Thursday 3 May 2012


How many times have you used the phrase - chugging along. But the old phrase which we knew to mean "doing our own thing but without busting a gut" has taken on several new meanings. 

One is the practice of drinking as much alcohol as possible before passing out in a drunken stupor. As practised by young folk on Friday and Saturday evenings in the clubs and pubs in most town centres.

Chugging is also the practise of so-called "charity mugging" a form of street fund-raising where the chugger gets a part of the days takings. 

Wiktionary says Verb: "To solicit charitable donations on the street, particularly when done in a persistent manner."

Now I wonder if CaRT will be taking on volunteer chuggers to wave collecting tins under our noses on the high street. There is of course scope for a high priced uber-chugger to organise the fund raising. 

Charities have always relied upon individuals to help raise money for them. These people use many methods, such as collecting cash in boxes or tins, sponsored tasks, organising events and collecting from the attendees, or visiting people at their homes and asking for a donation.

Frequent complaints about paid street fundraisers include the use of aggressive or tactics, lack of knowledge of the charity, refusal to listen to a person who doesn't want to stop, the use of sarcasm or other negative language intended to make a person feel guilty if they decline to stop.

The regulations made by the Charities Act 2004 in the UK led to significant changes to face-to-face fundraising. Since 2008, paid fundraisers have been required to disclose to the public that they are paid. Fundraising agencies have been required to disclose the donor recruitment costs involved in that campaign.

In the UK, many councils are currently lobbying for street fund-raisers to be banned or licensed to limit their numbers. Sky News article <click here>

Opinion polls suggest high levels of public hostility towards street fundraisers, with as many as 80 per cent of those interviewed being against them.  Torygraph article on chuggers. <click here

An investigation has found that leading charities pay as much as £136 to private contractors for every direct debit secured by High Street and door-to-door fundraisers.The disclosure will infuriate people who believe the money they donate through so-called chuggers, or charity muggers, goes directly to the good cause. Torygraph article on chugging costs. <click here>

Obscure and unpopular charities may have to pay an even higher premium because the fund raisers they hire struggle to recruit many donors a day. I expect when given the choice of supporting canal or cancer appeals it will not be the canals. 

Recently appointed high priced BW/CaRT uber-chugger not withstanding. I do hope the charity CaRT can continue to keep chugging along. I'll drink chugg to that!


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