Friends raising money for me - ungrateful?

(17 Posts)
GreenLeafTea Fri 03-May-13 09:45:58

A couple of years ago I had a bad set-back. I don't really want to out myself with details but friends and coworkers were supportive.

I received some small gifts and offers of support which was nice. However one friend did a whip round and gave me the money. I felt a bit awkward about this as I really didn't need it but she put me on the spot and it was hard to say no.

I am doing well now and am proud of how far I have come.

I volunteer for an organization and they asked me to give a talk at an event next year. I said only if I could talk about over-coming obstacles as I don't see myself as a victim and don't want to be presented that way. They agreed.

This got me thinking about the money which I still haven't touched. I had another idea of how to use it that would benefit others as well as me in a positive way. As it wasn't really the intention the money was given for I emailed the woman who organized the whip round to ask if it was ok to use it in this way. She said it was my money and I could use it as I liked. I was pleased with this resolution.

There is an event being organized for next week that I have been helping with and I was really looking forward to. I found out (someone had forgotten to delete the reply bit at the bottom of an email) that they have now decided to turn the event into a fund-raiser for me to buy the thing and said that I am still really struggling and could use the support.

I am actually really angry about the whole thing. I'm not struggling and I don't need the money. It will be hugely embarrassing for me to sit there while everyone passes around money tins to collect money when I still haven't even used the last lot.

I called the woman and she said it was too late to change it as it has already been organized. She implied I was being horribly ungrateful and ruining things for everyone. Plus the other people would benefit too.

Would it be awful of me not to go? I really am so upset about this. I know they meant well but they really should have asked first, shouldn't they?

schoolgovernor Fri 03-May-13 10:01:05

I think it was very nice for people to have an initial whip-round for you, that's what people do.
To organise a fundraiser a couple of years after seems bizzare! And to be honest, I'd be wondering about things like accountability for the funds. Things like how would it be overseen to ensure that money ended up where it was intended.
However, someone has taken it upon themselves, a couple of years down the line, to tell all and sundry that you are "struggling". That's really not on at all. If you can see that message does that mean you can access the list of people it was sent to?
I'd be back to the organiser in writing stating clearly that you do not want to be personally making money from the event, and that if she continues you will contact all she sent the email to and tell them that. However, it sounds as if the item needed would benefit a lot of people, so maybe a fundraiser for that is appropriate.
But... I hope some sort of financial transparency is in place. We hear to often about missing fundraising money, or disputes about money being used with good intentions but not for the stated purpose.

I understand why you are angry. You want to talk about not being a victim and feels strongly about this. And now your colleagues are turning you into one, by overriding you totally and using you in this way.

You are not being ungrateful, you just dont want to be the focus of a fundraiser, with all and sundry discussing how you struggle.

They are doing it because they want to feel good about themselves, but what about your feelings ?

NatashaBee Fri 03-May-13 10:23:14

YANBU. If they decide to go ahead with the fundraiser then I'd make it clear to the organiser that you won't be keeping the money and will donate it to your cause.

Work collections are really awkward. A guy at work lost his wife the other day and a collection went round. But what do you say when it's time to give it to the recipient? 'Sorry about your wife, but here's $1000 to take your mind off things'?

aldiwhore Fri 03-May-13 10:26:01

Seems like the woman was thinking for you instead of thinking of you.

You should have been kept informed from day one. I've never heard of 'surprise fundraising' before and I think it is actually rather rude, no matter how well intended.

I think you could resolve this but not without the organiser feeling and looking stupid. Enjoy the fundraiser. Accept the money. Make a speech stating how you will use it. You know how this money could be used to it's best affect. Thank everyone. Thank the woman. Make it clear you are not a victim. Make it crystal clear that you don't require this money but that it could be crucial to those who you will pass it on to?

ChasedByBees Fri 03-May-13 10:27:38

YANBU. I would email everyone and tell them I wasn't struggling and the collection would go to charity.

tablefor4 Fri 03-May-13 10:33:12

Aldiwhore has it. If extremely pushy organiser won't cancel, then accept money and make a speech explaining what you are going to do with it. How you are doing fine, but having been in a difficult situation before, you know how useful this money will be to buy item/donate [whatever] to someone else.

palavar though, I agree.

NatashaBee - very awkward I agree. Could no-one suggest using the money to buy things that he might find useful, but might not think of himself. Like a monthly supply of good quality ready meals (like the Cook ones) or a pass to a local attraction/theme park/whatever if he has children. You can't simply just give him the money!

StealthOfficialCrispTester Fri 03-May-13 10:33:54

How annoying. I like other people's suggestions. This "thing" you plan to buy, would two be twice as good to the recipients? If so, I'd do that and email everyone to say.
But yes the struggling comment was not on.

GreenLeafTea Fri 03-May-13 11:05:02

Thank you for understanding.

It was kind of them to give the money in the first place but there was a big discussion among them about how I should use the money. I'm not to spend it on the kids. I should go for a spa weekend etc BUT I have three kids to look after, the youngest is still breastfeeding, my husband works away from home, we have moved house since then and I'm trying to start up a new business. It's not possible to do a spa weekend not that I'd really want to anyway.

After more than 2 years I was looking forward to getting rid of the money so I can draw a line under it all and move on. I know that sounds a bit terrible but I feel it is a burden as I honestly have no way to spend it in a way they would be happy with.

I emailed the group back yesterday evening and said it was very nice of them but I didn't want it for the reasons I already said. I also said they really should have asked first. I haven't heard a peep back from any of them.

I did see another email sent to the main group saying it had all been decided.

I have decided to contact the main organizer and tell them in very firm words that they are not allowed to refer to me as struggling or still in trouble and that they should really donate the money to a proper charity instead. I will donate the money they have me before to charity too. They will be offended though!

Svrider Fri 03-May-13 11:12:27

Wow
I think your friends have behaved awfully tbh
Yanbu
I do think perhaps give the money to a charity, you could arrange for a receipt and plaster it all over emails etc
The whipround wasnt really the help you needed!
What's wrong with them popping round with cake?

scarletforya Fri 03-May-13 11:58:02

YANBU

I would be feeling quite humiliated in your place OP. You've asked the organiser nicely to desist and she has refused. It sounds to me that she wants to bask in the reflected glory of collecting and needs you to remain a victim to facilitate this.

She sounds a right patronising cow tbh. You will have to handle it delicately but do be firm and I'd leak it out let it be known that you would prefer not to be treated like a charity case and don't need pity.

ErrorError Fri 03-May-13 13:36:49

Wow, can't believe they'd offer you charity money then put conditions on how it is spent. Sounds like their original intentions were well meant but it's become a bit of a crusade for this organiser. I believe in paying it forward, so now you are not struggling you're doing the right thing donating the untouched money they gave you to a cause you believe in. You don't have to tell them where it's going because it's your money now.

Yes, be sensitive but firm with the woman. I'd be embarrassed in your situation too. Not a totally helpful reply I'm afraid, but wanted to empathise.

timidviper Fri 03-May-13 13:40:57

If these are people you would like to stay friends with, maybe you could go ahead with the event but when you speak tell everybody you don't see yourself as a victim and you will not be accepting any funds from the event but hope your story and monies raised may help others.

thermalsinapril Fri 03-May-13 14:32:08

"I have decided to contact the main organizer and tell them in very firm words that they are not allowed to refer to me as struggling or still in trouble and that they should really donate the money to a proper charity instead. I will donate the money they have me before to charity too."

Sounds absolutely fine to me! And if you make it very polite and thank them for their consideration but it definitely isn't necessary, but donations to X charity are always good, then they won't be able to say a word against you.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Fri 03-May-13 14:40:55

YANBU ....not even a little bit. confused

I think think your 'friends' and 'coworkers' have been spectacularly thoughtless.

I think you are doing the right thing to make it crystal clear that you will refuse the money. This is not the time to be subtle!

Good luck.

GreenLeafTea Fri 03-May-13 23:39:27

Well I finally got a reply from one woman who was a bit annoyed with me for emailing everyone while it was still being discussed and she hadn't had a chance to ask people yet.

I told her about the other email being sent by the event organiser saying it had all been decided and would be officially announced on Monday.

Then the event organizer said she had left it up to Miss Whip Round to get permission for it to go ahead.

So now everyone is looking at Miss Whip Round for answers but she is strangely quiet about it all.

I know she won't be happy but she is notorious for ignoring any kind of correct protocol and just doing her own thing.

I'm going to push for the event to be changed to a fund-raiser for a proper charity and then I can still use the money to buy the thing I suggested before but I'm worried that it will look like a moody cow who kicked up a fuss just because I didn't get my own way. But my way made so my h more sense!!

Actually I forget to mention the comments about 'struggling'. Perhaps if I mention being offended by that it would help my case.

Thank you all for your support. It has helped me so much!

thermalsinapril Fri 03-May-13 23:49:45

She was annoyed with you, for answering a conversation that was about you? shock

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