Sunday, November 28, 2010

Philanthropy Buzzword 2010.7- Chuggers

The Giving Pledge (Buzzword 2010.10) might be considered the "high" of buzzwords. So here's the low - Chugger and Chugging. In honor of the new Voluntary Sector network on The Guardian UK - this is an imported Philanthropy Buzzword 2010.7 - Chuggers / Chugging.

Chugging is a British portmanteau of Charity and Mugging. It refers to the tag-team clipboard-wielding signers-for-hire fundraisers who've staked out almost every city block these days. "Have a minute to save the whales?" "Give a minute to save the children?" "Take a minute for human rights?" "Got a minute for gay marriage?" They call out as you feel guiltier and guiltier about your walk to lunch. If you do stop they'll take far more than a minute - they'll keep talking to you until you surrender your name, address, and a donation. If you give them the first two, you will be bombarded with requests for the third.

A 2009 survey in Britain showed that 2/3 of people crossed the street to avoid these folks and 1/4 lied to them about having "given already."

In California, a state where ballot initiatives have replaced and run over representative democracy, you might avoid a chugger only to be stopped by another clipboard. This one is also wielded by someone getting paid by the signature - asking you to "balance the state budget-throw the bums out-fix Sacramento-sell bonds for the high speed rail/new prisons/ school and hospital facilities while approving pay raises for elected officials." And, of course, when you finally get past the chuggers, and past the petition-signers and get to the deli to buy your lunch, you'll be asked to "round up" your check for charity.

Ho Ho Ho.

1 comment:

ThePattersonFoundation said...

Love your blog. It's true - the "Giving Pledge" is everywhere. But it's important to remember that philanthropy is much more than cutting a check. Maybe it's up to us to expand the definition of the "Giving Pledge" to giving time, talent and/or resources?