Intelligent Giving sparks chugging row with 'irresponsible' survey

Donor information website Intelligent Giving has been accused of irresponsibility and being "on a crusade to discredit face-to-face fundraising" this morning, after it urged the public to boycott chuggers.

The site made the call after it published a survey of 50 London chuggers that found almost all broke charity law by failing to disclose that they are paid, and how much. The Charities Act requires them to do so.

According to Intelligent Giving, the chuggers it encountered also claimed to be volunteers when they were in fact paid. They also encouraged donors to lie on their direct debit forms and broke the Institute of Fundraising's code of practice on Face-toFace Activity by refusing to back off when asked to do so by the public.

But Mick Aldridge, chief executive of the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, said: "This is grossly irresponsible.

"What Intelligent Giving is saying is ‘we want charities to suffer to the tune of £25m a year because we don't like face-to-face fundraising'. It is the height of hypocrisy and the height of irresponsibility. Frankly, I am disgusted."

Aldridge said the research was flawed because Intelligent Giving's researchers failed to complete the agreement to donate, at which point the requirement in the Charities Act for a disclosure statement would kick in.

Adam Rothwell, director of Intelligent Giving, said: "Although our researchers didn't sign up to donate, they did get to the stage where a donation form had been produced.

"Many chuggers got out a statement and said ‘this is really boring, but I have to show it to you anyway', then put it away before we had a chance to read it.

"Across the board, we encountered ignorance and downright lies. This is the public face of the sector, which is rude and obstructive and is doing an awful lot of damage."

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