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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!

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!

AmericasTorturedBrow Tue 16-Jul-13 20:19:20

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!

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