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To feel a bit "hmm" about charity treks abroad

(175 Posts)
prettybutclumpy Thu 20-Feb-14 15:56:02

I am donning my hard hat, but am interested to know if anyone feels the same as me about this!

I feel a bit unwilling to give to charity for friends who are doing a charity trek or other big activity abroad. I think for some people they are just a chance for a cheap holiday and amazing experience which they sort of shame their friends into "paying" for. I do know that most people pay a fee for joining in the activity, but I am sure this doesn't cover all the costs for the charity - I think the charity relies on each individual meeting or exceeding their fundraising targets to cover additional costs. If anyone works for a charity, I'd really like to know whether this is true!

I also feel that I should choose which charities I give my cash to which are of particular relevance to me and my family, rather than to choose charities offering these experiences. However, I do feel pressed into giving funds as it is someone I know who has asked me directly to contribute.

Does anyone else feel this way, or am I just an old moany-pants?

NoIamAngelaHernandez Thu 20-Feb-14 15:59:01

I feel exactly the same.

I won't sponsor people for these at all.

The cheekiest of all was a friend who was going on a work - sponsored holiday to 'decorate an orphanage' and then a week in a 5 star hotel.

HoratiaDrelincourt Thu 20-Feb-14 16:00:10

I think there are better ways of raising money for charity - I'm thinking of someone who was dared a large sum of money to put a picture of her cleavage on a closed group for ten minutes, and that conversation raised four figures in twenty-four hours with not a penny in overheads.

I can see the argument that it's money that otherwise wouldn't have been raised, but that doesn't mean you personally should feel obliged to get involved.

Guitargirl Thu 20-Feb-14 16:02:01

YANBU - I think they are a load of self-indulgent nonsense.

Lottiedoubtie Thu 20-Feb-14 16:03:21

I agree. I only donate if I know the figures- eg, how much is fundraising how much does the trip cost. AND if the person doing it is meeting most of the 'trip cost' themselves.

Otherwise it is just paying for someone else's holiday.

NoIamAngelaHernandez Thu 20-Feb-14 16:03:35

If it was really about raising money then they could have donated the cost of their airfares and someone local could have decorated ten times over.

MichonnesSamuraiSword Thu 20-Feb-14 16:03:59

Yeah I agree. I'm not convinced these charities use the funds entirely for the good of the intended recipient really. And yes, we who donate are basically just funding someone else's 'trip of a lifetime' which they'll put on their CV / dine out on for years to come.

Pantone363 Thu 20-Feb-14 16:04:00

YANBU, I'm sick of them. I've got 3 of them in my FB at the moment, I sponsored my mate who was growing her hair for the children's wig people instead

mumandboys123 Thu 20-Feb-14 16:06:16

These 'adventures' inevitably take place in countries/areas where the local people are living very disadvantaged lives and whilst a 'donation' is (usually) cited as being given to the local community, I still struggle to see how it's OK to have a great time in the name of British disadvantaged people whilst trampling all over someone else's disadvantage.

You are not unreasonable and I never, ever give to people fundraising in this way.

Pawprint Thu 20-Feb-14 16:07:18

It's up to you whether you sponsor them, obviously. However, I did a charity trek some years back in memory of my sister who died of an illness represented by the charity the trek was in aid of.

Between us, we raised £100,000 for that charity (there were thirty of us). I was very touched when people sponsored me, but I didn't expect them to.

I do take your point that treks like these are a holiday for the participants. It isn't exactly free though - your flights are paid for and accommodation is included. However, the accommodation was, apart from two nights in an average hotel, extremely basic - think campsites.

I also had to take time off work (I am self employed) and pay for visas, passports, equipment etc. However, that was my decision and I am not moaning about it!

I do wonder how effective these kind of sponsored treks are in the current climate but, in most cases, to raise money one has to spend money. It is hard to get sponsorship and it does take work.

I think there are more effective ways to raise money, such as pub quizzes etc, but treks do tend to raise large sums. I don't honestly know how much the charity spent on flights, publicity etc, but I reckon they got a good 'profit' out of the funds raised.

Stinklebell Thu 20-Feb-14 16:09:40


I have a friend who does a lot of those charity bike rides in Peru type treks (it's never a London - Brighton type thing, always Peru or some such place)

He has to pay something like £400 and then raise around £3000 for the charity. He's massively into cycling and does one every couple of years so I feel like I'm contributing for him to have this amazing experience and the chance to indulge in his hobby on the cheap in the name of 'charity'

I sponsored him the first time, but don't now. I have charities that are important to me and I donate to them

Pawprint Thu 20-Feb-14 16:10:02

These 'adventures' inevitably take place in countries/areas where the local people are living very disadvantaged lives and whilst a 'donation' is (usually) cited as being given to the local community, I still struggle to see how it's OK to have a great time in the name of British disadvantaged people whilst trampling all over someone else's disadvantage.

I must admit, I somewhat agree. Having said that, putting Western trekkers up in accommodation makes good money for the hosts.

I did feel that the local folk must have thought we were awful - we were boozing every night (they sold us drinks) and come from a much more privileged world that they do. They probably thought we were horrendous.

SomethingOnce Thu 20-Feb-14 16:12:47

I'm not exaggerating when I say I find pretty much all aspects of this concept sickening, for all the very good reasons above.

Degustibusnonestdisputandem Thu 20-Feb-14 16:13:44

My sister did one right around the base of Mont Blanc, & raised a lot of money for Muscular Dystrophy in Australia. Our younger brother has Duchenne MD, & almost all of the people that went on the trek were those who either had family members with the condition, or worked directly with people with MD. Not only did they raise a substantial amount of money for the MD association in Oz, but it was an amazing opportunity for them all to meet/bond. So while I may agree with you in most instances, there are I think, exceptions.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 20-Feb-14 16:16:10


If you read the small print of these things GS there's always something like must raise min £2000/ £1750 goes towards trek costs - rest to charity.

manicinsomniac Thu 20-Feb-14 16:19:00

I don't know, I think I think YABU

The benefits if these kinds of adventure trek are, I thin, threefold:
1. Raising money for great charities
2. Providing valuable, enjoyable and unforgettable experiences for (usually ) quite young people.
3. Boosting the economies of often poor countries.

I am happy to pay for all of those things.

Much better than feeling guilted Into paying someone to take the equivalent of your average morning jog around a park dressed in pink imo!

Callani Thu 20-Feb-14 16:21:54

My aunt wanted to climb Mt Kili and figured she might as well do it through charity to raise some money for them. She paid the all the costs and the initial minimum fund raise (£3k) herself and then asked for sponsorship from other people to raise extra cash so everything people gave was guaranteed to go to the charity.

It's the only time I've been asked without thinking someone wanted a subsidised holiday.

Trifle Thu 20-Feb-14 16:22:15

Stinkelbell - you've got it the wrong way round. Only £400 is for the charity, the remaining £3000 is to pay for your mate to have the holiday of a lifetime.

I;m doing an experience similar to those listed above. Not a single penny will be raised, no friends will be guilt tripped into coughing up money, no facebook requests will be given for donations. Nothing.

I;m doing it because I want to and I;m paying every single penny myself.

Greenandcabbagelooking Thu 20-Feb-14 16:24:05

I feel bad now. I'm currently raising money to attend the World Scout Jamboree next year. Yes, I get to go to Japan, but I will be working to provide a literal once in a lifetime experience to teens for all over the world. Some of whom have their places paid for by money I raise.

I am however, doing stuff where there's a benefit to the people giving me money: selling cakes/books, babysitting, dog walking etc.

I hope I've not annoyed any of my friends by doing this!

Degustibusnonestdisputandem Thu 20-Feb-14 16:25:15

Oh I might add my sister paid all the actual costs for herself out of her own pocket!

Degustibusnonestdisputandem Thu 20-Feb-14 16:28:07

Greenandcabbagelooking don't feel bad, I think you're doing it for all the right reasons!

HoratiaDrelincourt Thu 20-Feb-14 16:30:15

Ooh well no I don't mind a good cake sale / coffee morning greedy pig - it's the "sponsorship" that gets on my tits.

Stinklebell Thu 20-Feb-14 16:31:11

Stinkelbell - you've got it the wrong way round. Only £400 is for the charity, the remaining £3000 is to pay for your mate to have the holiday of a lifetime.

The way he does it, he pays out the £400 as a deposit out of his own money, then expects the rest of us to cough up towards the remaining £3000.

It's a good trick if you can swing it, holiday of a lifetime (every 2 years) for £400

HesterShaw Thu 20-Feb-14 16:33:54

YAB a bit U.

They are bloody hard work. But I do see the point.

My sister worked her arse off at the age of 19 to fundraise her stint in Tanzania building a health centre. Yes she went and saw some of the country afterwards, but who wouldn't?

WellHelloThere Thu 20-Feb-14 16:34:59

YNBU I totally agree with you - I sponsored a friend a few years back to do a trek in the Himalayas or something cant remember the details donated 100 quid when she came back after having the time of her life - she confesses that when it came down to it after her costs she had only raised 20 quid - I was a bit hmm about it as I basically funded her holiday and so little went to the charity, ever since I am a bit dubious about it tbh

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