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Chuggers raise $120 million

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.


Street fundraisers raised more than $120 million for Australian charities in 2018, report reveals (ABC News)


A street fundraiser makes a point to pedestrians near Sydney’s Central Station. /  ABC NEWS: KEVIN NGUYEN