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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!

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.

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.

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?

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

Samandi, that's outrageous! Cheeky beggars.

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

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

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!

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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

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

smile give us a link

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!

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.

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.

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.

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 10:41:23

Transparency International on Malawi

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?

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 10:35:21

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.

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

It's awful asking for money.

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.

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