Friday, 30 September 2011

In defence of chuggers

Chuggers, or "charity muggers". We've all seen them, we've all averted our eyes or plugged our headphones in to avoid being accosted by them. Usually dressed in jeans and some funky t-shirt emblazoned with the logo of their charity, they are annoying and rarely take my heartfelt "fuck off" well.

They invariably work for very well-known and very well-off charities, the kind that can afford loads of paid staff and whose chief executive earns a six-figure salary. The kind of charity that probably also suckles quite hard at the teat of the state, "delivering services" for the government.

Everyone I know hates them. But really, they're just salesmen, doing a hard sell. They're no different from the guy knocking on your door with his "we're just in the area" double-glazing pitch.

They're just salesman.

And the product they're selling is a salved conscience.


JuliaM said...

"They're no different from the guy knocking on your door with his "we're just in the area" double-glazing pitch. "

Yup, and they get the same response, too...

Mark Wadsworth said...

Dbl glazing salesmen are easy, you just say "I don't live here" and they bugger off again.

As to chuggers, this is where the analogy with private business breaks down. If you pay a salesman £20,000 and he drums up business with a net profit margin for you of £21,000, then he is worth employing. But to get your £21,000 net margin, the salesman has to make gross sales of £100,000 or £200,000 or whatever.

So the salesmen's total income is still only a small percentage of your total turnover or total costs.

Apply the same logic to charities, and you end up with the ludicrous situation that 90% of their gross income goes on fundraising (seeing as they are all scraping from the same barrel) because the profit margin from a donation IS the donation.

e.g. my sister once had one of these jobs, she said "As long as the donations I can get in are more than my salary plus overheads, then they will keep employing me".

So if that charity can employ ten people on £20,000 each (incl. overheads) and they manage to drum up £210,000 donations in total, the manager of that charity considers this to be a storming result. Actually it's complete and utter bollocks, and a massive destruction of wealth.

Richard Allan said...

Shelter often "chugs" in my home town. I keep meaning to ask them if they support the Green Belt, but haven't got the guts.

The Nameless Libertarian said...

Chuggers would be fine if they could take being ignored/getting a "no". However, they actually end up being strident, stroppy attention seeking children who are prepared to insult those who don't want to stop and have a chat with a hyperactive marketing graduate from a failed fucking university.

One of these cunts tried to grab my arm the other week. Nearly got smacked in the side of the head.

I'm not a fan...

MTG said...

The cheekiest beggars are bloggers like Inspector Gadget who prey on readers with "Spare a fiver towards a new keyboard, mate?" Yuck.

The Salvation Army remains one worthy cause which still gets my loose change without any hesitation.

bollixed said...

I hate the ones where a bunch of kids ask if they can help you fill your bags. Blackmail. If we do it you owe us cash (implied contract) and if you say no, you hate children/ teenagers (implied that you're a git). What happened to bob a fucking job where they went and did something useful for a few pence rather than training them to beg?

I, personally, have no problem with small local charities trying to keep themselves afloat by raising a few quid by whatever means. As Obo elucidates, its the big bastards that are pushing out the local ones and stealing all the cash. Do I give money to RSPCA? Not a chance! Do I give to my local shelter though. No waste and they are very grateful for whatever support they can get.

Richard Brennan said...

I have no problem with people asking for money. I have a big problem with people asking for money and hurling abuse at you when you say no.

This has happened to me on a number of times, including a chugger in Walthamstow trying to prevent me walking past while I was ill and struggling to walk along due to mental health issues.

Do the chuggers think that if they insult us we'll go back and donate? No, all that happens is that we are upset.

Anonymous said...

If she is young, hot and agrees to a date, she gets the £5 a month. Russian teenagers charge £100 an hour by contrast so it's a fair deal.

Harry said...

They've put you on mogadon, I see.