Some people cross the street to avoid them, but Australia’s charity muggers, or “chuggers”, raised over $120 million and signed more than 320,000 donors in 2018, ABC News reports.
Research released exclusively to the ABC revealed charities received an average return of $2.30 for every $1 invested into face-to-face fundraising last year.
The calculations were gathered over five years by the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) — an industry body which represents major charities.
“Compared to other investment options, face-to-face fundraising remains a very attractive avenue for charities,” PFRA chief Peter Hills-Jones said.
Mr Hills-Jones said not-for-profits were increasingly outsourcing face-to-face fundraising to external agencies, and that only 20 per cent of charities had in-house chugging teams.
The PFRA counts almost 80 charities and fundraising agencies among its members, including the Cancer Council, Amnesty International, Australian Red Cross and Make a Wish Australia.
External agencies offer flexibility for charities who may need to outsource only during peak periods or for specific campaigns.
The labour-intensive nature of face-to-face fundraising can also mean high staff turnover.
“It is very difficult to be continually upbeat after a day of rejections,” a charity employee said.
“You need a special type of person for this job.”
A report by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) estimated Australians gave about $12.5 billion to not-for-profits in the 2016 financial year.
However, very few people do so unless prompted.