I have written several times about 'charity mugging' or chugging as it is known -- stopping people on the street and getting them to sign up. To me it is a dreadful way of gaining support, and although I have been severely criticised buy some of its supporters, I stand my ground, and would like to see it outlawed.
A report in Third Sector Magazine this week supports my view. According to the Fundraising Standards Board (also not one of my favourites, see my previous post) the highest proportion of complaints about charities related to street fundraisers, followed by telephone fundraisers, door to door and direct mail. And these are all fundraising methods that the WLT has resisted using.
My view is that all these methods involve a degree of pressure, and we do not want supporters recruited in this way. A supporter who joins in because they have made a fully informed, unpressurised choice is in my view, far more likely to stay loyal.
This has been backed up by our experience during the economic recession. Personal recommendation and the news media spreading the word are the most important methods for fundraising for the WLT. I can't claim that the recsession has not impacted us. It surely has, since our income for the first six months of this year has only just about been equal to that of 2009; but at least it has not declined, and the number of individual supporters signing up monthly direct debits has actually increased.
So keep spreading the word. You, my readers, and your friends are worth any number of street fundraisers.