I was asked to write 350 words on chugging for Le Chéile magazine, which is part of The Wheel. The question asked was: “Should charities use chuggers?”.
Full submitted piece:
If you want to be crass, lazy and think only of the short term for your organisation, I have a suggestion for you. If you want to extract money quickly from people and let a private organisation get handsome fees from you, I have a suggestion for you. If this were the Simpsons I’d start singing about a Monorail about now.
Chugging is the fracking of the charity world. It does get you back something of worth but it is controversial, it angers many people and there can be a poisonous fallout over it. If you want to see how the general public feels about chuggers, do a search on Twitter for the phrase or look at the Twitter account @chuggerwatch (I have no affiliation with them, it’s obvious as they are nice to charities)
When I met an organisation that employed chuggers a few years ago they told me if I can find an easier way to get money as quickly, they’ll do it. Shortcuts have gotten this country and our society into trouble in the long term and the quick buck means chuggers blocking you, making you shake their hand, asking for high-fives or hugging you. It will make you first disliked and in time despised by the general public. Don’t forget the massive data protection issues too as these strangers gather banking details in your name.
The organisation I met told myself and other active Twitter users that they would never employ the tactics of asking for handshakes to stop people. Now they do. As people become immune to the usual chugging tactics, stronger more intrusive tactics are needed. Fracking came from the oil industries that drained mother earth dry. What next for chuggers?
The fallout of an industry ignoring more aggressive chugging is that all organisations may be mistrusted and all forms of on-street collections could end up being banned. Politicians in this country will always use a sledgehammer to crack a nut, it is their nature to over-react. If you want to be the BP of the charity sector, I have a suggestion for you…