“Frugging” is an unethical fundraising tactic where a telemarketer falsely claims to be a researcher conducting a poll, when in reality the “researcher” is attempting to solicit a donation.
Like using a push poll, it’s an unethical tactic used by political organizations to solicit donations under the guise of conducting research or surveys.
Frugging involves calling potential donors and asking them to participate in a survey or research project, but then using the opportunity to solicit donations.
The term is a combination of the words “fundraising” and “mugging.” It was first coined in the 1970s by the American Association of Fund-Raising Counsel, which later became the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
The term was created to describe the practice of using research as a pretext for fundraising, which the association deemed to be unethical.
Frugging is often done by political organizations because it allows them to circumvent the rules and regulations that govern political fundraising.
For example, many countries have laws that limit the amount of money that can be donated to political campaigns, and require organizations to disclose the source of their funding.
By using frugging tactics, political organizations can avoid these regulations and solicit unlimited amounts of money from donors who might not otherwise give.
The Washington Post cites former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s (R-GA) advocacy group as example:
According to complaints on consumer-focused Web sites, some American Solutions calls begin with slanted polling questions before proceeding to a request for money. The tactic, known as ‘fundraising under the guise of research,’ or frugging, is discouraged as unethical by trade groups such as the Marketing Research Association.
Frugging is also used as a way to gather information about potential donors.
By conducting surveys and research projects, political organizations can learn more about their target audience and tailor their messaging and fundraising strategies accordingly.
However, this practice can be seen as a breach of trust by donors who are not expecting to be solicited for donations during a research call.
Frugging can be particularly problematic when it is done without the knowledge or consent of the person being called.
This is often the case when the calls are made by third-party vendors who are hired by political organizations to conduct research and solicit donations.
These vendors may not disclose their true intentions to the people they are calling, which can lead to confusion and distrust among potential donors.
In order to combat frugging, many political organizations and fundraising professionals have adopted ethical guidelines and best practices.
These guidelines stress the importance of transparency and honesty in fundraising, and discourage the use of deceptive tactics to solicit donations.
Examples of “frugging” in a sentence:
- The political organization came under fire for using frugging tactics to solicit donations from unsuspecting donors during research calls.
- The Association of Fundraising Professionals has strict guidelines in place to prevent the use of frugging in the fundraising industry.
- Frugging is a deceptive practice that can damage the reputation of political organizations and harm their relationships with donors.