Chuggers in WH Smith

Amazing, now you’re not even safe when you are choosing a book. I’m very surprised that WH Smith are allowing ‘selected charities’ to hassle customers, sorry, use chuggers, for donations inside their stores.

It’s a personal thing, but I do not like chuggers. I know the charities say they are an good and important part to the donation activity, but they annoy me. Coupled with that, if you want to give to a charity it is much more efficient to cut out the paid for street collectors/chuggers.

Here is part of the news article from Retail Week:

WH Smith is allowing the unpopular practice of face-to-face charity fundraising to be carried out in its stores as part of a trial that observers are calling risky.

Read the rest at Retail Week

And here is some more information courtesy of Wikipedia:

Paid street fundraisers stand in busy areas and approach passers-by to convince them to donate money to the charitable cause he/she is promoting. They will briefly explain the work of the charity and try to engage the person in a dialogue about the issues the charity focuses on. The fundraiser will then push the conversation towards asking for a financial contribution (via Direct debit or standing order), often a regular monthly or yearly pledge.

Street fundraisers often work in teams. They are normally be paid by the hour, or occasionally through commission or performance related pay, or a combination of both. The thinking behind using commission is that the more people the fundraiser convinces to donate to the charity, the better the return on investment. However, this situation can lead to the fundraiser using high pressure selling technique which may lead to a greater number of the new supporters quickly cancelling their support, thus eliminating the charity’s supposed financial gain. Commission is also unpopular with both employees and members of the public. In the United Kingdom, fundraisers are legally obliged to point out to potential donors if they are paid when they speak to them. A self-regulatory body, the PFRA, exists to ensure that this happens and that all fundraisers conduct themselves in a manner acceptable to the charity.


There is an interesting article from a chugger’s perspective on the BBC website.

I would like to hear some alternate points of view on this, especially the WH Smith aspect.

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1 Comment on “Chuggers in WH Smith

  1. Ooooh don’t get me started on Chuggers…. did you know that chuggers do not need to get a permit or licence to harang people on the streets, unlike people shaking tins for charity. Also… national organisations send chuggers from head office to towns around the country to raise money for central funds, without getting permission from the branch, and with no financial benefit to the local branch – the branch that serves the local people who they are chugging. In fact I have known cases of complaints to local charities about what were perceived to be their chuggers, thus diminishing chances of future donations to the charity.

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