To the Ministry's main lobby The Ministry Blog
concert setlists

27 August, 2010

Don't subcontract

I don't like 'chuggers' – 'charity muggers'; the people who accost one in the street or even on one's own doorstep, attempting to obtain regular (Direct Debit) donations to charities.  My primary, visceral, objection is the inherently invasive nature of the activity, but I'm also uneasy about their often aggressive, manipulative tactics.  And no, that really isn't merely media stereotyping: I've experienced it myself.

It's now emerged that they're a drain on the charities, too. I've always been aware that the chuggers tend to be paid employees of agencies, often paid by results, rather than genuine volunteer supporters of campaigns, but the BBC reports that their fees are startling: it's alleged that "in some cases, it would take the average donor more than a year to cover the fee - the equivalent of about £100."

The British Heart Foundation confirmed it paid the equivalent of £136 per signature. Cancer Research UK said it paid an average of £112 to recruit each donor and in total paid face-to-face fundraisers £3m a year. Guide Dogs said it paid out nearly £2m annually.
That's appalling. I'm happy to donate to certain categories of charities, but with the major caveat that I want the money to go to the causes themselves, with some going to administration and an absolute minimum being spent on marketing (okay, there's some value in consciousness-raising). I'm not remotely prepared to fund the fund-raisers themselves.

Uncomfortably, this makes me seriously consider whether I'll continue to support Cancer Research. Very disillusioning.

Site Home Tull Tour History Annotated Passion Play
Day in the life... Page design and original graphics © NRT, 2003