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To be sick of a friend's charity fundraising

(116 Posts)
mittensthekitten Mon 15-Jul-13 22:42:50

I've got a friend who is a keen runner, and she's just spent the past several months in training for a very massive gruelling long-distance run. I won't say the run because it may out me (name changed too). She ran in aid of charity, to raise money for a particular disease - not a disease she personally has btw, but which I guess she feels strongly about. We all supported her training, 'liked' her daily posts about her training runs, helped look after her three kids (who really missed her) while she trained and then went away for several days to a training camp and another several days to the race, and of course donated money to the cause and she ended up raising about 2K for her chosen charity. The endless Facebook begging for money for the charity did start to do my head in but I thought - well, she's doing a massive physical challenge and it's a good cause.

She completed the run (Facebooking all the while!) and we all said the right things, and tbh I was really impressed with her endurance and thought she was amazing.

After she finished her run, she was obvs really happy/excited but then felt really blue afterwards, understandably, cos it was all over. Now, just a few weeks after the run, she's signed up for NEXT year's run and has started banging on on Facebook again, asking for donations and with a bigger target! Same charity.

AIBU to think this is really cheeky and self indulgent? She wants to do this thing, she is sad cos her big moment is over and so she's already banging the drum about an event that is a year away and is begging for money from all the friends/family who already supported her just a few weeks ago!

MrsWolowitz Mon 15-Jul-13 22:45:13


I can see where you're coming from, that does sound annoying but otoh she is doing something lovely for charity.

I'm on the fence.

"otoh she is doing something lovely for charity."
Well the charity is getting money, but OP's friend is not doing it for the charity she is doing it for herself. You could even say she is using the charity as camouflage, a way of distracting from her me,me,me.

mittens, is she expecting you and her other friends to take care of her children again? (Because I'd be saying 'no' and starting to pronounce charity as charidee ...)

CeliaFate Mon 15-Jul-13 22:55:02

But without people like her, charities would flounder and be unable to help as many people. I think yabu, but I know how tedious it is to hear people go on about their exercising too. Perhaps limit what posts you see?

WafflyVersatile Mon 15-Jul-13 22:56:27

hide her fb updates.

Tee2072 Mon 15-Jul-13 22:58:44

Stop responding to her FB updates and eventually FB will stop showing them to you.

Or hide her.

Mynewmoniker Mon 15-Jul-13 22:59:02

I wonder what she's 'running away from' in reality?

I know it's done for charity but she seems to get a 'high' from the feeling valued. She could still do voluntary work without the need for it to be funded by friends and colleagues. Take her to the local library to look for a list of voluntary agencies and see who needs her regular help during the school day when her kids are at school. (I'm presuming they are school age)

thebody Mon 15-Jul-13 23:02:34

she sounds a bit of a pain.

don't get landed with her children if you don't wish to and agree with rest, back off from her FB status.

I was saying to dh last night wish FB had a vomit button like a like button. sooo many stupid quotes on about motherhood at the moment. does my head in.

mittensthekitten Mon 15-Jul-13 23:03:08

Yeah I do need to look into hiding her. I have already babysat for her once for training for the next event (cos I'm a big wussy and got put on the spot) but I am going to have to start saying no.

It feels a bit me me me tbh. And a bit ungrateful - for all the money, time etc that people donated to her cause, and now she's just turning around and doing it all again straight away, last one forgotten already.

WafflyVersatile Mon 15-Jul-13 23:04:12

Well serotonin from exercise gives a natural high.

Can you not do something for a good cause and challenge yourself physically without people speculating what's wrong with you?

How does having a healthy hobby equate to running away from something?

intheshed Mon 15-Jul-13 23:06:59

Donate a tenner then hide her fb posts. You've done your bit!

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Mon 15-Jul-13 23:07:02

Lie your tits off and say you just signed up to two different doorstep chuggers this month so as much as you would like to help you are already heavily committed elsewhere.

mittensthekitten Mon 15-Jul-13 23:07:44

Mynewmoniker her kids are not school age - they are 5, 3 and 1...

She's always been quite me, me, me and always offloaded her kids for her running hobby (and blarbed on about running on Facebook) but coupled with the begging for money it's now quite annoying.

I also want to say that I don't detest this woman (much as it probably sounds it). We met when we were both pg with our second kids (although my oldest is in teens) and she was a really kind, caring friend for a while, but I think we have just started going our separate ways and parent v differently.

beals692 Mon 15-Jul-13 23:09:46

You're lucky it's only once a year! I know a lot of people like this and often the 5k runs, swims, bike rides etc are only a month or so apart (because it's their hobby and they always want the next one to look forward to). It's not that I don't want to give to charity but they aren't my chosen charities and everyone is pressured into giving - and, yes, most of them aren't actually in it for the charity but because they personally enjoy the sport (and the kudos and attention they get).

In terms of looking after her children etc, does she reciprocate? I know at the time you gave your support on the basis of it being a 'one-off' thing - I suppose you now need to think of this as an on-going hobby (because she's unlikely to stop after two) and consider what time and money you are prepared to give and how you can communicate that in a way that preserves the friendship.

ElectricSheep Mon 15-Jul-13 23:10:05

Some people do use 'do-gooding' to justify something they just want to do anyway really. (And can be very smug about it too yes, you, work colleague ) At the least your mate is getting a break from the kids, lots of time doing something for and her fitness, lots of attention, making herself feel good through exercise and charity work - but unfortunately only through the generosity of her circle supporting her.

Practice saying no OP.

Carolra Mon 15-Jul-13 23:11:44

I have a few friends like this. I always sponsor them the first time but that's pretty much it, the first time is impressive but then it's just a hobby and I can't really afford to keep paying out for someone else's hobby. If they keep doing more and more impressive things then I might sponsor them again but only one 5k run per person!

ageofgrandillusion Mon 15-Jul-13 23:24:01

She sounds tedious OP. If she asks for sponsorship, tell her to piss off. Also, bin her off as a FB friend then you dont have to read all of her pointless, tiresome updates.

Strokethefurrywall Tue 16-Jul-13 00:07:28

I ran a half marathon in December and a full marathon in January of this year and raised quite a large sum of money for the Royal Marsden in memory of my brother.

I was very embarrassed to just ask for money and so organised a quiz night for people to pay to come to and raised funds that way, also did a Halloween dress up day at work that people donated to to dress up - I really didn't like the idea of just asking people to donate without having fun in the process. It was around the time that lots of others were fund raising and I didn't want people to feel pressurised into making a donation.

I live in a pretty wealthy country and raised funds on both sides of the pond, which was great but just after I finished, someone asked me when I would start fund raising again. I said I wasn't going to because it rather diminishes the achievement of the first one!

One marathon was enough, I'm massively proud of the money I managed to raise (mainly because people loved my brother so much I reckon) and it shall remain the hardest thing I've ever done.

I agree that your friend sounds a little "grabby" in the nicest sense of the word. It would be a bit different if she did a big race, then 6 months later started training for something even more spectacular. The whole point of sponsorship is to support you in doing something that's a real challenge to get you through! And also, she should be respectful of the fact that she might not be the only person her friends are donating to!

Wbdn28 Tue 16-Jul-13 00:56:56

YABU. If she was pestering you for money personally, that would be OTT. But annoying round-robin style communications to all and sundry are what Facebook unfortunately specialises in.

formicadinosaur Tue 16-Jul-13 03:28:53

If shes doing a marathon anyway, She might as well collect some money for a good cause on the way.

I like to sponsor people's firsts - so maybe their first 6k/10k/25k whatever.

I do think there is a limit to sponsorship though - so one persons run every few years. The exception to this is if someone is raising money for a cause that relates closely to them or a close loved one.

You could always tell friend you have already donated lots to various charities and have decided thats it for this year.

MidniteScribbler Tue 16-Jul-13 03:46:19

I hate this. Post once, with a link to donate, then that should be the end of it.

I had someone who went to the same dog training club as me want to be sponsored. I already had six friends doing the same event. He wouldn't leave me alone over it, so I finally said I'd give him $5. He later comes over with a form for me to put my credit card number on. I told him not a chance, there is no way I'm letting a charity near my credit card number, and especially not on some random form. He kept bugging me, and when I looked at the form, he had "helpfully" ticked the $100 donation box! He was actually banned from soliciting for donations at our club. Cheeky bugger.

PenelopeLane Tue 16-Jul-13 04:40:46

the first time is impressive but then it's just a hobby and I can't really afford to keep paying out for someone else's hobby.

I agree with this. I also agree with Formica about raising money for firsts.

I had a workmate raise thousands to go cycling around Vietnam with a charity and was happy to sponsor her as it was a massive effort for her - she had to get a bike, get fit, lose weight and it was a massive challenge that I was happy to support.

When she did it again but to another country the following year, I found I didn't want to give her anything, as it felt like I was sponsoring her yearly trip abroad. I think lots of others felt the same way TBH as she did struggle a little more the second year.

ifink Tue 16-Jul-13 05:12:06

I agree OP it gets too much all the sponsoring requests. I have a friend who was always doing some event and asking for generosity ended when she was 'doing the three peaks in 24 hours challenge' as described on her email begging for transpired after the event that she actually drove the van with the walkers in (shared with someone else) and didn't do one step of walking! I asked for my money back jokingly but vowed quietly never to sponsor her again and funnily enough her challenges tailed off after that!
can you hint to your mate that she needs to factor in the babysitting costs she'll need to fork out to get in sufficient training?

Chottie Tue 16-Jul-13 05:22:25

Can you say to your friend that you think she is great doing all these events and in the past you were happy to support her. However, you only have a certain amount of money to donate to charity and this year you are supporting another equally worthy charity (you do not have to give the name) so will not be supporting her. But you will be supporting her in spirit and wish her well.

And your DC's lives are busier, so please don't count on me as a major child carer, as you just can't commit.

Chottie Tue 16-Jul-13 05:24:51

p.s. I am with the poster regarding the charity stuff at work. You feel you 'have' to give but with charity events, retiring collections, new baby collections, goodbye collections, it works out quite expensive......

CloudsAndTrees Tue 16-Jul-13 07:56:44

It is annoying when people do this, but it's easy to hide Facebook statuses and you only have to offer practical support if and when it's convenient for you.

If she asks you about it, suggest she organises a fundraising event to hit her target. I did this with a friend once, she took the hint and stopped asking me for money after that.

FoundAChopinLizt Tue 16-Jul-13 08:04:25

Do a 'Facebook fast' for a year and ask her to sponsor you?grin

FelineFurry Tue 16-Jul-13 08:14:46

I don't think you are being unreasonable although as other posters have said she's not asking for money directly. However presumably she's also going to want all the extra support re childcard so it is unreasonable to expect this.

I have a friend who seems to have 'raising money for charity' as her hobby. Lots of different charities though. I have donated on quite an number of occasions when she done some activity of note (abseiling, sky diving etc etc) however what has rankled a bit is that she has not once donated anything when my DP (who she knows) has done his once yearly charity run (for a charity close to him and which has a particular meaning).

As chattie the constant requests for money at work is expensive in itself.

Helltotheno Tue 16-Jul-13 08:43:07

Agree with you 100% OP, it's annoying and not really on. It sounds to me like she's trying to escape from the mundane everyday of childcare (people do this in different ways and ime this type of thing is one of them... men do it too).

It's one thing having a hobby and being fit and raising money for charity in the process but totally another making it your life's work and constantly hitting up the same people for childcare and money. I agree with the others, hide her posts and tell her to organise a fundraising event.

limitedperiodonly Tue 16-Jul-13 09:49:09

It's very wearing. Is she buying her place with your sponsorship btw?

DH ran the London Marathon about 10 years ago. He entered the lottery and won a place.

I went to meet him at the finish line and got chatting with a man who was meeting his son. He asked which charity DH was running for and when I said no one he went bonkers at me saying DH had 'stolen' a place that could have gone to someone like his son who was raising money for a good cause.

It was very unhinged and self-righteous.

LessMissAbs Tue 16-Jul-13 09:55:09

once a year is not too bad...just ignore the begging posts or dont donate or donate £5 or something.

The trouble is the charities make a big business out of this, advertise loads and get allocated so many places by the organisers that for slower runners, its the only way they feel comfortable entering.

Worse was when we had to sponsor MIL's holiday charity fund raising trip to walk the Great Wall of China!

Pigsmummy Tue 16-Jul-13 10:17:26

I got cross with a friend recently as she was posting daily about her "target" and then started naming people that hadn't sponsored her. I pointed out that sponsorship is optional and that no one but her has bought into this "target figure" so if it's short maybe she should top it up rather than bullying people.

I didn't sponsor her as I am at the end of maternity leave and on SMP which isn't even covering my bills.

Eeek this thread has worried me as I did a huge charity bike ride this year which was a big physical challenge for me, I've signed up to do it next year and posted the new fundraising page today.

However, I'm very aware that people were incredibly generous and definitely don't expect the same response this year (although the odd fiver just to show support never goes amiss - though I tend to sponsor everyone I know doing stuff and if there's a sudden glut, they all get a bit less, but it's showing my support).

Because I don't want people to think I'm going To keep hitting them for money, I'll be keeping FB updates very minimal but will be focusing on fundraising events and trying to secure corporate sponsorship for the team in order to meet our target.

Thanks for the reminder though, it's hard to strike the balance of letting people know, reminding others to sponsor you (I did have friends quite frequently sponsor after a status update, saying they just kept forgetting) and not being an annoying twat!!

The childcare issue is separate though and while YANBU you can also say no quite easily to this one

flipchart Tue 16-Jul-13 10:31:26

and starting to pronounce charity as charidee ...)
Why whereIleftit?

TheMoonOnAStick Tue 16-Jul-13 10:46:42

Doing things for charity is obviously great and of course you have to ask in order to get the donations.

Dh is doing a charity event soon thought tbh he would have done it anyway because it's a sport he enjoys. It was me and a couple of people he works with who suggested it could be for charity and after much prodding he thought he might as well.

He chose a charity after much thought and has a donation page. He's made everyone he knows aware of what he's doing in one Email.

The charity though advise practically bombarding people that don't respond and to keep on at them. Dh wouldn't dream of doing that. Far from having the desired result, hassling people and going on incessantly will have the opposite effect. Plus he's just not the type to want to get on anyone's wick about it or to update about training.

When it gets to those proportions - and we also know people where it does get to those proportions - it all seems more self promoting and cringingly Look At Meeee (but then that's Facebook all over I guess).

differentnameforthis Tue 16-Jul-13 10:53:05

Erm...hide her posts?

Again, it comes down to being able to post to facebook what you like. If people don't like what you post, it is up to them (in this case, you) to hide/defriend her. Not up to her to censor her page because you don't like something.

SocialClimber Tue 16-Jul-13 11:28:09

I think it's unfair to insinuate that she's "running away" from something. hmm

However, running in races is a selfish thing. It just is. We all try our hardest in fundraising for big races, and we do like to raise money, but what we want more is race day and the achievement.

I did the GNR last year and fundraised. I would not ask my friends and family to sponsor me again for a long time. I am doing a marathon this year and may choose a charity, because it's a "first" for me, so I think people won't mind. That will be it though, I couldn't constantly do it, people rightly get fed up of it.

So I race races all year round but I do it for myself, not for charity.

ithaka Tue 16-Jul-13 11:32:28

OP, I understand where you are coming from. When you have school age children, you are constantly hit for charity money through the school and now every man and his dog seems to have some great challenge they want to complete & by the way this means you have give money to the charity they have chosen.

I have no objection to people choosing to go skydiving in Tasmania with a goat strapped to their back in aid of confused spaniels, but leave me out of it - I'll give my money how I choose, thanks.

Empress77 Tue 16-Jul-13 11:41:17

I think your being harsh, its for charity after all. But then I just posted on fb yesterday asking if anyone was keen to sponser a child through school in Malawi for my charity and thought that was fine - maybe it isnt- But fb is ideal at spreading the word to so many people - and if one person sees the message and thinks they could do it it literally means a child can go to school. I hadn't even thought it might piss people off - compared to the nonsense rubbish that usually gets up as a status update surely spreading the word about a charity is not that bad?

aldiwhore Tue 16-Jul-13 11:51:59

I don't think it matters if you raise money for charity doing something you love, or if you're doing it for yourself as well.

However, I do think there's a lot of bombardment going on at present from all over, and it doesn't get irritating and I think in some ways can be counter productive in that I 'hide' these constant requests so probably give less.

I do have my own loved charities that I donate both money and time to, I guess other people have to, and there's certainly too many people in the world who rely on charities and it's very sad I think.

I sort of think the end justifies the means (within reason) and it can be very difficult to tell someone they're becoming a bore, asking too much, and generally annoying you without sounding heartless.

I think 'hiding' is the way forward, though you do run the risk of being quizzed about it! Thens the time for gentle honesty.

Abra1d Tue 16-Jul-13 11:57:49

It does get wearying, doesn't it! I was astounded when, over two years ago, my husband was first made redundant and I had talked to several friends about how we were being very frugal, how many of them emailed me within weeks asking for donations to runs and cycles. It was actually embarrassing. We were trying to work out how long the redundancy money was going to last, cutting back on everything non-essential, but people just didn't stop to think that it was putting us into an awkward spot. They think it's just five or ten pounds a pop, but if you have twenty or thirty people asking for charity sponsorship a year, it adds up.

I see where you are coming from.
I think it is even worse if you are a professional fundraiser, and use your friends as a pool of money for whatever charity you are currently working for. I am sick to the pit of my stomach of seeing my friend drag her dc to one baby race after the other, toddling, pushing the push chair, baking, for charity, jumping out of parachutes and bungee jumping, that she expects friends and family to come to, and sponsor. It is her job fgs. She gets paid to support the charity, and increase awareness. Next year there will for sure be another one, and her dc will be used in the same manner again.

Sorry for highjack. Rant over.

NatashaBee Tue 16-Jul-13 12:09:24

grin ithaka

limitedperiodonly Tue 16-Jul-13 12:13:48

I did a sponsored swim and my mum ordered me to do only two lengths because lots of people had sponsored me per length rather than a set amount for the whole swim.

I got a bit carried away and the next thing I remember is my furious mum dragging me out of the pool shouting about how she'd have no friends left grin

NicknameTaken Tue 16-Jul-13 12:13:49

I don't mind people doing this, but I don't sponsor them, ever. I rarely get asked these days.....I will sometimes send money directly to an organisation of my choice (Women's Aid at the moment), but I don't feel the need for someone else to pick my causes for me.

Not being a total hypocrite, I don't ask people to sponsor me, either. I did the Race for Life but just donated what I could afford and didn't ask anyone.

It's great that people are out doing races etc, but mostly (not always) it's not for the charity, it's for the challenge of doing the event. I don't have a problem with it, but it's not where I put my money.

HildaOgden Tue 16-Jul-13 12:19:08

I'd just say 'best of luck with it all,I won't be able to help you out this time with time or money as I'll be concentrating on my own charity this year'

Leave it at that.Or else choose a charity yourself and bombard her with donation requests grin

nenevomito Tue 16-Jul-13 12:28:50

So tell me OP. What have YOU done to raise money for charity over the years? Tell me about when you helped out a good cause by raising 2k for them and I'll listen to you.

Charities rely on people like your friend to turn what they enjoy into a way of raising money.

If you really don't like it, hide her, but to be honest your complaint makes you look a bit, well, small.

HildaOgden Tue 16-Jul-13 12:40:11

The Op actually helped raise that 2k babyheaveby donating to the amount and by providing free childcare to the person who ran the race.

The runner didn't raise that 2k by herself,she did it be enlisting a team of friends/family/associates who gave her the money and freed up her time by taking care of her kids free of charge.But the runner is the one who got the glory...and is now tapping into those same friends and family again.

VerlaineChasedRimbauds Tue 16-Jul-13 12:51:30

babyheave shock

I have learned to have no guilt now when I ignore requests for donations to charities. I don't have enough money. It would be ridiculous for me to get in to debt through a sense of guilt/obligation.

I sometimes donate to charities, but I decide when.

Xmasbaby11 Tue 16-Jul-13 13:02:37

I am always very much in awe of my friends who do sponsored runs, bike rides, etc as I know they work so hard for it. I do sponsor them where possible but between friends and colleagues there are at least 3 a month and I can't afford it!

DameDeepRedBetty Tue 16-Jul-13 13:02:52

flipchart I think whereIleftit was referring to Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse's Smashey and Nicey characters, who were (hypocritically) always going on about 'doing stuff for charidee'.

Empress77 Tue 16-Jul-13 13:04:59

I am surprised at how much people hate being asked for a donation. I do think the chance that someone out of my friends list on fb might see my status and be keen to help a child is worth the pissed off annoyance of all the rest of them seeing that status. When you are bothering to fundriase you have really got involved in the charity and know how much difference a small donation can make - literally life or death for someone else - so its hard not to want to do everything you can to try to help -and increase donations. For me at least I didnt realise that supporting a charity could be annoying - if someone is raising money for a charity I dont support on fb I just ignore it.

nenevomito Tue 16-Jul-13 13:22:26

Hilda - the friend wouldn't have got people to donate for doing nothing would she?

Go out and do something - cycle, run, parachute jump, sit in a bath of fecking baked beans. Raise 2k for a charity.

I know I couldn't, so don't begrudge someone who is prepared to do that trying to raise money.

ithaka Tue 16-Jul-13 13:23:44

Yes, Smashy & Nicey do a lot of great work for charidee, but they don't like to talk about it - the joke being they throb on about it all the time...

DeWe Tue 16-Jul-13 14:03:01

Empress I think for thing for me is that we support (through donations and volunteering) a number of chosen charities which we considered over a period of time. Our choice of charities and ones we are very pleased to support.
I don't mind being asked by my friends to support them, but I haven't any friends who are constantly doing that. Lots who do it occasionally though and it still adds up to quite an amount a year. I would object to being asked again and again. if I'm going to sponsor I do it on the first time of asking, and asking again just irritates.

I'm sure that not everyone who does something to support a charity is not totally involved in the charity. I've certainly seen charities advertising for runners because they have spaces in things like the London Marathon. I think for a lot of people who generally run, it is just a way of getting a space to run, and they might as well raise money for something at the same time.
Yes, some are very emotionally involved, and some will be regular volunteers, or have personal family connections, but by no means all.

I wonder how many people who just do the (eg) running and training for running would be willing to put in the hours volunteering for the charity rather than the hours running. Or take a job for the same hours and give the money to the charity?

quoteunquote Tue 16-Jul-13 14:18:54

Suggests she gets local businesses to sponsor her.

I've done a few events, but do an article with the local paper, asking if any business would like to be involved, you get far bigger donations than you would with individuals,

The local businesses get good publicity, and can do a tax thing with the donation.

Local papers, like having feel good stories, no one feels hard done by.

CuChullain Tue 16-Jul-13 14:22:18

I cant stand people using the work place to generate charity donations, placing posters in the kitchen or firing out emotive emails that try to guilt you into handing over money. Every week there seems to be someone collecting for something. At least you can ignore those I guess but people who actually walk around the office getting you to sign donation/sponsor forms can fuck right off. I am also getting increasingly fed up with some of the piss easy nature of the sponsored 'challenges'. For every marathon runner there is a raft of 5km fun runners, where is the bloody hardship in that. I am not handing over £20 so you can walk around the local park dressed as an eejitt. And dont even get me started on the sponsor me to climb Kilimanjaro/walk the Inca Trail/skydive/tall ship racing etc.

<and breath>

Pennyacrossthehall Tue 16-Jul-13 14:24:00

The worst example of this (in my opinion) was the "Dryathlon" in January this year.

Sorry, you want me to pay you not to drink? F*ck off! How about you take the money you save on alcohol and donate that to your chosen charity instead?

Consils Tue 16-Jul-13 14:32:44

Climbing Kilamanjaro is not a challenge, it is the holiday of a lifetime.

sweetheart Tue 16-Jul-13 14:34:45

I'm on the fence with this one as each year I pick a new personal challenge and a charity that is close to my heart and raise money. I do something different each year because I do like to have a challenge to work towards, it helps keep me focused and motivated to train so it is very much a personal achievement on the other hand I do also do it for a charity which means something to me. One year I did it to raise money for a friends baby that died of a brain abnormality and another for breast cancer as my MIL had it, next year I'm hoping to do something heart related as my father has just had major heart surgery.

I understand it must be tiresome for my friends but anyone that knows me well knows I am a competitive person and I like to set myself challenges, I would never pressurise someone to donate and I usually find it's people that have a connection with the charity or people I have chosen that give the donations.

I often rely heavily on family and friends for support with these things but I hope they think I'm a nice person doing a good thing and that they could say if they weren't happy to help out.

CuChullain Tue 16-Jul-13 14:45:02

"I would never pressurise someone to donate "

Well this quite often the crux of the issue, there are quite a lot of people who do exactly that, tapping up friends and family is one thing, approaching people at work who you dont really know that well in my mind is a bit cheeky. You dont know what their existing financial situation is and some people feel they just cant say no when they have a form waved in their face by some happy clappy "oh come on, its for a good cause" person. Often these forms act as a bit of a cock waving exercise as well, the well paid executive pledging £50 donation is tough to match for the minimum wage post room worker who really only wants to give a fiver but feels like a skinflint on paper when they see all the other donations are much higher. I have run marathons for charity, but I chose my target audience very carefully and did not dare fund raise at work.

takeaway2 Tue 16-Jul-13 14:50:53

I guess the point is that it seems like she's doing it 'for fun' (I'm not saying that marathon running is fun or easy, just that for some people it's a fun thing to do...) and so is 'fund-raising' and bugging everyone about it. I would give money once.

I would also give money to those for whom it really is an effort, eg say a really poorly person who's now better and wants to raise funds for the hospital/trust; or someone for whom say running is a right chore/effort (e.g someone like me who runs to the bus stop and will collapse let alone run 5k or more!). Everything gets too much I think after a while.

takeaway2 Tue 16-Jul-13 14:53:43

"I wonder how many people who just do the (eg) running and training for running would be willing to put in the hours volunteering for the charity rather than the hours running. Or take a job for the same hours and give the money to the charity?"

^ exactly

CuChullain Tue 16-Jul-13 15:01:24

The annoying thing is though running marathons has become synonymous with ‘fund raising’ these days, believe it or not quite a few people like running marathons purely out of personal enjoyment and the obvious health/fitness benefits. When people found out I was in training for various marathons I was immediately asked who I was running for before getting some sneery look when I replied ‘nobody’.

whois Tue 16-Jul-13 15:20:00

I operate a no sponsorship rule unless I 1) really really really like the person (this rules mode tequests out) 2) very much agree with the chosen cause or 3) it's actually a bloody challenge.

Sponsored skydives where £250 of the raised sponsorship money is used to pay for the jump? Jog on.

5k run from an able bodied young and relatively fit person? No chance.

Massive bug bear this charity run bull shit. People WANT to do these races, and often the only way to get a place is to get a charity place but my view is you should just bloody pay the minimum donation and stop expecting others to pay for your hobby.

CuChullain Tue 16-Jul-13 15:30:17

@ whois

This is the problem with the London marathon, outside of the elite runners most of the 40,000 odd places are issued to charities who then invite people to run for them at £2000+ a go. Obviously most people try and run for the charity that asks for least amount to be raised. I did not get in on the ballot so ran Paris instead, eurostar, night in a hotel and entry fee came to about £250. No brainer. Paris marathon is almost as big as London and is a beautiful course with a great atmosphere and you can train with relative peace of mind without hen pecking letters from any charity telling you that some small child will probably die if you dont raise the required amount!

Er....after doing my massive charity bike rise this year, raising money for something that we already quite important to me and has become more so since doin the ride and meeting even more people affected by the disease, I signed up to do it again next year AND have started volunteering at the recipient charity

How d'ya like them apples wink

Vanessa1234 Tue 16-Jul-13 20:29:12

I have just signed up for my first marathon next year and I HAVE to raise a specific sum for charity as only about 10% of the places were non-charity funded, and they went instantly. She may not want to do it for charity but not have an option.

ShedWood Tue 16-Jul-13 20:40:43

Well she may "HAVE" to raise that amount of money Vanessa, but why should that be the OP's problem?

Sounds like you wanted to do the marathon rather than wanted to raise money for a particular charity that you support and/or that means something to you, whilst I applaud you for that I wouldn't particularly want to pay for you to complete your bucket list or whatever your motivation for this is.

I don't mean to single you out Vanessa so please don't take it as such, but like the OP I have been strongly persuaded to hand over money by several people like you this year who are doing something they want to do, but can only afford to do it if other people pay for them to - do you really think that's fair?

OwlinaTree Tue 16-Jul-13 20:46:32

I have a rule about this - i don't sponsor people to do the same thing twice. Tell her you have already sponsored and supported her. Suggest she finds a new challenge or joins a running club.

mittensthekitten Tue 16-Jul-13 20:52:09

babyheave I have supported a charity, thanks - I may not have raised 2K but I have babysat and donated and helped make it possible for someone else to raise that money and do a run that they wanted to do as well! I'd argue that my sacrifice is more noble as I got absolutely fuckall out of it and she did!

I'm glad I'm not the only one that this bugs. I also admit I feel sorry for her kids who seem to take a back seat to her hobby - and because it's for charity it's supposedly ok...

As I said in my previous post as well, it was amazing when she did this huge thing and I admired her so much for her endurance - when she first told me what this run involved I didn't think it was humanly possible! grin but to turn around and start tapping us all for money again within weeks just feels a bit rude. I have other friends who do this (on a small scale) and it's just annoying to feel that they're doing a whipround with the same friends over and over again.

ApocalypseThen Tue 16-Jul-13 21:11:27

So tell me OP. What have YOU done to raise money for charity over the years? Tell me about when you helped out a good cause by raising 2k for them and I'll listen to you.

I think this may be why I hate this kind of thing. It's really not about the charity for many people, it's about showing the world that you're a truly wonderful specimen of humanity and disparaging others who aren't like you. That's why I don't sponsor or ask for sponsorship. And if people with this attitude think they're doing their chosen charity any favours...

SuperiorCat Tue 16-Jul-13 21:11:40

YANBU - I do resent handing out cash to pay for someone's hobby / holiday / experience of a lifetime.

My friend was badgering people to sponsor her parachute jump - she said indignantly to me "I have to hit a minimum of £400 or I have to pay £200 for the jump myself!"

I'd rather cut out the middle woman and make sure my full donation goes to the charity

SuperiorCat Tue 16-Jul-13 21:17:49

So assuming she is training for 8 hours a week for a year that time could be spent working a NMW job and she would be able to donate the £2.5k she would earn to the charity...

Or she could donate her time working in a soup kitchen, women's refuge, SN playscheme, befriender in a care home and get sponsored to do that - double win, the charity get the cash and a volunteer to do something worthwhile.

KnittedWaffle Tue 16-Jul-13 21:18:37

I agree with you OP.

I get sick of all the 5k, 10k whatever runs and he begging statuses that go with them. Hate the group emails even more.
I never sponsor anyone on FB as a rule, bar one friend who recently trained to do a marathon, came in the top 100 and will never be doing another marathon again

I have updates hidden from one of my more 'smug' friends who just loves letting everyone know how wonderful they and their partner are and how much 'good' they are doing. hmm
Apart from that they're ok, so I won't delete them yet!

KnittedWaffle Tue 16-Jul-13 21:20:22

Good post, SuperiorCat!

WilsonFrickett Tue 16-Jul-13 21:26:41

And there it is. I knew you were judging her for leaving her kids so she could train.

Vanessa1234 Tue 16-Jul-13 21:36:54

Shedwood, no and that's why I'll be raising the amount by other means (raffle, events, jumble sale) rather than Facebook begging. Some people may be slightly lazier than I.

I generally donate a fiver if I can afford to, but not if I think it's all a bit of a jolly. 5k or 10k shouldn't be an impressive feat for the vast majority of people. Likewise I wouldn't donate for a skydive or a trek up Mount Snowdon or something fun. I'd donate if a friend did a marathon or half-marathon because I appreciate the amount of training that goes into it.

mittensthekitten Tue 16-Jul-13 21:46:42

WilsonFrickett Yeah I am a bit. So? It's another thing that has to take a back seat while she 'does good'.

SuperiorCat Tue 16-Jul-13 22:25:16

I would judge anyone who inconvenienced others by fobbing their DCs off them on a regular basis so they could pursue their hobby.

Same would apply if DH expected me to take full responsibility for the DCs while he swanned off to play golf several times a week.

Strokethefurrywall Tue 16-Jul-13 22:51:01

I think people asking for sponsorship money to walk the Great Wall of China and shit like that can jog on. I'm not paying for them to go off on a holiday of a lifetime.
However, one of my colleagues has just climbed Everest to raise funds for our local chemo unit. He's raised over $85,000 which is an incredible feat and we all sponsored him because what he has done to raise awareness and funds is incredible.
I generally will always donate for firsts - I'm no long distance runner, I trained for 7 months to do my marathon and it was fucking brutal. But I wouldn't sponsor someone who runs marathons 3 times a year because it's not a challenge for them. That's the whole point right?

McGeeDiNozzo Wed 17-Jul-13 04:31:59

I do wish that sometimes people would do these massive endurance events just to test themselves, and for no other reason than that. It shouldn't take climbing K2 backwards for people to give to charity. It's getting on my nerves too - lots of friends thinking they're all enlightened and pushing themselves to do all this. By all means go off on your bloody trip, but don't tack charity on just because you want to legitimise it. It's legitimate already.

sue52 Wed 17-Jul-13 08:05:02

Couldn't agree more McGeeDINozzo.

I recently did a little bit of fund raising for a small local charity and very quickly came across this type of compassion fatigue. Tbh, it makes me very very sad.
Charities are generally accepted to be good causes. Fund raisers are only asking. If you can't afford to contribute, they aren't bearing you any ill will, please don't make it any harder for them than it is by fostering this attitude.
It is ok to say no! Moaning about it just makes you look passive aggressive.

Kikithecat Wed 17-Jul-13 09:00:23

I would feel a lot more like giving if the sponsoree was doing something useful for the money (cleaning, clearing, helping others in some way) instead of doing their hobby.

CuChullain Wed 17-Jul-13 09:13:36


Echoing my post further up the thread I am pretty sure most people want to do endurance events purely as a personal challenge, unfortunately, for something like the London marathon event organisers have made charadee/fund raising a prime focus. It is now very hard to participate outside the framework of fund raising as most places are awarded to charities. THey can get away with this as London is one of the world 'majors' marathons and carries a lot of prestige and kudos, people are desperate to get a place at London. There are actually marathons organised by local running clubs up and down the country most weekends but most people dont really fancy the idea of crossing the line in some rural town centre with only a random man and his dog as the sole support. I live in London and would love to take part in the marathon and I resent the fact that the only way I can participate in an event in 'my back yard' is through a charity.

CuChullain Wed 17-Jul-13 09:22:33


Are you really surprised about the levels of 'compassion fatigue'? I think people are more immune to it now as there seems to be a constant assault by charity campaigns on the TV, at work, through the letterbox, down the high street and at school. You just learn to 'phase it out'. People are not shocked into action anymore by seeing images of starving african kids, neglected animals or photos of some poor sod with a degenerative illness. The tactics of those 'cheeky chappy' chuggers down down the high street just annoy me, why do I want to give money to people who annoy me? Likewise the people at work who try to press gang you into sponsoring their half arsed climb up Ben Nevis or whatever, its just sensory overload.

RoseFlowerFairy Wed 17-Jul-13 09:36:04

I used to give to these things, I don't anymore.

I hate being asked to sponsor people for charity. I prefer to give to a charity of my choice as and when it suits me and my budget at that time. I have given my time as a volunteer to various charity's in the past and will again in the future.

The school asked the children to go on a trip by raising money for charity, I wouldn't allow it, it feels like you are putting people under pressure to pay for a trip for your child. I find the whole thing wrong. Then a note came through the door and a neighbours child is doing this trip, I am not going to their rundraiser, I won't be going.

I ignore these request for sponsorship, I wish people well in their challenge and do my own thing.

How do you expect charities to raise funds without upsetting your delicate sensibilities?
There are a lot of causes and not enough money to go around. They are competing for your £ and anyone who gets off their arse to raise funds is doing a good thing, even if you'd rather they did a sponsored knit, cleaned your town centre, didn't eat for a week. I don't care how they do it. I can't donate to everyone who asks, but I'm grateful that there are people who raise funds and I say 'sorry, I can't donate this time, but I wish you all the luck with your cause'. FFS they don't have a gun at your head.

Wbdn28 Wed 17-Jul-13 09:36:37

Agree with Apocolypse.

No-one is saying there's anything wrong with raising money for charity. But pestering friends and family to give you this money isn't the best way to go about it IMO. Organise fundraising events, request business sponsorships, and so on.

RoseFlowerFairy Wed 17-Jul-13 10:02:20

I think when the austerity measures really start to bite, there will be more and more resentment towards those asking for our donations for someone else to have experiences under the cloak of fund raising.

Empress77 Wed 17-Jul-13 10:26:09

O dear its so sad that there is so much compassion fatigue - i had no idea people felt so against raising money for charities - charities are just desperate for money because a small amount of money can literally save someones life. How can people have become immune to
"seeing images of starving african kids, neglected animals or photos of some poor sod with a degenerative illness"?
Thats terrible. Charities are just trying to compete with the huge huge advertising budgets of profit making big business - and trying to persuade us to spend our money on others who desperately need it and where the money can go so much further -than on some unnecessary thing that advertising tells us we need - a new iphone/ipad etc etc.
Why are people not annoyed at the in your face advertising big business' do - some of the nonsense you hear in TV adverts is ridiculous.
And when someone sees the amount of money that could save a life is far less than that of an iphone it is really gutting to think that people actually resent being asked - only asked not forced - to donate. Charities dont expect people to get into debt over donating - if you cant afford it you dont have to give - they are not like big business that actively encourages debt creating credit schemes.
So sad to see charities being so opposed. If everyone gave a little bit charities wouldnt have to rely on challenges etc.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 17-Jul-13 10:29:20

It's awful asking for money.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 17-Jul-13 10:35:21

Empress: I think you have an unrealistic view. Advertising sells things which makes jobs: advertising itself makes jobs. Charity advertising is a big employment market too. Graphic design, arty jobs, techy jobs.

Perhaps no one should buy anything, then we can give all our money to charity but hang on, there'll be more people needing charity, because no one will be buying their stuff, so we'll have to give more money, but hang on, we might lose our arty jobs so we might not have any money to give, so we'll have to start asking for money ourselves.

It's better to select a few charities that spend money well and that's about it really.

Empress77 Wed 17-Jul-13 10:39:21

ok just looked at the cost of an iphone 5 - roughly £500/600 according to google is that right?

So for the cost of that my charity could send 3 orphaned children to secondary school in Malawi (including extra tuition and pastoral care). When we couldn't afford to send one because we didnt have enough funds this 11 year old unmarried orphaned girl got pregnant - in a society with 20% HIV levels.
Surely people can see why charities are desperate to try Anything to get people to donate to their cause?

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 17-Jul-13 10:40:15

If you really want to help your local community, you could get your nails done in the newly opened nail bar, or shop in the local greengrocer, or high street bookshop, and spend your money at the deli. That will help just as much. You think struggling businesses would rather you spent money in a charity shop?

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 17-Jul-13 10:41:23
Empress77 Wed 17-Jul-13 10:49:03

ah but crumbled walnuts its about competing with these things - if a charity can persuade someone to donate to them instead of buying a new thing -lives can be saved. We are still going to buy things for ourselves and keep the economy going but the charity just wants us to choose them and donate if we can. This isnt going to destroy the economy its just distributed differently - say we donate £20 to a food bank instead of going to dominos on one occasion -that £20 is taken from dominos huge profits, but is still helping the economy as £20 worth of food has been purchased from a shop instead.

But Im going off topic now I know, I just feel bad for people keenly fundraising against such opposition to it, i hadnt realised there was such opposition.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 17-Jul-13 10:49:49

Update on Britain's relationship with Malawi

How big is your charity Empress? If it's a small charity, the oversight is good and the admin very clean, then what a good investment. But I think charity should be an investment (it sounds like yours is - marvellous tremendous education of girls). I'm sure you do very good work.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 17-Jul-13 10:51:19

I don't give to food banks. That 20 would just go to sainsbury's huge profits. I'd rather patronise the local tea shop and spend 20 there.

NicknameTaken Wed 17-Jul-13 10:52:32

I don't think this needs to turn into "good cause"-bashing.

Empress, I really admire your compassion. I think people should support a cause close to their heart.

Part of my objection to this kind of fundraising is that people are asking me to effectively re-direct money from the things I feel passionately about to the things they feel (or worse, don't feel!) passionately about. I trust my judgement in giving. I really don't have a problem with people drawing attention to a cause that struggles to get publicity, eg. through Facebook. My ire is reserved for those people who are trying to redirect my giving so that a chunk of it goes on their bloody parachute jump.

Empress77 Wed 17-Jul-13 11:02:39

Yes, its a very small charity - no uk expenditure (other than the small cost from the bank to transfer money to malawi), no paid staff, no office, nothing. We are all volunteers and dont take expenses for getting to meetings etc - as petrol money here is worth a lot more there. Not even our accountant firm gets paid, they do it in their spare time. Its registered and accountable to the charity commission. We personally know everyone involved in Malawi and know exactly where every penny is spent over there - no corruption possible. I know that some of the big charities have a lot of uk costs but we are small enough to avoid that.Certainly there are plenty of charities I dont donate to & some fundraising methods I dont like (but assume they must work or the charity wouldnt be doing them). I just hope that all charities dont get seen in a bad light just because some charities may not be perfect, its a worry for our future fundraising chances!

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 17-Jul-13 11:07:07

smile give us a link

Empress77 Wed 17-Jul-13 11:14:24

smile aw thanks crumbled walnuts But dont want to be accused of asking anyone for donations!! smile or hjacking the thread! I do worry ive gone off topic! smile ill stop chatting about my charity now and go back to just being fiercely "Pro small charities"!! smile

MidniteScribbler Wed 17-Jul-13 11:31:02

I don't think it's about charities themselves being seen in a bad light Empress, it's about people going overboard and becoming very aggressive about you sponsoring them for some event they want to do. I don't think negatively about the charity, I think negatively about the person that won't leave me alone until I give them some money.

I have no issues with someone running a sausage sizzle to raise money for charity, or even a raffle. Trivia nights are also great fun. The big money here is actually the Bunnings sausage sizzles. Big hardware chain that provides all the equipment and assigns charities a weekend day. Pretty basic sasuage in a bread roll, soft drinks fare for a few dollars. I think there's very few people that enter or leave the store than don't have a sausage in their hand. The clubs/schools/charities pocket the profits. No one minds handing over their money because they get something in return.

LessMissAbs Wed 17-Jul-13 11:48:37

Empress I can and definitely do distinguish between small and large charities and am far more likely to donate to the former, or at least mid-sized charities. I also tend to donate by individual donations and larger sums, not direct debit of small sums.

I do have some charities fatigue however. As in the big charities with their massive infrastructure, like the RSPCA, which increasingly spends donations on its political ambitions and desire to become a self-appointed prosecuting agency.

Really, some of the methods of fund raising of larger charities are questionable. Some people are just old and/or lonely and far more likely to stop and chat to chuggers at the entrance and exits of shops. When I was sorting out my mother's affairs after her death, I was shocked to see the number of direct debits she had signed up for, when she was suffering from terminal cancer and could barely afford it.

I took a lot of her effects to a local branch of the PDSA and was really pleased to receive several letters from them thanking me and saying what some individual items had sold for.

I do not really want to support a wealth person walking the Great Wall of China "for charity", if I do so, it is because I am sort of coerced to do so. What I am trying to say is that donating to charity is an individual thing for me that I like to think about.

Empress77 Wed 17-Jul-13 12:40:53

ah this is interesting LessMiss - I certainly agree that its awful to sign up some people like like this - but companies do it to - I was very startled to hear the sales lady in Marks and Spencers (one of the top ethical companies) trying to sign my poor Nan up to the credit card scheme where she clearly had no idea what was going on (i was on the next till and got back to rescue her in time). People should certainly be careful who they target.
Also interesting what you say about the PDSA and RSPCA - until recently I was working for the PDSA (vet nurse) and am surprised that they are not seen as one of the big charities with big infrastructure. Certainly they do alot of excellent excellent work, but also have huge overheads as does the RSPCA - and have to stand up for them here as they have ended up taking on the 'policing' of alot of animal welfare cases as no one else does - its like the only legislation that the tax payer doesnt have to pay police to do as they do it instead. Am really glad to hear that the PDSA treats its donors so well - certainly the volunteers do excellent work.

Im really really glad that small charities arent seen as negatively as those with the challenges etc, thats good news. i just hadnt imagined that my fundraising would be annoying people, and it is good to think maybe it isnt as its not involving challenges etc - but has certainly involved asking friends and family if theyd like to donate

LessMissAbs Wed 17-Jul-13 12:49:15

Empress I didn't say that I viewed the PDSA as a small charity, just that I supported their local branch and had a good experience with them. I would view them as a medium sized charity, but I really admire their aims, which are clear and perhaps more achievable than a myriad of different policies and aims. The fact that I was able to deal with a local branch I think is a good sign that they have not lost track of their main aims.

I don't think its accurate to say that the taxpayer doesn't pay for the enforcement of animal welfare legislation. There is no such arrangement in law. The RSPCA is entirely self appointed in acting in this area and as a prosecuting agency, and in fact it has not been formally appointed as such in law. There is an argument that the RSPCA disinclines our existing criminal enforcement agencies from acting. This does not happen in Scotland, where the Scottish equivalent of the RSPCA generally leaves prosecutions up to the equivalent of the CPS, the Procurator Fiscal's Office.

mittensthekitten Wed 17-Jul-13 15:27:52

Look - this isn't about not wanting to support charity. I'm very pro charity, and support a number of my own choice of charities straight from my paycheque.

What bugs me is that the people raising money in the way I mentioned are actually doing something for them and then expecting everyone else to be the ones who pay (with their time, support and cash) while they get to feel all virtuous and glowing about themselves for doing something they wanted to do anyway. It's really self serving. At least in this woman's case it's a run, so a bit of an endurance test (although tbh now that she's super fit I'm not sure it even is really) whereas some of these things are blatantly holidays, and then a big chunk of the money goes to covering their flight out to China (or wherever), their hotel stays etc.

samandi Wed 17-Jul-13 16:12:29

I think it's fine the first time, but yes, the second time - or more - I can see how that could get a bit much.

samandi Wed 17-Jul-13 16:14:31

At least it's for charity though. I have one acquaintance who is trying to raise around £3000 for a holiday abroad. They're doing a sponsored run to try and raise the money. Lord knows how they're going to raise that much, but I'd rather put the money into my own holiday pot!

NicknameTaken Wed 17-Jul-13 16:23:11

Wow, just blatantly for their own holiday? How bizarre!

sue52 Wed 17-Jul-13 16:25:21

Samandi, that's outrageous! Cheeky beggars.

MrsKwazii Wed 17-Jul-13 16:34:27

OP, I understand where you're coming from. I think that when people are regular fundraisers they need to consider that you cannot assume continued support - money or otherwise - from the same group of people all the time. Everyone has causes that are close to their hearts which they may want to spend time and effort on. ongoing support for one person can become a burden rather than a pleasure, and perhaps OP's friend could take a turn supporting someone else to achieve something awesome like she has for charity?

Mumzy Wed 17-Jul-13 16:34:54

I sponsored our local cubs on a litter picking day. Best £5 I spent in a long time. Area looked spick and span afterwards and money went to a good cause. Not keen to fund other people's challenges and jollies in the name of charities though.

mittensthekitten Wed 17-Jul-13 21:34:53

Yeah, Mumzy - picking up litter! There's a job that they don't benefit from, that benefits everyone and they also raise money from it. Terrific. Nobody jollying around on runs, hot air balloons, bikes, holidays, skydives etc.

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