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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.

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!

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