Charities hold talks on 'chugging'

Britain's biggest charities are to hold crisis talks over the future of 'chugging' - and whether it should be scrapped altogether.

Latest ITV News reports

'Chugger' secrets exposed by undercover investigation

The Sunday Telegraph's investigation into Tag Campaigns and the wider 'chugging' industry found the following;

  • Apparent breaches of the self-regulatory code of conduct, including the intimidation of members of the public.
  • A failure to disclose to donors — in contravention of charity law — that the Marie Curie campaign was costing the charity £367,000.
  • Chuggers were texting in donations for each other from their own phones in order to hit “sign-up” targets because they felt under pressure to perform.
  • A separate failure by regulators to inform charities that they have in recent months become concerned at the behaviour of some of Tag’s chuggers.
  • One in seven councils is calling for a national ban on chugging, which they say is damaging high street trade across the country.
  • Tag’s two founders have paid themselves £2.5 million in dividends from its parent company since 2005.

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Charity boss: 'Chugging' damages charities' reputations

Many of the UKs largest charities use face-to-face fundraising and it can be extremely effective when it is done well and sensitively by an experienced agency.

Unfortunately, all activity of this kind is being tarred with the word 'chugging - which has become shorthand for aggressive 'in your face' fundraising by people on commission.

I said at the Select Committee hearing that some of the public dont like that sort of fundraising and they see it as disgraceful.

– Marie Curie’s chief executive Thomas Hughes-Hallett

What the undercover investigation into 'chuggers' found

  • The investigation showed how members of the public were lied to in order to get them to stop.
  • Members of the public were never told how much fundraisers were being paid to work on behalf of a charity.
  • Tag Campaigns announced it was instituting a new training regime and re-training all staff immediately.
  • One team leader has been suspended as a result of evidence produced by the undercover investigation.
  • Marie Curie said it had launched its own investigation into Tag.

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Charities urged to re-think strategy on 'chugging'

The IoFs chief executive, Peter Lewis, has said it was time to re-assess the public's experience of 'chugging'.

There is growing concern that for every donor recruited by chuggers, many more are put off, he added.

Charities will now look at introducing a 'kite-marked' training scheme for all street fundraisers, to ensure the highest standards are met.

Charities to hold talks on future of 'chugging'

Britain's biggest charities are to hold crisis talks over the future of 'chugging' - and whether it should be scrapped altogether.

The summit meeting has been convened in the wake of an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph into the practices of one of Britains biggest street fundraising companies.

The findings have prompted the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) to host a summit on the future of face-to-face fundraising.

About 30 fundraising directors, from Britains biggest charities, will attend.