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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.

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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...

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.

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

Just reading brew

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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

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