annoying when you know the story behind it. It’s about people, who probably already give to charity, being harrassed and intimidated, insulted and guilt-tripped, unable to relax in their own high street, sometimes avoiding some of the shops in order to avoid being bullied by you. It’s giving charities a terrible name.

If you lot really cared about the charities, you’d be actively campaigning to STOP chugging and the hardcore, hardsell intimidating tactics used by charities these days. Instead, you are part of these tactics. For a salary. The matter speaks for itself, no matter how loudly, and how sanctimoniously you try to drown it out. The real shame is, the people who will suffer in the end, are the very people most of us who donate to charity wish to help. The real poor. The ones the chuggers DON’T, really, give a toss about. If they did, they wouldn’t the chuggers; they’d be volunteers.

Finally – chuggers – STOP using people in desperate need in a pathetic attempt to justify what you do, and thus deflect all justified criticism. It is a disgusting tactic.

People in this country give great sums to charity, despite not being wealthy themselves. It is the shame of the charities that so much of this money, meant for the very poor, donated by the less well off, goes on the salaries of the rich and shameless. And that more of it still goes on the marketing agencies which hire the chuggers, who harrass the people, who later stop the direct debits, which all helps to destroy the rep. of the charity the donors built in the first place …

Thank you Fiona. What an excellent article. You’ve hit every nail firmly on the head.

My heavens, Fiona – That is a corker of a contribution. You’ve put together brilliantly all the thoughts I’ve been assembling in my head while reading this conversation and your final paragraph is absolutely fantastic. Thank you so much.

numbnuts says:
28 January 2012

What I hate about the chuggers I’ve come across is:

– there’s too many of them — in one 100 yard stretch in Brighton I was approached by 3 chuggers

– some pretend to be friendly — they don’t want to be my friend, they want my money. I’d have far more respect for them if they didn’t try so damn hard to be fake-friendly & just spoke to me normally & presented their argument/case in a calm & factually accurate manner

– some try to lay a guilt trip on you, which really annoys me — how dare they

– anyone could approach me in the street — how do I know they’re genuine? It could be a scam

– are these people on commission? they should say so if they are

– how much of the money collected goes on admin? what percentage actually gets to the people it’s supposed to help? they never tell you.

mikey says:
29 January 2012

Alright mate, not all are on commission, some if the companies work in different ways, if you read what I wrote to Fiona i explain how the commission works. A I also explain in that post that by law if they don’t declare they are paid fundraisers before the person signs the form they can receive a hefty £5000 fine.
If you have doubts about fundraisers they will have phone numbers on their badge which will go through to a call centre. A bit to much effort for a scam lol. Also you will notice they will be in massively populated places where police patrol.
If they don’t have a badge, run a mile.
Hope this helps.

mikey says:
29 January 2012

Fiona

I’m not gonna say that everyone that does the job is perfect, you won’t find that in any job, yes some are rude and yes some of them are bad at their job.

I can’t really comment on the people you see in the street because I know most of them get a set wage, and I can’t see really how the charity benefit if the majority of them collectors don’t hit their targets, which most of them won’t.

But I can’t comment on the company I worked for, rather than standing in the street we knocked doors, you may argue that they are even worse, I wouldnt blame you.
In terms of money, the charity were always the winner.
Firstly I was I commission, so yes if you look at it in a way I was asking for my wages. The charity use that particular company because of the system the company put in place. Let’s say I ask you to donate £10 a month, that’s £120 a year for the charity. I would get paid £30 and my boss would get £25. I would get that £30 straight away, i’d get 60% in my wages and 40% into a bond. The 40% would sit in a bond account for 5 months. Now, if within a week they cancel then me and my boss get nothing. If they don’t we get paid as I explained above. After this point, if they cancel within 5 months then every penny that was paid to us for that donor was taken back off us out of that bond account. That way, the charity never lose out on their investment (my wages).

So you tell me, if I said to you, give me some money, and I will go out and multiply that money for you, if I do I’ll take a small fee, if I fail I will give every penny back to you. Would you turn that down? That’s exactly how the company I worked for ran.

I believe you highlighted that the donations pay their wages, yes that’s true, but that money is already set aside the year before to raise more money for charity. You may have heard of it, the Pre allocated fundraising budget. Every charity has to have it by law, as you know its used for a large number of ways to raise money. Events, tv, mail shots, the website. How much.money do you think is spent on all that? Tv advertisements aren’t cheap, when you see a charity advert in prime time tv ask yourself how much money it cost. And does it ensure that the person will donate, there is 0% guarantee that the large amount of money they spend on these adverts or other types of marketing will have a return. Where the commission based fundraisers offer 100% guarantee on a return. Any other industry would see that as good business. And that is how I can justify that as a ethical and generally good way of raising money.

Before I forget, going back to the wages, they have to state by law that they are paid before you sign the form, so if the person disagrees with them getting paid, they have the option to back out. It will also be printed on the back of the form just incase the fundraiser is a bit naughty and doesn’t. And if they don’t state that they can receive a £5000 fine.

Before I continue I will remind you that I only argue for commission based fundraisers, not people on a set wage.

In terms of how people argue about how annoying they are in the street, so what? We all have the ability to say no, its not hard to say “sorry I’m not interested” or “sorry I already donate” its not hard and they will leave you alone. I have to walk past them every day, I just say I already do £10 a month, pure lies, but they leave me alone.

Sorry but I had to laugh when you said about they’re approaching people who may have problems themselves. Get real, everyone has problems, people who don’t have problems lie 6 feet underground. And yes you are right, the people they speak to may already donate, once again, so what? Lots of people donate to lots of things, but who says they can’t donate to something else? Infact its the people who already donate to charities who are more likely to stop and sign up because they have that generous streak.
Also you can argue that they have every right to be in the high street because the majority of space occupied in a high street is for commercial use, these fundraisers are human commercials, you expose yourself to hundreds if not thousands of adverts when you walk down that street, they are just a talking one, which you can ignore like the rest.

The point is the fundraiser has no idea about the lives of the people they speak to, they aren’t mind readers, but they have targets to hit. What you fail to realise is they aren’t trying to get everyone, but if they try and talk to everyone, at least 3 or 4 people out of hundreds will stop and will donate.

We can all have opinions about this form of fundraising, but at the end of the day the big name charities are all involved. Every one of the biggest charities in the UK are represented in the streets and knocking doors. If this form of fundraising is bad, or if the charities are being ripped off by the companies, don’t you think they would cut their ties? The fact that they havent surely suggests that they must be getting a lot of money from this form of marketing. So if that is true, who are we to argue? The company I was with did research into how long people donate for, if the donor donated for 12 months (which is what they would have been asked to do) around 80% would donate for a further 2 years, I don’t care who you are, that’s a lot if money for the charity. But I’ll be honest and say I don’t know the % of people who would donate for a year.

We would have thank you meeting from the charities we worked for, RSPCA, Red cross, WWF, NDCS and UNICEF, they would highlight how much money we raised for them sinse the last meeting and believe me we raised a lot, and believe me when I say they thanked us, they sang our praises. Why would they if this form of advertisement was so bad? UNICEF went as far as to get Ewan mcgegor to record a video saying thank you for the money we raised, specifically to our company. The red cross dedicated a web page to the work we did, redcross.org/fundraisers
If this form of fundraising is so bad why would the charities go to such lengths to keep the companies working for them? In one of our meeting with the NDCS, they highlighted that our company alone raised over 70% of their entire income, how can you argue that?

I dare you to argue the way we got paid as I explained it and find a reason why its unethical when the charity lose no money at all, and the fundraiser has to explain that they are paid to do what they do before the person signs up.

I also dare you to explain why if this method of fundrasing is so shit, why the biggest, oldest and most well known charities are so enthusiastic about using them, even after all these years and all the people like yourself and other people on this forum who make complaints.

And finally I’ll make a suggestion, first you have to grow some balls because while these companies make these charities a lot of money this form of fundraising will never go away. So knowing this I suggest that rather complaining about how hard your life has become walking down a high street (a place of commercialisation and adverts I might add) why don’t you come up with solutions on the best way to respond to these fundraisers in a way that keeps you and them happy? If you want tips on how to do it I will be more than happy to help.

Regards

Mikey

I typed this out on my phone so there may be a few spelling errors, sorry.

mikey says:
29 January 2012

Also Fiona

The people we haven’t talked about are the people that do do it, the people that want to. This form of fundraising relies on supply and demand, if there weren’t enough people that wanted to do it then these marketing companies would shut down, but they are flourishing. The company I worked for have around a thousand people in the charities devision alone. that’s just one of many companies. So that means there’s even more people out there who want to donate, someone who is average at job will get between 2-4 people signing up a day, 6 days a week. That means there’s a estimated minimum of 12 people for every one fundraiser, multiplied by the thousands of people fundraising. That’s around 12000 people signing up a week, just through one company, in just one week.

I will blow my trumpet, I was good at my job, I did it for quite a while, I signed up a lot of people, I was never pushy, they signed up because either they liked me, or they liked the charity, but the important thing is they wanted to do it.

If there are that many people out there that are more than willing to do it, who are you to say it should stop?

I’ve had people sign up through me that have sat there, showing me the massive amount of post they get from charities every week, complaining about how much money is wasted on it, full well knowing that I get paid, as they pass me a cup of tea, a biscuit, and their bank details. I’ve been in that situation hundreds of times, who are you to say that these people are denied the right to do that if they want to.

Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean everyone thinks the same.

mikey says:
30 January 2012

It is a job like it or not, I started that job not knowing what I was letting myself in for because the job advertisement is very crafty and doesnt say “door to door charity worker, commission only, 70 hours a week” it was my only job offer in the middle of an economic crisis, i had the choice of that or job seekers allowance, and It put food on my table, so don’t tell me “its not a job”.

And let me tell you Fiona, when you’ve had no choice but to work eight hours in the freezing cold snow like it was last December (2010) slipping on your a**e, people slamming their door on you because they don’t want to let the heat out, all the while you’re thinking “how the f**k am I gonna pay rent?” along with trying to keep smiling and stay positive and happy for the next 50 people that you hope will speak to you, You’ll understand what a hard job is.
This isn’t a guilt trip, I’ll get onto that in a minute, what I’m saying is, you say its not a job, I say you’ve never worked in a job that hard in your life. And until you do, maybe your opinion might be worth something.

Right…. guilt trips. Fiona OPEN YOUR EYES!!! firstly, if I came up to you and said “hello, I’m from the Red Cross, everything is great, no natural disasters, the elderly have become totally self sufficient, first aid is no longer needed because the human race is now invincible, life is peachy”
Would you be inclined to donate a regular amount for a year or more? Or would you rather put your money in a place that sounds like its needed more?
Secondly, every single piece of marketing from every single charity is a guilt trip. Every fact they state is a guilt trip, every picture is a guilt trip. The animal charities always show the dog that’s just about to die, then “with your help” and then they show the happy dog. The children’s charities do the same but with children, the humanitarian charities do the same with African children.
So if this is one of the reasons why you hate street fundraisers, then maybe you should argue to ban all types of charity advertisements.

Oh yeah, and the reason why we would generalise depending on the race of the person when doing the pitch is for 2 reasons, when working for a humanitarian charity, one of the most common reasons for a white English person saying no was because they want their money to help people in the UK (and after the amount of years I was in that business and the thousands of people that said no to me, trust me, I’m right), that’s not to say that white people don’t give lots of money to Africa, it just that when the fundraiser can’t afford to stand there for ages, debating why the person should send their money abroad, time is the enemy. Anyway the red cross do a lot of great work in the UK, which ironically you never hear of in the media, which was great ammunition to get them interested.
Once again, the charities do exactly the same thing on the tv adverts if you watch them closely. The children’s charities never use an ugly or fat kid, they use the cute ones which make you want to cuddle them. And the animal charities use the cutest cats and dogs, no other animals, they use cats and dogs because they’re the nations favorite pets. You never see lizards, spiders, fish or rats on there, but people keep them as pets too. This, Fiona, is what you call good marketing techniques, to maximise the amount of money you encourage people to give you, you could also call it common sense.

You are right to an extent, it is just begging, but isn’t all charity? “Please give us money” If you donate through the guy in the street, part of your money will get him paid, if you donate through the advert on the tv, part of your money will go to paying for the next set of expensive tv advertisements, the upkeep and running of the probably expensive website, keeping the phone lines going, pay the wages of the people that pick up the phone to take your donation. And pay for the next 1 million letter mail shot to go out.
It’s all begging, get over it.

mikey says:
31 January 2012

Firstly I’m not longer in that job, I left because the hours I was putting in were too much, and my family, friends and partner were piling the pressure on my to leave as I had no life. And although I was good at what I did, so much so that I was training people, I wasn’t making a wage that I could live off. I’m not even paying tax for that year because my gross earnings were so low and my expenses were so high. My role was self employed, and travel was not covered. In my first year my expenses for travel alone was over £3000. Naturally you would say “why the bloody hell would you do that job then?” And you would be right to think so, as I thought it almost every day. But like I said, I took the job not knowing what it was, I will admit I was brainwashed because I showed high potential from the get go and my personality fitted the role, enthusiastic, funny, able to lead teams. But that was all I had to go with otherwise it was the doll. With low recruitment rates the way they’ve been over the last few years, you will find a lot of people doing that job are in it for the same reason.

I apologise if I sound aggressive, I don’t mean to sound that way, my back is up over this subject because I know that the majority of these people (depending on which company they work for) do work extremely hard. And to call them ‘chuggers’, charity-muggers, I see as really unfair, because (depending on their company) they work really hard for not that much money. Like I said before, I worked 70 hours a week, out the house at 9 in the morning, getting home at 11 on the night time. I’d speak to over 100 people a day, so depending how you look at it that’s the charity advertised to 100 people, sometimes, on a bad day, not one person would have said yes to sign up, being on commission obviously thats pretty shit, especially if that day you spent near £10 to get to that area. I hardly call that mugging a charity, especially as the contribute absolutely nothing for that hard work that I would have put in that day.

By no means am I having a go at volunteers, and I am not saying that the jobs In was more important, but I will argue that the work that I put in was just as valuable to the charity. Speaking for myself, I am a professional, I’m good with people and I always upheld the ethos of which ever charity I worked for, which reflected in my results as I had a very low cancellation rate was amoung the lowest in the country. Did charities benefit from the work I did? 100% yes they did.

But like I said before, the NDCS’s income increased by millions when they recruited our company, along with awareness of the charity with the amount of people we had knocking doors for them. So not only did their income increase through us, they also saw a huge rise in internet donations, because people who had never heard of them before were now aware through the work we did. And if you ask any other charity that use this method, after a residential area has been worked by a door knocking company, the internet donations increase. So the method has benefits directly and indirectly. So now as a result, the NDCS, which was a relatively small charity before they recruited us is now able to reach thousands more deaf children in the UK. That came directly from their representatives mouth in one of their thank you meetings. How is that a bad thing?

Yes I am aware that people are p****d off with it, I had my fair share of people telling me to f**k off before I even opened my mouth. But there are plus sides to it which you can’t argue.
Like I mentioned, its free advertising for a charity in terms of when people say no, it does generate a lot of money. It can change perceptions of charities, like I said in a previous post, when I worked for the red cross I spoke about what the red cross do in the UK, you wouldn’t believe the amount of people that didn’t have a clue, which shouldn’t really be surprising as you only hear about them in the news when there’s an earthquake on the other side of the globe, and because of that I managed to change peoples minds and they signed up. Would they have signed up by themselves if they never found out that information.

I know what you’re saying about charities shouldn’t be sales and paid work, my argument is that when it is done in the right way it is effective, and it massively benefits the charity.

And I am proud to say that not only did I do a good job, I also taught people to work at the same standards. And I know that to you guys think I’m nothing but a scummy (ex) chugger, I know that I was the complete opposite.

(once again, I only speak for people on commission, and sorry for any spelling mistakes my predictive text Mau have made lol)

Mikey – Your long and forthright postings are demonstrating most eloquently why people find high street and door-to-door charity collecting in its current form so unappealing and downright disagreeable.They are bombarding us and we don’t like it. As others have also said, I have changed from being a happy donor to street collections to someone who holds charity collectors in complete despicion. I have learnt a lot from this Conversation of which very little has been favourable.