to get fed up with constant charity sponsorship requests?

(102 Posts)
sergeantmajor Tue 25-Jun-13 19:10:52

Everyone is doing bleedin' triathalons to raise money for worthy causes.
Possibly it's a mid life thing.
Possibly they are all more virtuous than me.
But to me it smacks of self indulgence, rather than altruism.
I don't have the time (or a minute to myself) to do this sort of thing.
And I don't have the money to keep sponsoring them.
And there is big social pressure to keep handing over the twenties.
And as soon as they've done the half marathon, next they're onto the mountain challenge or whatever.
I know this marks me out as evil, but I am starting to resent it.

Bowlersarm Tue 25-Jun-13 19:14:44

I kind of agree with you but it's difficult not to look like a right old meanie if you don't sponsor friends/colleagues/relatives.

I suppose one of my problems with it is that I have a limited amount of money to give to charity and I would rather support the causes I am passionate about, than sponsor the causes that someone else is keen on.

Mrsmaymerryweather Tue 25-Jun-13 19:37:16

I try to sponsor friends but I draw the line at close friends / close colleagues and I don't sponsor people who have not contacted me for 3 years then email me out the blue requesting sponsorship grin It does get a bit silly!

I also give less if I don't feel strongly about the charity.

But what has really wound me up is I have just had two facebook friends who were asking for sponsorship because their kids (aged 2 and 6 months) are doing a sponsored walk and a sponsored swim! Now I can understand sponsoring someone to run a marathon or do something that requires some level of effort / commitment, but asking someone to sponsor your 6 month old for a sponsored swim is basically just asking them to give money to charity. Not that I have a problem with giving money to charity, I would love to be rich enough to give money to all charities, but at the end of the day I don't have enough money to give £20 to everyone who asks for sponsorship so I have had to draw the line and am not sponsoring children under 5!

OwlinaTree Tue 25-Jun-13 20:07:01

I have 'rules' for this.

1. I don't sponsor someone to do something twice. If you've run the marathon one year and I sponsor, then not again.

2. I don't sponsor what is in essence a lovely holiday, ie climbing a mountain in Borneo or looking after elephants etc.

3. I try not to sponsor the race for life as it excludes men, but have to make exceptions as I will sponsor friends (once!) to do this.

However I do sponsor friends to do things and I don't really mind which charity they choose, its obviously important to them and that's ok with me.

HollyBerryBush Tue 25-Jun-13 20:10:12

I refuse to sponsore anyone. It keeps it much more simple. They never run for charities I approve of or support

OwlinaTree Tue 25-Jun-13 20:12:12

Oh Holly hope you're not planning to trek through the pyramids soon or something wink

Trifle Tue 25-Jun-13 20:15:29

I never sponsor anyone, if you want to climb the 3 peaks or walk round the Isle of Wight then bloody do it.

Yanbu. I am against under 5s doing it how can they grasp the concept of sponsorship? Bloody nursery hold sponsored dress up day and decking water babies sponsored fancy dress swim. With both I have given a small donation and batted the forms away. Just no!

I do tend to sponsor most people who ask, but I have to admit that I don't feel inundated with requests. Neither would I dream of giving £20, maybe a £10 if I feel passionately about the charity, normally £5 is their lot! I'm also doing THe Race for Life this year, first time EVER! and it's the first sponsored event I've done in 7 years. Now I'm feeling worried about asking people to sponsor me. Genuinely, do you think they'll mind?

OwlinaTree Tue 25-Jun-13 20:32:09

No people won't mind. Just don't ask every year!

mameulah Tue 25-Jun-13 20:34:59

I am so, so relieved to hear that it is not only me that thinks this.

I absolutely do not get the sponsorship thing, especially when you look at how much the Managing Director or boss type person of the charity gets paid. That Milliband bloke, (the brother of the bloke that leads the labour party) is off to run a charity in the U.S.A. He is getting paid a MINT for it. It really is a HEAP of money but say, for the sake of argument, it is $1000. That means that 1000 people would have to give that charity $1 each before the charity made a cent.

I also don't get that thing where someone organises for themselves to have an amazing experience and then somehow that correlates into a money donation.

And I think that if all these charities were stopped it would make the government so much more accountable and would mean that the MP's would not be so easily able to waste our money.

And I cannot stand that smug way that people who have 'one of my charities' speak about it. I think it is gross if people show off about it.

AND I think that at school it is so unfair for parents to be expected to support sponsorships. It is even more awful when the child who raised the most money gets a prize or certificate.

GreenShadow Tue 25-Jun-13 20:40:44

I hate asking for sponsorship.

I'm also doing Race for Life and to be honest, feel a bit of a fraud asking for money just to do 5K. It's hardly a marathon or that much of a challenge (although I am actually training fairly seriously for it).

Mame - exactly. It feels like voluntary taxation like the lottery. I have ranted about this recently because it was help for heroes week. I thinks it's shocking the government rely on a charity to care for wounded service people and all the guilt inducing find raising legitimises it and let's the goveremt off the hook.

MrsHuxtable Tue 25-Jun-13 20:44:26

I generally don't sponsor people when what they are doing actually involves a fun activity for them. What's the fucking point.

However, a lovely 9 year old from my street just shaved off her long beautiful hair to raise money for cancer research. Her mum had bc a few years ago and it was all the child's idea. She had a proper big event going on and raised 4K. I'd support her any day.

Middle aged people bungy jumping? Nah.

sudointellectual Tue 25-Jun-13 20:49:37


I just say no now, and use it as a reminder to put some money in Give Directly.

HollyBerryBush Tue 25-Jun-13 20:50:52

Oh Holly hope you're not planning to trek through the pyramids soon or something

I'd pay for my own holiday, not con my friends and acquaintances into paying for it for me

parakeet Tue 25-Jun-13 20:52:14

And don't get me started on teenagers going off to Africa to work in an AIDS orphanage. What useful contribution will they be able to make, really?

OwlinaTree Tue 25-Jun-13 20:54:07

Sometimes though, it can give people a bit of control or a way of coping with a difficult situation they have no control over, like the 9 yo cutting off her hair, or people raising money for a children's hospital their child went to. It helps people to feel less hopeless/helpless.

OwlinaTree Tue 25-Jun-13 20:56:00

Holly it was a little wink, there. I did say about not sponsoring lovely holidays! It seems a bit mean to never sponsor tho. Do you really manage to stick to that?

OwlinaTree Tue 25-Jun-13 20:58:05

mameulah what do you mean by 'one of my charities'?

BIWI Tue 25-Jun-13 20:59:23

My goodness. Words fail me.

Have you any concept of the work involved in running a charity, mameulah? And the charity that David Miliband is going to run works in 40 different countries around the world, responding to humanitarian crises. It isn't exactly a small job with little responsibility!

Nobody says you have to give to a charity activity. But lots of people - me included - do take part in charitable activities to raise money for the charity!

I'm doing a 5K race for World Child Cancer in October, along with some of the Woolly Hugs crew, a charity nominated by our own MrsDeVere, who lost her daughter to cancer when she was only 14.

I've been training for this since February. What do I get out of it? Fuck all! (Apart from injury, actually.) But I'm doing something and giving something to help someone else.

And you lot begrudge giving something to support someone else's efforts for a good cause?

Lovesabadboy Tue 25-Jun-13 21:01:22

My husband and daughters (16 and 12) are doing our local Midnight Walk for our local hospice and people have been very generous.

On one of their training walks - it is 10.5 miles, so they do need to train up a bit for it - they popped into the local pub for a drink (soft!) and some of the local regulars asked what they were training for and, even as strangers, put their hands in their pockets there and then to give them some money.
Their reasoning? That one day, they, themselves,might just need the local hospice and it is so poorly funded by the Government that it needs charity support to continue to exist.

Most local people will have been touched in some distant or not so distant way by Cancer and, because of this it is a very well-loved charity and the event is growing and growing every year.

Events like this I am more than happy to support, but I absolutely agree that these days there are far too many 'enjoyable' sponsored 'challenges'.

BIWI Tue 25-Jun-13 21:01:56

So yes, OP, YABVVU

HollyBerryBush Tue 25-Jun-13 21:04:19

Do you really manage to stick to that?

I only donate to the local hospice - I never sponsor, or the RNLI and Poppy Day - that is about my limit.

Sponsoring someone who jogs daily to do a 10K run - they are not doing anything worth sponsoring. Sorry, harsh but true. Race for Life - it seems to be someone every otherweekend doing that. My goodwill is all used up.

OwlinaTree Tue 25-Jun-13 21:04:32

BIWI i've already said i sponsor friends, if the charity is important to them that's good enough for me. But like lovesabadboy i avoid the sponsored holiday type things.

Good luck with your run!

Cravingdairy Tue 25-Jun-13 21:09:49

You can say no or even better ignore if the request is by email, FB etc. Job done.

OwlinaTree Tue 25-Jun-13 21:12:04

Wow - I'm amazed you don't think jogging daily to build up fitness for a run isn't doing anything worth sponsoring hmm

Not even the fact they are giving up their time?

NowThatsWhatICallANickname Tue 25-Jun-13 21:16:56

The thing i can't stand is the constant charity stands in supermarket/shop entrances. Some days when going around several places you can encounter loads and each one looks at you like you are a real meany for not donating, forgetting that every other shop is begging too.

I hate being harrassed by anything when entering/leaving a shop whether it be charity, selling something or signing up for something. NO. Just let me do my shop in peace!

anyoldshitbag Tue 25-Jun-13 21:41:47

I did an easy walk last year for charity. The charity was one that looked after my sister whilst she died. I felt a bit guilty asking people for money, for me doing fuck all. I also felt very vulnerable and exposed creating a JustGiving page to justify it. Every time somebody donated it reminded me that my sister had died. I found the whole thing very traumatic. My parents didn't really try to raise money, they were both very happy that I had, and so I'm pleased that I did it, and for the money for the hospice too.

This year they have said they want to do the walk again, I said, 'of course I will do it, and donate myself, but I really don't think it's on to ask my friends again this year.' They both agreed so this year I am planning to help and support my mum through it.

I found it a pretty shitty thing, but was overwhelmed by, and grateful for the generousity of family, close friends, acquantainces and relative strangers.

aldiwhore Tue 25-Jun-13 21:44:07

There are so many people doing something cool and interesting for charity at the moment. Many more who are actually having to work bloody hard for their money, and even more who are simply raising money for a good cause, causes which need a lot of cash, cash that I just don't have.

Cherriesarelovely Tue 25-Jun-13 21:52:06

I know what you mean, you can't sponsor everyone but I was hugely grateful for every single person who sponsored me when I asked. I'll never ask again though, I agree with Owlina.

I do think it is strange that people think charities shouldall be run for free by volunteers! Some of these charities have to oversee budgets of millions and have hundreds of people working for them. I have run community projects with a small number of volunteers, it was brilliant but obviously there are limits to how much you csn ask of people if they are volunteering.

mameulah Tue 25-Jun-13 21:54:53


That is exactly my point. There are good people make good choices in order for change to happen because they have given money to charity. But all of the money doesn't go to the charity. X amount pays an outstanding salary to the people that run the charity. I have no doubt there is a huge responsibility involved in the Milliband example, but there was huge responsibility involved in the delivery of my baby and the midwives were certainly not renumerated for their skills, professional knowledge or effort.

It is great if people are taking positive action to channel some positivity as a way of striving to cope but I don't understand how anyone working for any charity can take a substantial wage that offers them a luxurious lifestyle. It is an insult to the efforts of those who are doing their bungee jump, 5km or whatever.

honestpointofview Tue 25-Jun-13 21:58:15

I agree with Owlina's rules. As a man i also admit race for life leaves me feeling left out but also feel's i should support my friends. The bit that annoys me the most is the requests I see come to the local charity that I am involved on. We raise money for local good causes and we get requests for us to sponsor people to raise money on frankly what is a holiday. Even if isn't the money that the use from their sponsorship to pay for the trek, climb mountain etc, we could just give and save all the hassle!

BIWI Tue 25-Jun-13 21:58:48

Then you fundamentally misunderstand the role of these charities. They are global businesses. They have to be run like businesses in order to survive! People who run them deserve to be paid a decent salary.

Without those managers/directors etc, the charities simply wouldn't have the wherewithal to do the kind of jobs that they do.

hermioneweasley Tue 25-Jun-13 22:02:36

Slightly off topic, but I agree with BIWI regarding remuneration of charity leaders. Typically the remu is lower than the equivalent roles in the commercial sector, and if charities could get people with the appropriate skills and experience for free or minimum wage,of course they would do it. If you have the right person in a senior position, they pay for themselves.

mameulah Tue 25-Jun-13 22:06:59

But they shouldn't have to do the job they do.

If I believed that the government in this country spent our money wisely then I would think it was great that charities were doing their bit to top it all up. I don't think that. I think that far, far too much money just disappears because the government isn't accountable. Good people like you are doing your best and being generous and caring whilst they have excessive expenses and create financial waste. I would like to see them made accountable for it.

sudointellectual Tue 25-Jun-13 22:18:53

BIWI, there are lots of well informed objections to the way many major charities are run. It's not necessarily misunderstanding or ignorance. Many of these objections come from voices within the NGO/NPO sector. My guess is you are in agreement with Dan Palotta; not everyone is.

I spent 7+ years working in the sector myself. I don't give money to most charities any more because I think there are fundamental problems with the way we use charity, and particularly with running a charity like a business. What, or who, is the product? I think there are better ways. I think Give Directly is one such way, but there are others.

There are some great talks on this on R4's Four Thought, on voluntourism, who profits from non profit, etc, if you want to listen to some of these ideas. I fully accept you may not wish to!

OwlinaTree Tue 25-Jun-13 22:19:20

mameulah - i don't understand, surely the midwifes were paid?

TheOldestCat Tue 25-Jun-13 22:27:17

But it's not like the olden days is it? Where you had to get sponsorship in person by taking a form round the office, hawking it round your mates. That WAS pressure - I can understand that.

Now, you put it on t'internet. On facebook or you promote it via email or whatever. And folk are free to ignore it. So that's fine. Takes the pressure off.

I've done Race for Life for 13 years. I do it in celebration and memory of my dear SIL - and to raise money to help research the fucking disease that killed her. I don't hassle anyone (I hope) and I raise a bit each year, mainly from my parents and husband (and Father-in-law, who likes the fact loads of us commemorate his daughter in this way).

Self-indulgence? Meh.

(and very interesting stuff from BIWI and co on the role of charities - thank you)

OwlinaTree Tue 25-Jun-13 22:30:15

That's great theoldestcat and fwiw we give every month to this charity too. I just don't agree that race for life should be only for women.

DontcallmeSteven Tue 25-Jun-13 22:32:23

I'm not sure the difficulty or otherwise of a charity sponsorship feat is particularly relevant. Surely the aim is that the charity receives the money. Why on earth would someone doing a harder challenge like running a marathon compared to, say, a 5k walk, mean that the charity is somehow worthy of more money? I hate sponsorship things but ultimately I suppose it comes down to: do I support charity x or not. If I do, and I have money spare, I should sponsor them regardless of whether they're sitting in baked beans or scaling the eiffel tower dressed as a donkey. If I'm short of money or don't agree with the charity then don't pay. The fact of people giving up their time or experiencing a challenge is irrelevant.

Startail Tue 25-Jun-13 22:34:30

YA especially NU about 'holidays'

DDs guider got very put out when she said she was not going to fundraise for her and her mates foreign trip.

The Guider looked confused when we both tried to explain there was no way we were going to ask her friends and teachers to help her go on a very expensive trip when she is probably beter off than they are. (Most of the rest of the group were private school girls FFS)

I'm happy enough to sponser DDs friend doing things for the hospital that saved his baby brothers life and has put DD back together twice, but exotic jaunts no.

The Guides/scouts need a central fund form which to give burseries to deserving DCs (and no way would they have funded ourit).

Startail Tue 25-Jun-13 22:34:47

our lot

TheOldestCat Tue 25-Jun-13 22:35:53

Fair enough, OwlinaTree - can appreciate that. Although I'm glad it excludes men! Wish they still did the Bobby Moore races, but they didn't get enough interest from male runners.

OwlinaTree Tue 25-Jun-13 22:37:08

Humm dontcallmesteven but then they could just ask you to give a charity cash. If they are giving up their time and training for a difficult challenge, that makes me think, ok they are going out of their way a lot/a bit and sponsor accordingly.

HollyBerryBush Tue 25-Jun-13 22:40:59

See? see? see?


DHs cousins husband has just set up a page for a charity bike ride from Vietnam to Cambodia - all very admirable BUT they do not have two pennies to rub together so the question in my mind is: who is funding the flights to Vietnam - coz I don't see him peddling his little heart out from Calais across continents to the start line, and who is funding his meals and night stops?

AND why cant he go from Lands End to John O'Groats? or Round the Coast? Why does it have to be some fancy far flung place?

It's a self aggrandising jolly.

lessonsintightropes Tue 25-Jun-13 22:43:14

mameulah I'm afraid I find your argument both circular and specious. So your points are (unless I'm misreading you):

1. That the state doesn't take full responsibility for the things that it should (i.e. take care of those that can't take care of themselves)
2. That charities shouldn't have to take up the slack but
3. You accept that they do and provide a socially useful function (??)
4. But that everyone who does this work should do so for nothing because otherwise money is wasted on salaries?

Have you ever actually researched non-profit work, how it functions?

I work for a homelessness charity. We do some commercial things (like raise money from banks which we are accountable for in terms of paying back loans, without any public subsidy) to build hostels. The rents for these are paid for by residents, and we are also paid some grant money from the local authority for helping people get back on track after a crisis. We don't encourage people to stay longer than they need to and all of our work is focused on helping them overcome their issues (i.e. through counselling if they need it, say for addictions) or practical stuff like helping them find a room in a shared house and a job. Government money makes up a small proportion of what we do; most of our money comes from charitable sources, although not individual giving such as that which has (rightly) irritated the OP.

To run a charity like this, we need to understand local authority procurement (such as being able to write tenders), budget and manage a turnover of £8m, deal with private sector financing, and find fundraising income from trusts and companies to pay for all the additional services which make the real difference between hostels being workhouses and places where people can make some good changes in their lives and make the move to independent living.

You are clueless if you think this can happen without paid staff.

Sorry OP - I agree with you wholeheartedly and it also P's me off to get these constant requests, but the PP's 'contribution' really pissed me off.

beals692 Tue 25-Jun-13 22:43:44

YANBU - With some events I've had half a dozen or more people wanting sponsorship and, as soon as one race is out of the way, they want a new challenge to start training for so find another half-marathon/triathalon/bike ride or whatever and the cash requests come again, literally within a couple of weeks. I've started ignoring some of the online requests but the co-workers are the worst as they go round each person in the office and ask them for sponsorship so you are pressurised into not being the mean person who didn't want to help whatever cause it is this time.

Thinking about it, I've realised that I have made fewer donations to my preferred charities over the past year and it is because I've ended up sponsoring people for these charity events. Why don't we all just give money to whatever charity we prefer and cut out all this sponsored running nonsense?

NowThatsWhatICallANickname - While I'm being all 'bah humbug' I hate the charity collections in supermarkets too. In my local supermarket they have bag packers collecting for charity and, if they are only on some tills, you get long queues at the other tills as people try to avoid them.

I especially hate that, because you are put on the spot to give money, you don't really get to find out much about what the charity is and what the money will fund e.g. A lot seem to be local religious groups (Will their special meals for the poor be used to convert people to their religion? Do this church promote anti-gay views? - I don't know because I'm just expected to give there and then to an organisation I've never heard of.)

The most recent occasion was children from a local high school packing bags to raise money for a school trip abroad (not a 'doing voluntary work' style holiday, just a school trip). Personally, I would rather have paid money not to have a teenage boy packing up my sanitary towels but, as usual, the tills with the packers were the ones without the queues. blush

DontcallmeSteven Tue 25-Jun-13 22:44:56

Owlina yes that's the point I was trying to make. It's supposed to raise money for charity, and awareness of that charity - it's the charity that's relevant, not what some random person is doing on something totally unrelated. The whole sponsorship thing seems a bit weird to me. If, say, I think cancer charities are worthwhile to give to, I could just give them some money. Why would someone else swimming in jelly make cancer more of a worthwhile charity? Why would someone going for a long run mean that homeless people are more deserving of my money than they were before? Are children with serious illnesses not deserving because no-one I know is climbing a mountain on their behalf?

And yes I know that these are a good way of raising money so I'm not knocking people who do it for what are (usually) very worthwhile causes, but it just seems totally bizarre and illogical, not to mention irritating.

OwlinaTree Tue 25-Jun-13 22:46:16

Yes holly that would come under rule 2 for me!

DontcallmeSteven Tue 25-Jun-13 22:47:47

I sometimes say "Sorry I already give money to a few charities" unless it's something that's particularly tugging at my heartstrings or a very good friend. I absolutely draw the line at foreign jaunts where it appears that the sponsorship money goes towards the flights etc.

OwlinaTree Tue 25-Jun-13 22:52:20

Humm dontcallmesteven i sort of agree, but then different people support different things and if they care enough to raise the profile of their charity by doing an event, it makes us give iyswim.

Bag packers are the easiest to ask about what the collection is for beals692, you are stood right next to them! I always ask and admittedly do give according to how worthy i think the event is, but don't think i could not give anything, so i agree you do feel under pressure.

OwlinaTree Tue 25-Jun-13 22:53:19

See rule 2!!

FirstStopCafe Tue 25-Jun-13 23:11:33

This thread makes me quite sad. I do a lot of fundraising in memory of my dd through a mixture of organised ticket events and sponsored events. We've raised around £20000 for a number of charities. I do find asking for money hard but I don't think I pressure people into it. If you don't want to sponsor someone then don't. I certainly understand that not everyone can afford it and that not everyone would want to give to my chosen charities, but I can promise you that I appreciate every single penny.


ApocalypseThen Wed 26-Jun-13 06:03:37

FirstStopCafe, your post is the reason why these collections are so annoying. It's all about your feelings, your priorities and a subtle attempt to manipulate other people. Ok, so you believe in what you do. Fine, good for you. But that doesn't oblige anyone to feel differently just so you don't feel sad.

TimeofChange Wed 26-Jun-13 06:34:58

Personally I donate to various charities.
I run a business and absolutely hate clients asking us to sponser their adventures in Borneo or somewhere exotic. Funny how they don't choose to clear footpaths with the National Trust or do a stint tidying up an inner city shit hole!
But on the grounds of good relationships I have to sponsor them, even if the cashflow is poor.

mameulah Wed 26-Jun-13 07:00:53


First off, I don't know what you mean by 'circular' and 'specious'

Secondly, I am finding this thread both interesting and informative and, so far, I am enjoying that many are people thinking different things and challenging each other on the variety of perspectives.

Thirdly, the 1,2,3 and 3 points you listed are pretty much exactly what I think.

I find what you did with your charity exceptional. You are obviously a dedicated person with important knowledge and a variety of skills. Thank you for your contribution to our society, I am sure that your community is a better person for your efforts.

However, I am saddened that you had to rely on people selling tray bakes, sponsored cycling events or some poor soul sitting in a bath of baked beans to generate the cash that you need to achieve your outcome.

I am sure if you and I sat together and did an audit on the government (our tax 'donation') spending at the BBC we could have doubled what your group had the capacity to achieve. And you could have had more possibilities and comfort on the road you took to meeting your goals.

Genuinely looking forward to hearing from you.

LillyGrinter Wed 26-Jun-13 07:05:18

FirstStopCafe - I'm really sorry about your daughhter and well done for raising all that money in her memory

OwlinaTree Wed 26-Jun-13 07:27:54

firststopcafe that's very admirable, well done! i mentioned this reason for raising money earlier, i think it does help some 'good' come from a bad situation.

Don't do the same thing twice tho! (rule 1)

Lavenderloves Wed 26-Jun-13 07:35:47

Yes it's annoying. Most annoying are my millionaire relatives who do the charity trips ( wall of china, walk to the moon) type events and need to raise 5k.
We now say no. pay for your own fucking holiday although they stopped asking when i quizzed them on how much went to the charity, who paid for the flights etc.

lisbethsopposite Wed 26-Jun-13 07:45:56

Agree totally re the sponsored exotic holidays - cycling the Great Wall of china is a dream holiday, not a sacrifice.
The economics of that is (I've asked people who have done it).
Say the trip costs 3K, you have to raise 6. 3 goes to the charity.
My problem with this;
I know people who raise more than the 6K, and put the surplus aside so they have a head start on next years collection!!! I kid you not.
If your collection is shy of the 6K, the charity still let you travel. This means for every quid you collect less than half is for the charity.
Your friends/colleagues/acquaintances are funding your LAVISH holiday!!!

The last one of these I sponsored was for an acquaintance who was cycling the Great Wall of China for a charity for the blind- a charity I support. She explained that she was funding her own travel, all her collection would be for the charity. She wanted to do the trip and this was her way.

I have collected for charity in the past and been told no very forcefully so my policy now is to give (except for the junkets). Charities need donations, and as I haven't collected in years I'm happy to give.

Oh yes, before I go. If I don't regard it as charity, I have no bother saying no - and school trips would be in that category. What are they teaching children, if you want something you can't afford, go out and pester strangers for the money hmm

lisbethsopposite Wed 26-Jun-13 07:47:02

X posts lavender

CloudsAndTrees Wed 26-Jun-13 07:55:11

I don't mind sponsoring people for charity if its a charity I care about, or if it's a charity that has special meaning for someone.

I don't sponsor people who choose an event to take part in rather than choosing a charity to sponsor. I know a few people that will ride the London to Brighton or who will do the midnight walk or whatever because they like the idea of doing the event itself, when it wouldn't make any difference to them which charity has organised it.

I never feel pressured to donate though because I have my direct debits to charities I choose to support and I know how much voluntary work I do, so there's no way I would feel guilty for not sponsoring someone.

lisbethsopposite Wed 26-Jun-13 07:57:54

BIWI 8 months of training for a 5KM race? confused

People whose actions are primarily motivated by the desire to raise money for a charity that is close to their heart: sure, have a tenner, have twenty
Runners who want to do a 10K this month and have found that the most convenient one is run by the sunshine home for blind donkeys so that's their cause this month: really annoying
People who fancy a fortnight trekking in Peru at my expense: fuck off

treaclesoda Wed 26-Jun-13 08:13:01

on the flip side of this, a group of my friends recently decided to climb Ben Nevis. For no other reason than because they fancied it. So many people started insisting on sponsoring them that they ended up choosing a charity and setting up a Just Giving page and they ended up with a few hundred pounds for charity, all without actually asking for anything. People seemed to feel that they were selfish for proposing climbing a mountain without doing it for charity. So, once again, whatever you do Will be wrong in some people's eyes.

I don't really see why people don't get sponsored to do something "useful", like pick up litter, and I definitely would never sponsor anyone to walk along the Great Wall of China or similar. I would sponsor someone to cycle from Lands End to John'O Groats if they were paying their own way and it was a cause I believed in, even if I knew they were doing it for pleasure rather than a penance. Now, me doing the Race for Life this year - that's a penance and a half! I am SO unfit it's unbelievable, and yes I've got a Just giving page, and no I haven't had any response, so I now need to decide whether to approach people directly or just leave it (and put in £40 myself)

Eyesunderarock Wed 26-Jun-13 08:29:43

I limit myself.
I only sponsor certain charities, whoever is asking.
I prefer the activity to be something worthwhile or constructive, and don't pay for 'Walking the Great Wall' of 'Climbing Kilimanjaro' stunts.
I give what I'm comfortable with.

I also think that it is essential that large charities are run and organised by people who know what they are doing, rather that everyone being an enthusiastic, clueless volunteer.
I never criticise anyone for supporting and fundraising for a charity I don't, it's their choice and not my business.

lessonsintightropes Wed 26-Jun-13 08:31:23

Mameulah thanks for your response - I think I had misread some of your earlier posts.

We personally do not do community/individual fundraising of this kind as actually it is the least efficient for a charity of our size. The money we would spend on donor care would be a high proportion of what would be raised.

Some other charities we speak to lose money on events such as sponsored sleep outs but do them anyway in order to 'raise awareness'. I think most people are reasonably aware of homelessness, especially as rough sleeping is quite prevalent in our area, and if they'd like to donate to us it's very easy for them to do so.

I laud the thinking behind events etc - a dear friend of mine ran the marathon in aid of Ovarian Cancer Awareness since he lost his Mum to it, and raised over £2500. That's significant for both him and the charity. But from my perspective it's easier to create relationships with a smaller number of trusts and foundations and companies who regularly give us larger sums of money and do not cost as much to look after as their expectations are different.

Eyesunderarock Wed 26-Jun-13 08:33:06

Oh, and Justfor?
My friend did a half marathon because she was so unfit, she gave up cigs and a lot of the junk food that she used to eat when she was in training. Set the money aside and added it to her very small sponsorship pile.
Many of her contributions were in the form of a bet rather than a sponsorship, we bet that she'd not make it.
She did. smile

Ragwort Wed 26-Jun-13 08:40:56

The Guides/scouts need a central fund form which to give burseries to deserving DCs (and no way would they have funded ourit) - they do;

I have no problem with Guides and Scouts doing proper old fashioned fund raising grin - ie: car boot sales, car wash, jumble sales whatever. I think it is much better for the youngsters to go out and earn the money rather than just sending out sponsorship requests - and I speak as a Leader. My DS hopes to go to the next Jamboree and has to raise £3000 - (actually we could use our own savings to pay) but it is good for him to learn how to fund raise rather than just asking for handouts for what is, in essence, a glorified holiday. We might ask grandparents for a small handout grin but no way would I let him ask other family and friends.

beals692 Wed 26-Jun-13 09:01:12

Re: the Race for Life, 10k runs etc - Is there an entrance fee and does this come out of the charity donations or are participants expected to pay it themselves?

ageofgrandillusion Wed 26-Jun-13 09:15:39

YANBU. I say a firm no to everybody.

BIWI Wed 26-Jun-13 10:04:01

lisbeth - not sure why the humphy face?

I started then because I didn't know how long it would take me.

I have, in fact, already reached the 5K mark, which was both surprising and amazing (to me). So I'm keeping my training going (having had to take some time out because I was injured) until October, when I will do the race.

Do you have a problem with that?

Beals Race for Life has £15 entry fee, paid by the entrant.

vladthedisorganised Wed 26-Jun-13 11:32:41

AintNobodyHereButUsKittens puts it perfectly.
DH and I went on a trek thing just because we fancied going. So we paid for it. No big deal.

Conversely, when I do a half-marathon later in the year I'll certainly be alerting my friends and family to my justgiving page as I'll have worked bloody hard for it, and chose it specifically for the charity that helped my family out this year. If none of them donate I'll feel a little put out, but it's their choice. And I'm paying the entrance fee.

I also have a grid system: family and close friends- of course, no question (unless they're raising money for the EDL or whatever). Colleagues and acquaintances - if I want to give some extra to the charity, sure thing. Random person knocking at my door for sponsorship - I think not.

A friend of my DPs did a do a few years ago. Black tie dinner, auction which people donated stuff to for free including some big name stuff! Everyone went, spent up and presumably thought, "oh what a lovely one time thing". Oh no, hes planning his fourth, where does he thinks peoples pocket end?!

But to me it smacks of self indulgence, rather than altruism

I totally disagree!!!I have done a few sponsored events for charity that helped mymum when she was dying - where is the self indulgence in that.

Listen, if you don't want to sponsor someone then don't but don't put people down who do these things - some of them can be quite emotional.

I have retired for the next couple of years as I do realise that I can't ask people every year for money and I do agree that yes it can be a bit much......sometimes smile

meddie Wed 26-Jun-13 12:36:56

Thank goodness I,m not the only one feeling charity overload. I even started writing an AIBU about it last week, but then deleted it before posting as it just seemed so mean spirited.

I have had 6 requests alone this month from friends/family/work colleagues.(it seems to usually average 2 to 3) but is definitely on the increase, due to the ease of setting up a Just Giving page and utilizing social media.
People seem to expect £10 to £20 quid and I just cant afford to write off £50+ in a month for charities.

sergeantmajor Wed 26-Jun-13 12:58:12

Hello - OP here.
Firstly, I am very sad that I have saddened people who have suffered a loss, and raised money for a cause close to their heart.
Secondly, I am sad if I have discouraged people from sincerely raising money for charity.
To make amends, I am going to big up one of my favourite charities, Kiva, for those who are interested.
I remain unrepentant however about egoists expecting me to fund their next African cycling adventure...

specialsubject Wed 26-Jun-13 13:06:39

the answer from me is 'no' unless the activity in itself is useful. So I would sponsor litter picks, garden tidies, helping little old ladies...never seems to come up.

I donate directly and NEVER via justgiving etc because that is 5% straight down the corporate toilet.

NinaHeart Wed 26-Jun-13 13:22:17

Gah another charity thread.
I work in fundraising for a charity and just want to point out that, for a very average sort of salary I raise over £1,000,000 a year. That's a pretty goo return on investment, I would say.
These inflated salaries of which you speak are hype. Nowhere near what you'd get in the private or even public sector for the skills and experience required.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Wed 26-Jun-13 14:46:43

I too get fed up of all these requests for sponsorship. I don't see why people should have to do something to justify giving to a worthwhile cause. It seems a sad indictment on society that we aren't philanthropic enough to support charities without being pestered like this. Human nature I guess. In any case, I give money to causes I want to support. If someone asks me and it is something I think is worthwhile then I'll give, but I don't care if they're swimming to the north pole if the charity they are doing it for is not worth it.

I reserve my full condescension for those doing some extreme activity where they clearly just want to do whatever it is. I remember a friend at uni who let it slip that if he raised 300 quid then he didn't have to pay anything for his sky dive. He got nothing from me.

For those who query where the money goes, there are lots of resources out there to see what the charity spends on admin/overheads etc compared to their actual charity work.

BIWI Wed 26-Jun-13 15:41:57

OK. My target for my run is £500. I don't have that kind of money to give to the charity - and if I just went round asking people "will you donate some money to [whatever] charity?", how many of them do you reckon would say yes?

None of you them.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Wed 26-Jun-13 15:53:30

I don't disagree that that is what happens in practice, I just think it is sad that people seem to care more about whether you are doing enough to 'earn' the sponsorship compared to considering the worthiness of the charity in itself.

Ragwort Wed 26-Jun-13 15:58:50

BIWI - but lots of people (probably many of us on this thread) already give considerable amounts of money to charity, well in excess of £500 a year. If someone asks me to sponsor them for their walk/marathon whatever I don't want to have to say 'I already give £X per year to charity' so I would out of politeness give £5 or whatever.

I think the really interesting point is how to reach people who never give to charity like my ex DH the meanest man on earth.

Eyesunderarock Wed 26-Jun-13 16:14:38

BIWI, I have donated money to people running for charity if it's a charity that I support. Running in itself is of little benefit to others really.
Picking up litter, packing bags at the supermarket, useful activity linked to donations all has a greater impact. Running is fine, but morally neutral IMO.

'None of you them.'

That's rather mean, it depends if your charity is the NAS, for example, or for the Distressed Gentlefolk of Hampstead Heath. Others may prefer the Dogs' Trust.
Others may not have money to give.

BIWI Wed 26-Jun-13 16:49:07

Sorry, Eyes, yes it was a bit mean. But it was out of frustration at some of the posters on this thread.

Obviously people may give to charity already, or they might not have the money, nor might they want to give. Equally fine. It's everyone's prerogative to give/not give.

But I was trying to make the point that by 'doing' something, it is easier to get people to donate to a charity than simply asking for money. And whilst my running might be morally neutral, the charity certainly isn't.

Bakingtins Wed 26-Jun-13 19:25:34

I'm frequently told that my kids are doing sponsored events at school/nursery and that I'm supposed to collect sponsors for them. Recent events "dress up as something you'd like to be day" for 2 yr old, effort entirely mine, sponsorship I asked for = none. "Danceathon" for 6 yr old, involving them doing their normal wake-up, shake-up routine for 10 mins to raise money for a friendship bench at school, I gave them a fiver, and would have if they just asked for a straight donation, sponsorship sought = none.
I'm slogging through C25K with the aim of running a 5k in September, and intending to ask for sponsors for the miscarriage association. MA has helped me through 4 miscarriages and the getting fit is part of healing, saying thank you, raising awareness and moving on. I hope friends and rellies will be happy to sponsor me a small amount, or at least not be pressured or offended by being asked. I normally support friends and colleagues in this way, if the charity is important enough to them to want to make the effort then I support them in that.
Charities that mean a lot to me I support by giving regularly.
I don't really agree with or support sponsored jollies. DH did one a few yrs ago, London-Paris bike ride, he paid his own way but also had to raise a lot of money. He'd like to do it again but recognises he can't ask people twice. I think if he was very honest the charity was secondary to the experience.
If you are being asked too frequently or to give to something you disagree with in principle, surely all you need is the mumsnet-ism "no is a complete sentence". No guilt or explanation required, surely?

Startail Thu 27-Jun-13 00:30:21

I'm afraid I've forgotten to return the form/money for several 1/2 to school half to some charity things.

DDs have no nearby family and it looks totally lame putting one name on a form.

McGeeDiNozzo Thu 27-Jun-13 06:28:01

Charity is fine and dandy, but I wish someone would just for once say 'I'm doing this endurance test/incredibly inconvenient thing... just for the hell of it'.

Movember annoys me, too. It makes moustaches Other. Moustaches shouldn't be Other. Moustaches are ageless. Tom Selleck. Tom Selleck.

RatherBeOnThePiste Wed 24-Jul-13 08:48:02

Just reading brew

Technotropic Wed 24-Jul-13 08:56:29


Who gives a toss how the money is raised. The fact is, it's being raised and more than ever charities are short on funding.

I normally give a fair bit every year but recently more than ever. Speak to anyone who works for a charity and they'll tell you how short they are.

Ginocchio Wed 24-Jul-13 09:09:38

What does annoy me is that the charitable events are often so pointless. As others have said, why should I sponsor someone to run 5k? If I want to support that charity, I could give them the money without them having the cost of organising the event.

Think about it - if we take the girl that MrsHuxtable mentioned - as sponsors, what we're effectively saying is "we'll only support the charity that helped your Mum if you shave your head".

Wouldn't it be great if all those charity runners spent a few hours doing a practical activity to help the community instead? I'd rather sponsor a group of people to redecorate the local children's centre, or clean up a footpath, or something.

Obviously, I should caveat this by saying that I'm a bit of a pushover, and I do end up giving to all these sponsorship requests...

ArtemisatBrauron Wed 24-Jul-13 09:11:33

I ran the race for life this year on my birthday and asked family and friends to donate instead of coming out for a drink/buying me a card/present.
I didn't ask more than once - original email with link to just giving page and that's it. I sent everyone who donated a personal thank you and let them know how much I raised (£630).
This was the first race I have ever done (I am not sporty at all) and I was inspired to do it to raise money for Cancer Research because a boy in my school was recently diagnosed with cancer at the age of 18 and is now off school fighting for his life.
I think a lot of the grumbling on here is in very poor taste - if you don't want to donate, then don't.

Technotropic Wed 24-Jul-13 09:23:09


The thing is, relatively few people ever hand over £20 notes randomly through the year. Some do but most don't. Thus these events are a means of prising money from people who would normally just spend it on 'stuff'.

as sponsors, what we're effectively saying is "we'll only support the charity that helped your Mum if you shave your head".

If this is the case then my previous comment is right. I give money directly to charities and also to people who enter events. If you're only the type that gives when pressurised for cash then I don't know what to say, other than that these events are a great way of getting people (who would not normally give) to part with their cash.

I think you're right about doing things directly for charities e.g. decorating etc. However, events bring people together in a way that decorating does not.

I rode my bike from Oxford to Cambridge a few years ago and there were thousands of people involved. Not only is training for such an event enjoyable but so is the event itself and I raised a lot of money in the process. People get huge amounts of satisfaction combining both and we're also keeping fit in the process. Win-win IMHO.

Ginocchio Wed 24-Jul-13 09:37:18

Techno I'm not saying that there shouldn't be events, just that it would be better if they were useful. Why can't it be an organised event? If a charity can get that many people together for a run, can't they put all that effort into organising something useful instead?

I organise concert performances for charity. Everyone who takes part is doing it for free, and the ticket / bar sales go to the relevant charity. At least that way the people who are 'donating' (ie buying tickets) are getting something out of it too. Most of them are coming to see the concert because it's a concert, and would pay even if it wasn't for charity.

I'm not being intentionally obstructive, mind - I do understand that it's better to have these sponsored events if it gets people who wouldn't otherwise to donate. It just seems like a missed opportunity.

Technotropic Wed 24-Jul-13 10:01:41


I think you're right but you have to be able to involve people in ways that they can connect with the charity in question.

A lot of charity events I go to are fetes, fairs, concerts. A lot of this stuff is done already but agree it could be done more.

For a lot of charities it just isn't possible for joe/jo public to make any meaningful contribution other than to participate in an event. You could well put on some entertainment but I'm sure that turnout would be an issue. I recently went to the theatre for a charity concert and the turnout was abysmal. So much so they had to practically give the tickets away.

Technotropic Wed 24-Jul-13 10:03:27

the problem I see with entertainment is that people associate it with going out (which is basically what it is). When you think about going out you normally associate it with other incidental costs i.e. drinks and food etc. and this automatically puts people off when there's not much money to go round. By contrast it's far easier to hand over £5, which is better than nothing.

LessMissAbs Wed 24-Jul-13 11:04:29

OK I'm beginning to see how this works now. I entered a triathlon yesterday, I often do triathlons and this one was in a nice area. I was a bit surprised at the entry fee of £75 but on reading it was for a big national charity, I still decided to enter. Then I saw that this was just for the running costs, they wanted sponsorship on top and led you to a page which set up a Just Giving donations page for you.

And call me uncharitable, but I don't want to do it. I don't have time. I'd rather give a one off donation, and I don't want to pester people. Charitable giving is not something I, as an athlete, associate with doing a race.

Quite often these races get cancelled due to lack of entries, and quite often they get run because local clubs and associations can't get police permission to stage the event cheaply, while national charities somehow manage to do so. They must set them up as loss leaders, secure in the knowledge that although they are expensive to run, sponsorship and contact details provided will provide more in the long term than it does to have employees who set up things like this.

whois Wed 24-Jul-13 12:40:30

I try not to sponsor people unless its a super good cause, something highly difficult or an extremely good friend.

This made me laugh:
On one of their training walks - it is 10.5 miles, so they do need to train up a bit for it

A healthy teenager shouldn't need to 'train' to hike 10.5 miles. Redic.

stickingattwo Wed 24-Jul-13 12:51:52

I consider it charitable giving and give what I can when I can. There are few charities that I don't 'support' when it comes down to it. I used to give £5 a month to a couple of charities by DD and stopped it in favour of this kind of giving, I like the idea that it's being spread out and usually to a charity that does mean something to the person asking. Generally though if it's a fit colleague i don't know that well I just ignore it. If it's a lardy so and so who's managed to train for a big bike ride or marathon etc I usually do! I do for close friends. I'm probably sponsoring 10-15 a month which I can afford. In fact I should probably be doing more.
I wouldnt sponsor those holiday things - but no-ones ever asked to be honest. I also don't care what anyone thinks.

Do as your conscience dictates. My tells me that living where I do in the world, i can probably afford to sponsor the odd toddler now and again...

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