May 2024

Never, repeat never give money to a chugger

Are you ‘fun, inspiring and passionate’? Are you a ‘driven individual with a FIRE in your belly’? Are you ‘motivated and ethically minded’? Do you see yourself as ‘a team player with a confident manner and a professional, flexible, positive and studious approach to your work’? Do you want to ‘spend your days soaking up the glorious sunshine, meeting amazing new people and raising loads of money for charity’? Well then, what are you waiting for? Why don’t you become a charity fundraiser? A charity mugger. A chugger.

We’ve all seen them, groups of usually highly enthusiastic young men and women swarming around our high streets and shopping centres trying to get us to donate money to whatever charity they happen to be representing that day.


Before you next get accosted by chuggers, here are some chugger facts and figures:

1. Most chuggers work for agencies (not the charities) they’re pushing

2. Chuggers are paid employees (£8.50 to £12.50 an hour). Chuggers cannot be paid commissions but they get bonuses if they hit their daily targets

3. Previously chuggers tried to get people to sign up to opening a direct debit giving the charity say £5 to £10 a month. The chugging agency gets paid around £80 to £120 for each person who signs up. So, if you’re donating £5 a month, almost all your first two years’ donations will go to the chugger agency, not the charity

4. With so much identity theft being reported, people are increasingly unwilling to give chuggers their bank details. So chuggers have a new trick – they ask you to text in a tiny donation (maybe £2 or £3 or £5). Many people will agree to this just to get away from the chugger. But once they’ve sent a text message with a tiny donation, they’re put on a ‘suckers list’ and will be called up by a phone fundraiser who will try to convince them to start a direct debit for that charity

5. Chugging is big business – One Marie Curie Cancer Care campaign cost the charity £367,000 and Shelter paid about £500,000 to chugging agencies for one of their campaigns. The rules say that chuggers must tell you that they’re paid agency employees and must tell you how much the campaign costs the charity – most don’t, for rather obvious reasons.

6. Many of the people owning chugging agencies are multi-millionaires.

If you’re chugged and really want to donate – then when you get home, just go to the charity’s website and donate. In this way all the money will go to the charity rather than a large part ending up in the pockets of the multi-millionaire owners of the chugging agencies.

By the way, regular readers will know that yesterday I appealed to readers to support the production and promotion of my next book – THE GREAT CHARITY SCANDAL. I asked that just one reader a day buy a copy of either GREED UNLIMITED or DON’T BUY IT! for themselves and a couple of copies for friends or family. As far as I can see, not a single reader was prepared to support my next book. I find that rather depressing and so am taking the rest of the day off.

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