Pic: taken with Instagram
A team of chuggers with collecting boxes emerging from the tube onto Oxford Street ready to take up their stations for yesterday evening’s rush hour.
Urban Dictionary‘s top definition of “chugger” is scathing:
Paid “charity” street worker (read: student) who has been trained to believe they are improving peoples’ lives by conning Joe Public out of their money for this week’s Good Cause. Usually an agency worker – where the agency takes a hefty cut of the hourly rate the charity in question has paid for – while at the same time selling on details of those foolish enough to actually stop and sign up to said Good Cause. If you really want to support a charity, do it through their website, not a chugger.
Paid street fundraisers are sometimes known as chuggers because usually fundraising is viewed as aggressive or invasive – a portmanteau of “charity” and “mugger”. It became popular after negative articles appeared in several British newspapers*. However, those in the charity sector see street fundraising as an invaluable method of raising brand awareness, and recruiting younger donors under the age of 35 who are “like gold-dust for a charity because they will give over a longer lifetime.”
*the term first appeared in print in the free London newspaper Metro in its SAY WHAT [New Words Around Town] column by Keith Barker-Main on 26 June 2002.