Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Friday, 10 January 2020

How to avoid chuggers (aka "charity muggers" or face to face fundraisers)

This post is not intended to be snarky at people who work to raise money for charity by face to face engagement and fundraising. I'm sure they are all nice people doing a worthwhile job that is actually successful at raising money. Good luck to them.

I'm still not a fan though (I find being interrupted while out shopping very annoying) and while I can fairly easily brush off anyone who wants to chat to me in the street I'm aware that others find it harder (they used to be a lot more persistent and would follow you down the street but they seem to have stopped doing that at least) so this post is really for those people. I've been inspired by reading Dr Vicky Forster's thread about a recent annoying encounter she had, some of the replies too - eech.

There's rarely* a good reason to be rude to face to face fundraisers, they are just doing a job and you can say no - but in the unlikely event that they up the ante a bit here are some things you might like to have tucked away in your bag of ready-made responses. *OK if they become a bit too persistent then I might get a bit snippy. I was also pretty blunt to (and reported him) the one who told me to cheer up.

If a firm "no, thank you" doesn't suffice, feel free to be creative. Here are some suggestions which can be adapted to suit, depending on how irritated you're feeling.

• "I never hand over my bank details to strangers" (what happens if their clipboard or tablet is mislaid or stolen, why can't they give me their charity's bank details)?
• "I'm not interested, thanks"
• "I don't do direct debits" (this is really true, I don't)
• "I'd need to take some information so that I can do my 'due diligence'" (how much is the CEO paid, what proportion of income is spent on research etc, look at their page on the charity commission website, view their company filings and reports).
• "I'm recovering from an illness and really need / want to keep moving"
• "I have not been authorised to discuss [charitable giving] with you" or "I am not at liberty to discuss the matter" - worth a shot ;)
• "I'd need to check with my [partner]" (imaginary or otherwise) - not everyone is in a position to donate money and may want to check with someone first
• "I'd need to discuss with my [accountant / financial advisor] whether this is an effective / appropriate way for me to donate"

I would be happy for the chugger to give me the charity's bank details and if I want to set up a donation I could do that quite easily myself as a one-off or a standing order.

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