chuggers (pic under creative commons licence)

Charity collectors in Nantwich could be limited to working just one day a week, if councillors get their way.

Retailers and shoppers have complained about too many collectors, known as Chuggers, targeting Nantwich town square over recent months.

Chuggers do not need a licence to operate as they are not collecting cash from people.

But they use pressure tactics to try and get people to sign up to direct debits to make regular charitable donations.

Complaints about the way they operate led to officers from the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association visiting the town last month to monitor the problem.

Currently, up to five fundraisers are operating in Nantwich on three days a week.

But Nantwich Town councillors believe this should be limited to two collectors on just one day a week.

Cllr Christine Farrall, Mayor of Nantwich, said some retailers had complained that customers were being “put off” from coming into town by the charity collectors.

Cllr David Marren said: “We have two different types of collectors in the town.

“Those with tins collecting money, who have to be licensed by Cheshire East Council and who stand there quietly in one place.

“And the ‘chuggers’ who don’t need to be licensed.”

Town council clerk Ian Hope said other towns in Cheshire East were “vociferous” in pushing to limit chuggers to just one day a week.

Cllr Stuart Hutton said: “In light of the information that these are in addition to the approved Cheshire East collectors, we should impose these more stringent requirements.”

Any agreement with the PFRA would be a voluntary one, the council was told.

However, there is a fining system in place.

If the association receives a certain number of complaints, then charities they are collecting for could be fined up to £1,000.

The town council resolved to recommend that up to two “chuggers” could operate in Nantwich for just one day a week.

(pic for illustration purposes only)


  1. These people don’t work for charities, they work for 3rd party “fundraising” companies. Do not give them any money. The vast majority goes to the profit-making business, with only a tiny percentage going to the charity.

    If people want to donate to a charity, do so directly. That way all the money will go to the charity and not into the pockets of a private business.

    • I agree. In an ideal world everyone would give directly to a charity. But we don’t live in an ideal world, and we (mostly) don’t think about giving to a charity unless we are directly reminded by street fundraisers of their existence. The reality is that these tactics are successful and almost all the major charities use professional fundraisers. In general, for every pound spent on a fundraiser, charities make about £3 or £4 in return. Which is seen to be good value and is which why they employ them.
      If you force these people off the streets, you remove good causes from our consciousness. Out of sight, out of Mind.

  2. This is bad news for the charities and for society – these collectors do make a real difference. ‘Street fundraising is one of the great success stories of fundraising of the last 20 years’ Joe Saxton of nfpSynergy in The Guardian in 2012.
    Surely we can all tolerate charity collecting for more than one day a week in Nantwich? Where is the evidence that ‘customers were being “put off” from coming into town by the charity collectors’, other than hearsay?
    Still – let’s sweep the unwelcome facts of misfortune, ill health and inequality under the carpet and we can all forget about them.

    • I think you are right – I doubt people are really going to shiop elsewhere just because people are collecting in the street. I’ve encountered these people and whilst they are a bit annoying, all you have to do is ignore them or tell them you are not interested and they will move on to the next person.

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