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Christmas shoppers braced to dodge clipboard warriors this festive season

1 December 2016

  • Chuggers can actively damage their charities reputation say Christmas shoppers
  • Online donations go up 19% in five years, as Chuggers are now subject to legal regulation and an outright ban in some boroughs
  • Scots and Geordies most likely to donate to charity at Christmas, with East Midlands faring worst
  • Fundraisers wearing embarrassing fancy dress or enduring a tough challenge raised the most

Charity is big business at Christmas, but festive shoppers have a message for charities using chuggers to get donations in - it’s affecting your reputation.

Some 61% of 2,000 UK shoppers say being approached by a branded chugger actively puts them off donating to that charity in the future.

The survey by Virgin Money Giving, the not-for-profit fundraising site, shows that amid the fun, and sometimes stress of Christmas shopping, the last thing people want is to be approached by time-consuming clipboard warriors.

What did sway punters to put their hands in their pockets was fundraisers going the extra mile.

Wearing “embarrassing” fancy dress - whether doing a fun run or another personal challenge - meant 65.9% were more likely to donate, whilst 43% of donors were motivated by how hard the challenge was going to be.

With the popularity of triathlons and Tough Guy challenges, women were keener to see pain and suffering in a charity challenge than men, with 46% saying they would be more likely to donate if the task was "particularly hard."

Tight-fisted Scots? Nonsense! Generous Geordies also most likely to donate:

Despite the thrifty stereotype, Scots were more likely to specifically put money aside to give to charity this Christmas than anywhere else in the UK, whilst Geordies were the most generous in England. Almost 20% of Scots specifically piled up change to give to charity at Christmas, whereas over 15% of those in Newcastle did the same. The East Midlands, apparently not buoyed by local side Leicester City’s unlikely Premier League title win, were least tempted to share the love at Christmas with 91% of them not giving anything away to charities over the festive season.

The backlash against chuggers doesn’t mean the public have stopped giving to good causes. The Institute of Fundraising has revealed that over a five year period (January 2010 to December 2014), the average online donation in the UK rose by over 19%. The average online donation in 2014 was £63.69, up from £52.87 in 2010.

Not only is it easier and safer to donate online to charities through fundraising websites, but sites such as Virgin Money Giving; reclaim the Gift Aid and pass it on in full to the charity, are 100% not for profit, pay the charity within 7 days and ensure that the donation is secure.

Jo Barnett, Executive Director at Virgin Money Giving says: "Charity-giving habits are changing and our research shows that people will actively avoid hassle on the high street and can be put off from giving altogether when confronted by a chugger.

At Virgin Money Giving we continue to see an increase not only in the number of charities signing up to online giving but the number of people who are using the service to make donations to their charity of choice.

Online giving provides donors with a safe and secure method of donating in the knowledge that their money will reach their end cause, Gift Aid will be reclaimed and they won’t be hassled in the future for further payments. There may be a place for responsible street fundraising but digital donations definitely has many benefits that donors are starting to appreciate.”



About the survey

Two thousand UK-wide respondents were surveyed by OnePoll over 27-28th November 2016.

About Virgin Money Giving

  • Virgin Money Giving is the not-for-profit online fundraising website from Virgin Money and was established in 2009. Virgin Money uses its infrastructure and expertise as a financial services business to ensure that Virgin Money Giving is efficient and secure
  • More than 12,500 charities have registered with Virgin Money Giving and, by the end of September 2016, almost £500 million had been raised for charity through the service since its launch in 2009, resulting in an estimated £15.7 million more raised for charity because of its not-for-profit model.
  • Fundraisers can personalise their fundraising pages, send out email alerts and manage their fundraising events. They can include their own content, photos and links to their page as well as customise messages for their supporters and link their page to social networking sites. Virgin Money Giving provides fundraising ideas and tips, offering help and advice on how to raise more for charity. In addition to supporting individual fundraisers, Virgin Money Giving also supports Appeals, Corporate and In Memory fundraising.
  • Virgin Money Giving is the official fundraising partner of events that include the Virgin Money London Marathon, Swim Serpentine, Kilt Walk, Prudential Ride London and the Royal Parks Half Marathon.