that if you want to go somewhere exotic for charity you should pay for it yourself?

(61 Posts)
Madmum24 Thu 22-Aug-13 22:29:27

A Family member is doing a very long trek in the Far East for charity; brilliant, a commendable act, I would sponsor generously. However, she has announced that in order to do the trek she must first raise £3500 to cover travel expenses, accommodation and fees etc. She is hosting lots of pub quizzes/jumble sales/raffles etc in the name of her charity, which I feel is a bit dishonest, as it is going towards her fees, not the charity IYKWIM.

After she raises the fees she will then expect sponsorship. AIBU to feel that not only is this slightly deceptive, but that if she really wants to help the charity she will pay for it herself and use all of the fundraising money for the charity directly?

EduCated Fri 23-Aug-13 12:29:30

YANBU, especially fishes not being up front about it. A uni friend did one and couldn't understand why we were horrified when she used £80 of 'sponsor' money she'd raised to buy an iPod on the basis that she needed it to keep her entertained on the flight there shock hmm

EduCated Fri 23-Aug-13 12:30:53

Though I think there's a difference between fundraising by doing something (e.g. Washing cars, selling cakes etc) than just expecting sponsorship. But you still have to be upfront about the fact the money will be covering your travel/accommodation costs.

WafflyVersatile Fri 23-Aug-13 12:32:30

So the charity are charging her £3500 to take part (up to her how she raises that) plus £1000 minimum sponsorship and hopefully more too.

I don't know what the relationship between the £3.5k and how much it costs the charity to run the event.

From the charity point of view you have to spend money to raise money.

If the charity just says lets not do this event, they do not have to spend the £3.5k but they won't get that £3.5k either or the rest. I hope they don't/doubt they spend £3.5k on every participant.

My charity doesn't run these events. No one has ever sent us a donation because they noticed that we don't do them.

Lweji Fri 23-Aug-13 12:34:12

Now, that's an idea...
Get people to donate for me to go on a trip to an exotic place to support a charity.

I do think it is dishonest and I'd rather give the money directly to the charity.

Lweji Fri 23-Aug-13 12:36:21

Now, if she was going to build schools or wells, or teach, or something in a remote location, I'd be happy to sponsor her.

WafflyVersatile Fri 23-Aug-13 12:37:23

''I do think it is dishonest and I'd rather give the money directly to the charity.''

You won't though.

nothing personal!

34DD Fri 23-Aug-13 12:39:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lweji Fri 23-Aug-13 12:39:52

I don't even know what the charity is. smile

But I have been known to refuse money to chuggers (or dodgy people on the street) and send directly to the charity online when I get home.

Lweji Fri 23-Aug-13 12:42:32

In fact they are charging 4500£, of which only £1000 seems to go to the charity.
Fair enough, but the people going on it shouldn't really be claiming to be all to charity.

SelectAUserName Fri 23-Aug-13 12:43:58

I think there's a difference between raising some of the money / sponsorship to pay for an extended trip during which the person will spend the majority of their time carrying out charitable work in a deprived area, and doing the same thing to then walk the Inca Trail / cycle from A to B / do a skydive etc. Yes, you might be doing any of the latter in the name of a charity but there are plenty of activities that you could do in your home country for the same charity which would present a similar challenge in terms of endurance, fitness, time commitment etc without the "woohoo! Exotic holiday!" element thrown in. At least in the former scenario the individual is providing real, practical sustained help once there and is presumably experiencing some level of hardship or self-sacrifice in their living conditions while doing so.

To hide behind the smokescreen of "all money raised goes to X charity" without making it explicit that the first £3.5k is just to cover the individual's costs is dishonest IMO.

forevergreek Fri 23-Aug-13 12:45:35

I would donate depending what it is.

For example - 2 months working at orphanage/ school= great, they are providing a service that otherwise would need to be paid for anyway or just wouldn't exist . Ir babies just have no stimulation and children just wouldn't be taught. Most people know how to care for a baby, make kids laugh or teach English, so can be useful.

Rhino conservation = not so sure. Sure they need conservation, but the averge person won't be let anywhere near them anyway, and won't have many transferable skills to help

I sort of agree with Wonderstuff and Waffly. The charities won't get as much out of a car washing weekend at home for example as they do from somebody raising a lot of money to trek across the Andes or whatever. People won't cough up that much. Much as we would like to think that as much money would be raised if she did something at home, it won't be.

And I also don't begrudge the individual getting a trip out it if they raise so much money, it is a win-win situation.

But, and it is a big but, she should be honest about where the money donated is going. If it is going towards her travel costs then she should say so. People might be happy to help her meet her target but they shouldn't be duped into paying for her trip if they aren't aware of how exactly she is being funded. I also wouldn't be very happy if the total amount she had to raise meant that less than half was going to the charity so £3,500 costs and only £1,000 as a minimum sponsorship doesn't stack up to me.

I also agree I would personally prefer to pay travel costs for somebody who was going to go and do the charity work rather than have an exciting trip but I still see the point of these big charity events as being useful for raising large sums of money by people who don't have a month or a year and the necessary skills to spend helping out themselves.

Egusta Fri 23-Aug-13 13:03:28

I never contribute to these things anymore, since being burned a few years back. The son of a (former) friend was raising money to do a charity bike ride in aid of something or other and needed help raising the costs of his flights etc. i donated (Under considerable pressure) £100 and the kid lost interest and never did it.

None of us saw our money again and i heard the mother say airily a little while later that at least her son 'was able to pay off his overdraft'.

That is not the only reason why she is a former friend, but it did not help.

paperclipsarebetterthanstaples Fri 23-Aug-13 13:03:50

Yanbu! I did a charity trek a few years ago - went without a holiday for 3 years (pre dc) to pay for it and only accepted 'sponsor' money for the actual charity.

There was about 40 of us on the trip - about half had paid for themselves and half had fund raised - not paying for it myself didn't cross my mind and certainly wouldn't have sat well with me.

It was AMAZING though and definitely worth the money.

Egusta Fri 23-Aug-13 13:07:30

I should add though that there are a number of charities i support directly (foodbank, various wildlife trusts etc) and i worked in the charity sector for years. I prefer the direct approach, not funding someone's holiday.

mrsjay Fri 23-Aug-13 13:12:15

I was invited to a charity do to raise money to pay for a team of people to go to china to walk for something that was before any sponsorship I didnt go, maybe they should do something smaller and local, for the chosen charity exotic charity things should be paid for by the charity or the people doing it

GrimmaTheNome Fri 23-Aug-13 13:17:24

SelectA has it about right.

I've got a corker of an example of abuse...

DH once had one of his company's directors come round demanding asking everyone for 'sponsorship'. The event was a motorbike ride somewhere exotic. The 'sponsorship' was largely to buy the bike - which the bloke then would get to keep. None of the employees felt able to refuse but this was clearly piss-taking of the highest level - this was a guy who by being in the right place at the right time had made millions in stock options. He simply didn't need subbing to buy the bike. (One of the other directors, we're pretty sure but he wouldn't dream of saying, simply gave a shedload of money to local health charities, and he now gives time and expertise.)

>Much as we would like to think that as much money would be raised if she did something at home, it won't be

I don't believe that. I know people who raise loads doing long distance bike rides. Using their own bikes and their own muscle power, with minimal transport costs.

Unless your relative has realistic prospects of raising well in excess of £3.5k during the trek, I can't see why the charity wouldn't be better served by her raising £3.5k through an event HERE, and handing it straight over.

This scenario smacks of people I know who ask friends and family to all give their kids TWO Xmas presents - "one from YOU, and one from SANTA." hmm

WafflyVersatile Fri 23-Aug-13 13:29:12

To be clear, I do think it's dishonest to get money to cover the cost this way if it is not going to the charity.

cushtie335 Fri 23-Aug-13 15:33:49

I don't get this either, my DCs school do this in 6th year, usually to China or places in South America. If you were that bothered about building schools in Belize or whatever, just raise the money and hand it over!

DidoTheDodo Fri 23-Aug-13 15:44:21

As a charity worker I am quite shocked at some of these stories, especially the motorbike, I-pod and paying off the overdraft.

The charity I work for does not endorse this sort of fundraising, for the reasons many of you have outlined, but occasionally we get someone who does one for us anyway. We are always very grateful for the donations we receive.

Pawprint Fri 23-Aug-13 15:53:33

I did a similar trek and had to raise that amount of money in sponsorship. Apart from that, the flights, accommodation and most of the meals were funded by the organisers.

Between 30 of us, however, we managed to raise over £100,000 for a childhood illness related charity.

Some people do self fund but most people just raise the sponsorship. Raising the money is hard work and the trek is also very challenging but it was for a great cause.

I am not going to pretend it wasn't a treat to go, but I did put the effort into it!

Pawprint Fri 23-Aug-13 15:57:47

Oh - to answer the OP's question, yes, I do think it is off for the trekking lady to expect others to fund her travelling expenses. As I said before, the organisers paid for the flights etc. Our accommodation was very, very basic and we shared rooms. Meals were also basic.

The most expensive part was the flights, paid for by the charity.

I paid for all my trekking equipment, travel expenses to and from the airport, passport, visa, injections etc.

mignonette Fri 23-Aug-13 15:59:11

Our local paper is always full of these holidaymakers (for that is what they are). The latest wanted more £££ for a Peruvian 'charity' trek and talked about her last jaunt where she raised a grand total of £400 for cycling around Cuba. She fund raised a further £2000 to pay for it- something badly wrong there.

TooWetToWoo Fri 23-Aug-13 16:20:33

YANBU I think this goes for all types of charity events. If you want to do it then you should front the costs yourself, it is very dishonest to trick people into thinking they are helping a charity by donating when in reality they are paying for your experience.

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