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If a street fundraiser is a ‘chugger’, what do you call other types of fundraisers?

Howard Lake | 19 March 2008 | Blogs

I was in the PFRA’s offices a couple of weeks ago catching up with Mick Aldridge (as I still get excited about F2F fundraising). We were discussing the term ‘chugger’ and Mick asked me if I knew the term for a door-to-door fundraiser.
“Yes,” I proudly – and rather knowingly – replied, “it’s churglar – charity burglar.”
Mick then said that PRFA committee member Nick Henry had coined the term.
“No he bloody didn’t,” I shot back indignantly. “I did. We did a whole Raizer piece in Professional Fundraising on ‘ch…’ names for different types of fundraisers and ‘churglar’ was one of those.”
So I went home to find the list of alternative fundraising appellations and guess what: ‘churglar’ isn’t among them. So fair dos to Nick.
However, dating from May 2004, I hereby claim retrospective intellectual property rights to the following terms, none of which, alas, is as good as ‘churglar’.
Direct markerters – chunkers (charity junk mail)
Consultants and agencies – charasites (charity parasites)
Legacy fundraisers – chultures (charity vultures)
Major donor fundraisers – chuckers (charity sucker-uppers)
Event fundraisers – chappers (charity kidnappers)
Merchandsing/trading – charitalists (charity capitalists)
Charity shops – chawkers (charity hawkers)
Corporate fundraisers – chats (charity fat cats)
Celebrity fundraisers – chatarazzi (charity paparazzi)
Street collectors – cheggars (charity beggars) or chattlers (charity tin rattlers)
Didn’t do one for email/digital/new media/online fundraising at time, while telephone fundraisers are still short of a name too (the name I came up with was a bit poor and not worth repeating). And we just could not think of anything to call trust fundraisers as it’s so difficult to imagine a trust fundraiser ever getting up anyone’s nose. Anyone got any suggestions?
So of course, this is all a bit of a laugh. But there was a serious point I made at the time this piece first ran.
‘Chugger’ has just about become an acceptable term now. But how would fundraisers react if the press and indeed people within the sector began to adopt any of these other names? Suppose Precision Marketing or Third Sector habitually referred to charity DM as ‘chunk’ – such as “the average household receives 13 pieces of chunk each month?”
Or if a tabloid suddenly took an exception to volunteer tin rattlers (for whatever reason – it’s not totally implausible that they wouldn’t) and began calling them ‘cheggars’.
I think there would be storms of outraged protest. So why was the fundraising sector so complicit in the adoption of the contraction of ‘charity mugger’? That’s not a rhetorical question by the way: who’s got an opinion?