Fundraising Friend

(49 Posts)
creamteas Tue 30-Apr-13 17:12:50

A friend of mine likes running, it is her passion. She started off doing small races and now is seriously into marathon running. She is running, at last count, 20 this year, and I really do admire her for doing this. But she expects all her friends to sponsor her in every single one.

I regularly give to charities, and I have a few that I prefer to support more than others. I am happy to support her fundraising a couple of times of year, but when I tried to politely explain that I wouldn't support all her races as I had my own preferred causes, it went down like a lead balloon. She stated that she was putting so much effort in, and that I was uncaring by not sponsoring her.


HeySoulSister Tue 30-Apr-13 17:13:51

well I think you know yanbu

Bobyan Tue 30-Apr-13 17:14:49

10p a race is very reasonable.

After all every little helps.

ENormaSnob Tue 30-Apr-13 17:17:05


That would seriously get on my tits.

MaxPepsi Tue 30-Apr-13 17:17:16


You can't sponsor everyone all the time.

Yes it's great that's she's doing all this, but that is up to her. She's being a tad out of touch if she expects sponsors each and every time.

Does she do it for the same charity each time?

And frankly,she's not really putting that much effort in is she if running is her passion? it's something she does all the time for her own pleasure.

Beamur Tue 30-Apr-13 17:19:33

A friend of mine is a bit like this too! Not quite as many as your friend thankfully. I've sponsored her a couple of times, but not every time as I like to choose which charities I support. My friend has not taken offence on the occasions I have declined. Your friend is BU to expect her friends to sponsor her that much! Some races you get preferential entry to if you are running for a charity. I wouldn't fall out with a friend over this, but if she is basically using the charity entry to enable her to run, that is all well and good for the charity but it will wear the patience of her sponsors thin!

specialsubject Tue 30-Apr-13 17:20:13

exactly. Running benefits no-one except her, and it is an inefficient way of fundraising with lots of overheads.

tell her you only sponsor useful efforts - litter picking, garden clearance, renovating empty properties, that kind of thing.

DeafLeopard Tue 30-Apr-13 17:44:51

Excellent reply specialsubject.

I do get fed up with this, a mum at school did a sky dive last year, loved it so much that she has done several more - each time costing the charity money - each time badgering other people to sponsor pay for it. She was overheard in the playground saying "Well I've got to reach £400 in sponsorship or I have to pay for the skydive myself" hmm

Mintyy Tue 30-Apr-13 17:48:07

"But she expects all her friends to sponsor her in every single one."

Does she really? Has she said so?

Bathsheba Tue 30-Apr-13 17:50:46

My BIL is a bit like this - he moonwalks, and Bike 'n' hikes and does the Tough Mudder thing....My sister...HIS OWN WIFE doesn't sponsor him for them. She did the first time he did everything as it was a huge she is a bit .."well, you walked 40 miles last time, why should I sponsor you to walk 26" or "Thanks, yeah, great...but I'm left looking after the child"...

She doesn;t think he is challenging himself anymore


singingsoprano Tue 30-Apr-13 19:13:51


creamteas Tue 30-Apr-13 20:42:29

Glad to know it is not just me grin

SomethingOnce Tue 30-Apr-13 20:47:07

At least she doesn't want you to subsidise a worthy holiday sponsor her trek up/around/across [insert developing world location]

HollyBerryBush Tue 30-Apr-13 20:47:47

People seem use charity events for their own personal CV enhancement.

Run a marathon? great, fantastic for you, want to Walk the Great Wall of China? excellent! Me too, but I'm not asking you to pay for my holiday.

I'd have more respect for someone who gave up Christmas and volunteer at Centrepoint.

Your charity is not my charity, dont expect me to support you in your whole needy event

parabelle Tue 30-Apr-13 20:51:24

YANBU, just had a friend do this, honestly you'd think no-one had ever run a marathon before the way she went on about it. I don't sponsor people and I don't expect them to sponsor me.
I particularly hate the people who go horse riding in Mongolia and expect me to sponsor them. Why? It's a holiday, I'm not paying for your holiday!

overprotection Tue 30-Apr-13 20:52:56

Can't stand this sort of thing, I love running too but I don't expect people to sponsor me to do my own hobby that benefits nobody but me.

She may be putting a lot of effort in, but it's entirely selfish effort for her own selfish wants. Same as anyone else who rather than do a sponsored litter pick/volunteer with disabled kids decides to do some useless sporting activity. Have fun but if you support a charity put the fucking money in yourself.

Cookethenook Tue 30-Apr-13 20:57:23

Ugh, yanbu.
I currently have 4 people wanting me to sponsor them. SIL and DB are both doing pretty impressive things, so will of course sponsor them, but there is also a friend doing an incredible bike ride for doctors without borders who i'd love to sponsor and a friend of DP's mum who wants us to donate to something that is a worthy cause, but for a charity i would never ever support (a homeopathy one). It's really hard, but you can't donate a lot of money to everyone.

interalia Tue 30-Apr-13 20:57:36

YANBU. I rarely sponsor friends unless they are making a massive effort to do something really hard (for them) or it's the first time they've done something like this.

There was a rash of people at work wanting sponsorship for marathons etc. Some were great and for causes close to their heart, done by people who hadn't been very active so it was a big achievement. But my boss one person had done several marathons and it was obvious all he cared about was raising more money/going faster than his friends/colleagues. He was very competitive and it was obviously just a massive ego-boost for him. He didn't seem to care much about the charity.

I have also noticed that on some forms you can't donate less than £10 which is quite a lot for some people

I have a monthly direct debit set up to a couple of charities so I don't feel bad for not sponsoring all the time.

yy especially for the holiday ones

cherryade8 Tue 30-Apr-13 20:58:21

Yanbu. I sponsor the first race someone does and then no more. I have a workmate who does loads of races and it really annoys me I get pestered for money each time. Worse still, as said charity is for a cause her brother died from, if I don't sponsor she thinks I'm not supporting her sadly deceased brother...I have given generous donations in the past though, I can't keep donating every couple of months when I like other charities too!

xkittyx Tue 30-Apr-13 21:03:50

This is a bugbear of mine. Trekking to Everest Base Camp? Climbing Kilimanjaro? These things are dream holidays to me!

DeafLeopard Tue 30-Apr-13 22:10:39

I feel bad as I have had no less than 7 requests for sponsorship for Race For Life. I can't afford to sponsor them all - I am sure it is an amazing event to take part in but I don't want to receive a weekly e-mail that is going to make me feel guilty.

thezebrawearspurple Tue 30-Apr-13 23:55:30

You need to not care whether she thinks you're 'uncaring', indifference makes you immune to guilt tripping manipulation. She's not entitled to your money, end of.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 01-May-13 00:18:27

She is BVU quite clearly. I don't think it is unreasonable to ask people politely to sponsor you once for a mammoth event like a marathon (I did one and it was bloody hard work for me!!) and running doesn't have huge overheads like skydiving or a trip to Kilimanjaro does but obviously over and over again is not on. Not sure why your friend can't see this.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Wed 01-May-13 07:52:35

I think people should only ask for sponsorship if what they are doing is a challenge for them.

I also think people should pay their own bloody entry fee and then get sponsorship, not use the charity as a way to get free entry. It really annoys me.

My friend did a marathon (her second) for a charity which I knew she didn't give a damn about as I knew she'd only done it to get free entry, as that was the charity left with places available. She admitted this was the case when I declined to sponsor her.

Why the hell would you expect other people to pay for your activity confused

I agree with the above posters that YANBU to not want to sponsor her for everything, but if you want to keep your friend (which you may/ may not) why not give her a small sum at the start of the year, whatever you feel is reasonable/ you can afford/ you feel inclined to give her and tell her to split it as she feels fit between her chosen charities.
For the record, I am (supposed) to be doing the race for life this year, and it will be a huge challenge for me, especially if I actually run it, so I hope that people will be generous and sponsor me. grin. If anyone else is doing it I'll be the one being carried off on a stretcher at the end!

I hate this too. I have specific charities I already give to and so I use that as a reason for not sponsoring although if someone was doing something that I knew was a real challenge or effort for them, I would sponsor.

What annoys me are those events where the participant has a jolly time which we have basically paid for. A friend of mine did a "driving day" to "raise money for the firefighters charity" (which does exist, and I approve of as my uncle was a firefighter). But it basically was her getting to drive a JCB, a fire engine, a truck, a bus for an afternoon. So, people were sponsoring her to have a good time - sorry, wrong, and I told her so.

mrsjay Wed 01-May-13 08:51:44

yanbu I know somebody like this it is wonderful they enjoy what they are doing and want to raise money but she does every single race in a 50 mile radius and expects people to sponser her for it all , I ignore her just giving page most I will sponser her once a year ,

doublecakeplease Wed 01-May-13 08:57:20

Yanbu - i went to China on a Great Wall trek. It was an amazing HOLIDAY which i scrimped to pay for myself. It was an organised group trip - i couldn't believe the number of people there who had used sponsor money to get there!

HousewifeFromHeaven Wed 01-May-13 09:03:16

Tell her she's becoming a chugger!!

That should rein her in a bit grin

Didactylos Wed 01-May-13 09:05:08

I refuse to sponsor skydives for any cause
and give them a copy of this article
Id rather just give money directly to charity than sponsor anyone Tbh

Illustrationaddict Wed 01-May-13 09:09:06

Maybe a taste of her own medicine is in order? What could you easily do for charity and pester her for cash for umpteen times a year?

DS shaved his head a couple of years ago for a small cancer charity that was supporting his very poorly friend. He raised £300 and I was proud of him. But it was a one off, if he had asked people to sponsor him the next time he had a haircut.....and the next time.....and the next time...
you get the idea smile

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 01-May-13 09:20:02

My rule of thumb is that I sponsor for anything that has involved a huge amount of commitment etc and when it's the first time or not very often (eg they run the London marathon every year). I never sponsor anyone for anything lame, like when people I know run half marathons try to hit me up for Race for Life.

If she's running a marathon every 2 weeks or so, that's almost just her weekly run. I know people who do this every week as a hobby (hardcore trail runners), but t's just that- they dont expect people to sponsor them for it

ChasingStaplers Wed 01-May-13 10:06:40


I never sponsor 5k runs (everyone does them these days) and am very choosy about other things.
In fact, I sponsored someone for the first time in about 5 years the other week because he had gone from no exercise to doing a marathon and got into the top 100.
He did it specifically for the charity (a really good cause) as he'd had personal experience related to them and is never going to do another one grin so won't be asking for sponsors every 6 months.
I agree about the holiday ones and think often people do this to put on their cv or because they like being 'worthy'.
I donate money to the charities of my choice each month and it's no one else's business.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 01-May-13 10:14:39

I dont mind the holiday/ experience ones so much if the participant is covering the costs themselves. What I hate is when they raise £2500 and £1700 of that was the costs of them participating. However, some of them are pretty touristy (Everest base camp trek etc)

I did the Marathon de Sables and I got corporate sponsors to cover 50% of my costs (in return for slogans on kit etc), paid the rest myself, and then when people sponsored me, it all went straight to charity.

When a colleague and I did the Midnight Walk (13 miles) for our local hospice last year, we had a joint sponsorship form - otherwise we would have been asking the same people to sponsor both of us. That made sense to us and I ended up doing all the asking because she got all shy about it

NinaHeart Wed 01-May-13 10:38:32

I work as a charity fundraiser but nevertheless agree that YANBU. Sponsorship for first marathon - great. It's a challenge and a personl achievement for someone. Subsequent marathons, not such a challenge.

And we stopped doing the "holiday" things several years ago as I agree with the opinion that it is paying for somone else to have a good time!

However, challenge events do bring in the charity I work for a net of over £50,000 a year - and we are not one of the big boys at all, so it is an appreciable sum to go towards our good cause.

WilsonFrickett Wed 01-May-13 10:45:24

I have done a 'big' event and people were incredibly generous, primarily because a) I asked for sponsorship rather than gifts for a big birthday and b) I am a total couch potato.

I won't do another big sponsored event for at least another 5 years, because it's not fair to keep on asking people for money, especially when it's essentially money to fund a hobby. YANBU.

Iggi101 Wed 01-May-13 10:46:44

You are giving her money for something she finds fun. Will someone sponsor me to mumsnet for 24 hours straight?
I doubt it.
So many people are keen to do "events" for charities (and I'm not meaning to knock this, it obviously has its place) but it doesn't occur to most to give any of their time to a charity, volunteering rather than running or whatever.
I also think it can be quite showy, and many people work tirelessly for charities in a much more low-key way.

Undertone Wed 01-May-13 10:54:54

I stick to clear rules re: sponsorship for running:

1) No more than once a year
2) Each time, the 'challenge' level goes up
a) Either distance (i.e. 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon etc.)
b) Or comedy factor (increasingly silly fancy dress for example)
3) A charity I really believe in, have researched, and can tell people about if they ask me. I always run for Age UK.
4) Never ask people directly - there's a JustGiving page set up, that I tell people about, but never send out emails to people except work colleagues because they're not on Facebook as friends.

NinaHeart Wed 01-May-13 11:01:46

I agree that many charities do need volunteers, but not all. It's a fallacy that charities are run and managed by largely unpaid staff.


For example, the one I work for funds specialist medical research and obviously you can't have volunteers mullocking about with brain surgery! For that, we need hard cash to fund projects that will have impact on life-changing/threatening conditions.

We have a staff of 5 - hardly over staffed and as a fundrasier, being employed means I raise over five times my salary so it is cost effective.

Sorry - sounds like i am lecturing - I just get tired of defending charity practices and the assumptions made about charities and their values!

Iggi101 Wed 01-May-13 11:13:25

Not sure if that is to me Nina - would never occur to me that charities are run and managed by volunteers, I know a fair number of people employed in valuable roles by charities.
Lots of charities DO need/benefit from people offering to help/offering skill sets, as well as obviously from hard cash.

LemonsLimes Wed 01-May-13 11:19:00

I've stopped sponsoring people on Facebook as there are so many. I just say well done instead. When people raise money, do they contribute money to the charity themselves too, or just ask for it from others and their contribution is to run the race/trek/skydive?

MumnGran Wed 01-May-13 11:21:14

YANBU ... and she will get over it!!

I take the stance that if I sponsored everyone who asked, I would need charitable help myself!!

cocoplops Wed 01-May-13 11:23:55

My MIL does this too. A run was a big achievement for her and its for a cause very close to her heart and all her friends seemed very pleased to sponsor her for the first few times. But she's now been doing it for a decade - same race - same distance (the distance she runs pretty much as standard at the gym most weeks!). I have no problem sponsoring her - its a family specific cause and I still think its great that she runs. But one of her friends actually did decline one year (and since) as she said she had her own charities. My MIL was uber offended. But if you think about it, these friends over the course of the last 10 years have donated between £100-500 each to my MIL's chosen charity - so I can see her friends pov! I think my MIL should do a different race, or do something different - otherwise people must get a bit eye rolly over being 'fleeced' for their annual subscription!

NinaHeart Wed 01-May-13 11:40:54

Iggi - a general comment really and not aimed at you. Lots of people are under the misapprehension that charities survive on goodwill and fresh air whereas the huge majority are very professionally run outfits.
(even if we have a Dickensian office with no kitchen!)

pigletmania Wed 01-May-13 11:43:19

Yanbu this is just very rude. It's her choice to run. I would be firm and if you fall out over this she does not sound like much of a friend

ElenaHandcart Wed 01-May-13 11:45:22

Oh yanbu!

I have a friend whose career is charity fundraising. I get at least 5 sponsorship requests from her every year, always accompanied by a guilt-trip laden email about how she's doing all the hard work so the least we can do is sponsor her.

It bugs me for 2 reasons
1. Running is her hobby, and I spend a about 6-7 hours a week looking after her child to give her the time to go running
2. She's always raising money for whichever charity she's working for - when she changes jobs, her worthy cause changes too. If it was really something close to her heart would she not stick to one charity rather than her employer?

Of course I'm too much of a wimp to call her on these things so I just sponsor her once a year and mention that I prefer to support just a few charities which I have a personal connection to on a regular basis via direct debit.

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