Page last updated at 20:35 GMT, Monday, 24 November 2008

Call for street canvasser boycott

Chugger
'Chuggers' are prevalent on London streets as they look for donations

Charity street fundraisers should be avoided by people looking to make donations, a watchdog has warned.

Intelligent Giving studied the tactics of 50 so-called "chuggers", a nickname for "charity muggers", and found that they are not the best way to give.

Their London survey found that chuggers are paid cash that could otherwise go directly to people's chosen charities.

They also tended to know little about the charity they were paid to represent when asking pedestrians for money.

In its independent review, the watchdog sent researchers to pose as passing pedestrians who were then approached by chuggers 50 times.

'CHUGGER' STUDY FINDINGS
Fundraisers earn about £8.50/hr
20% had no identification
25% were unclear as to who they worked for
"We reached a pretty solid conclusion: never give to street fundraisers," the report concluded.

"Instead, find out which charity you really like, and give via its website."

Adam Rothwell of Intelligent Giving said: "We're calling for the public to boycott chuggers."

'Well-trained'

Mr Rothwell said they were an "inefficient way of giving and they give charities a bad name and they harass people and put them out - and we think that's behaviour that charities shouldn't be indulging in."

The watchdog concluded that with internet giving so readily available, it is a better use of a donor's money, as the recipient charity receives all of the money, rather than diverting it to pay chuggers' wages.

But Mark Aldridge, chief executive of the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, said chuggers were enthusiastic and hard-working.

"Most fundraisers are extremely well-trained, they are enthusiastic and they certainly are committed," he said.

But Mr Aldridge conceded that some street canvassers may be at times "over enthusiastic" in their pursuit of donations.

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