70 per cent of sector staff surveyed find chugging 'appalling and damaging'

08 Mar 2013 News

A majority of charity sector staff have told the Directory of Social Change that chugging is “appalling and damaging”.

A majority of charity sector staff have told the Directory of Social Change that chugging is “appalling and damaging”.

The Directory Social Change (DSC) anonymously quizzed around 300 charity staff members at all levels on face-to-face fundraising, asking them if it was “brilliant and effective”, “irritating but necessary”, or “appalling and damaging”.

Only 5 per cent said it was “brilliant and effective”, 25 per cent chose “irritating but necessary”, and a majority of 70 per cent said it was “appalling and damaging”.

The survey also generated around 100 written comments on face-to-face fundraising. Some respondents said that it gave fundraising a “bad name” and had a detrimental effect on the public’s perception of charities in general.

One respondent commented anonymously: “As a fundraising professional, I believe chugging to be counter-productive. All good, long-term fundraising is based upon building a strong relationship with donors. This is fundraising best practice as preached by the sector, and then we undermine this practice with chugging.

"We compound the problem by outsourcing to agencies who employ young students who have no affinity to - or real depth of knowledge - of the cause…  As a profession we need to have the confidence to take the long-term view, and not be seduced by short-term measures such as chugging.”

In contrast, among the 5 per cent who praised chugging, a respondent said: “If the 'chuggers' are well trained, positive ambassadors for your charity then they can be brilliant and effective… I recognise when they are excellent ambassadors for their charity and that sometimes prompts me to go online and give later in my own time. I applaud charities that invest in appropriate recruitment and training of their street fundraisers - it makes all the difference.”

Recently, Charity Commission chair William Shawcross told Public Administration Select Committee MPs that chugging was “a blight on the charity sector”.