Chuggers: About As Popular As Estate Agents

By Lindsey Last edited 113 months ago
Chuggers: About As Popular As Estate Agents

Whatever you think of them, chuggers are part of the urban landscape and presumably, face to face street fundraising works to some extent, given the ubiquity of the colourful branded bib and the overenthusiastic holler that tries to stop you in your tracks when you really want to buy a sandwich. But now, charity watchdog Intelligent Giving is calling for the public to formally boycott chuggers, firstly because it's an inefficient way to give to good causes but also because their undercover research has found pretty unprofessional practices at work.

Avoiding chuggers on the streets is an underrated artform. Are you one of those who smile brightly but apologetically, claiming a mythical meeting that you're late for? Or do you drop a firm and grim faced 'no thanks, sorry'? Perhaps you're one of those hardline, head down, ignore, ignore, walk on by-ers or are you a someone who's honed their skills on hopeful Jehovah's Witnesses, engaging the cheery blighters in convoluted conversation only to disappoint at the last moment and saunter off? We need to know your tactics. Please share your stories.

Image courtesy of theginganinja1979's Flickrstream under a Creative Commons Attribution licence.

Last Updated 25 November 2008


I lost any ounce of desire to devote even one iota of my time to chuggers after one particular incident.

I was on my way to a particular shop, to acquire something of importance which has since left my memory... a chugger on the High Street approached me and asked if I had a moment, to which I replied I didn't and had to be at that place I was aiming for... for the chugger to then go and say: "It'll still be there in five minutes time".

I'd like to think I gave them a cold glare before moving on.

I've found it helps to wear sunglasses and be strategic in where you walk when those sods are about.

I also refuse to give them the time of day as I'm a regular visitor of charity shops and so I feel I already do my part in giving to charity.


They do serve to remind us of the existence of charities. I was reminded to give Shelter a call the other day by seeing a chugger in my path. It wasn't a Shelter chugger, as it happens, but they reminded me I wanted to give something... which I then did from the comfort of my own home, at a time of my choosing, online, with all my money going to the charity. The internet didn't take a penny, as far as I knew.


Beggars are the world's oldest profession alongside prositution.Some are in dire need of a handout.

Jehovah's Witnesses and the lot are fraud for God cult recruiters and this is despicable.


I'm with Lindsey on this one. I avoid them politely - no thank you suffices. They're just doing a job and getting ripped off doing it - that is, if it's anything like a similar gig I had eons ago during a summer at uni. I realized pretty quickly that it was no way for me to earn a cent and no way to get people to give money. But, they're good reminders... maybe repackage their roles in my more suitable PR ways?


Much as my heart sinks when I see that an area of pavement that I need to walk along has been staked out by chuggers, I cannot bring myself to just ignore them completely. It defies reasonable belief to pretend that I cannot see or hear them as they wave their arms and shout at me, so instead I politely apologise that I will not be talking to them today.

A few years ago I did get some sort of revenge by asking one of them out on a date. Ha.


I think this is a really interesting one. For me as somebody who works in the sector, fundraisers who are trained well and have a strong understanding of their charity can do a lot of good.

I have seen street fundraisers work hard to really educate the public about what their charity does, as well as to raise money. But people need to look out for official identification, and the fundraisers should be able to give strong answers about where the money they secure for the charities will go.

People need to use their common sense when considering any charitable scheme – whether setting up a direct debit to a charity or using a fundraising website. What you need to look for is evidence of a relationship between the fundraiser or company and the charity they are talking about. Twenty per cent of chuggers have no identification and of course you should not trust them.

As well as making direct donations to charity or buying charity Christmas cards you can do all of your normal shopping through a website with official charity links like

The site is the only one of its kind to have contracts with the charities it partners, and if you click through to your favourite store, we will donate money – you won’t pay a penny more!

Amanda Farah

I really only get irked when female chuggers flirt with my husband in front of me. Not that I feel threatened, it's just insulting because I'm standing right there. Seriously girls, if you wouldn't do it in a pub, don't do it on the street.


anolivebranch == online chugger? ;-)

In all seriousness, I looked at your website, but don't see any official certification...perhaps I just missed it?