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... to be peeved at the AMOUNT of "please sponsor me" emails bombarding my Inbox?

17 replies

Word · 10/06/2008 17:38

I don't participate in sponsored activities myself, because I feel uncomfortable asking for sponsorship. Instead, DH and I make regular payments to charities of our choice.

I have no objection to sponsoring friends, but whereas in the olden days, they would approach you then thank you personally, I feel a bit miffed by the impersonal way in which the round robin emails (inc the thank you one) are sent.

Moreover, I've been asked to sponsor 4 different people for Race for Life so far - and can't help feeling that somewhere along the line, I must be creating more work for somebody within the charity, entering my Gift Aid details 4 times. Unless it is computerised - does anybody know?

It would seem so much easier just to sponsor one person a larger amount, but hey, guess what? That doesn't win any friends.....

Rant over.

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silvercrown · 10/06/2008 18:10

Know what you mean. I sponsored one friend and then felt guilty about not sponsoring others but it costs a fortune and we donate regularly (every month) to 2 other charities, I have the kids' sponsored events at school and Brownies to consider plus the hubby has people at work - it's neverending and annoying. Yet when I tried to sell a few raffle tickets a couple of years ago no-one was interested!!! Everyone has a reason for doing their sponsored event and you're made to feel terrible if you don't whip out your cash for every sob story. God knows what can be done about it though.

Turniphead1 · 10/06/2008 18:10

I think it's fine to not sponsor everyone and send an email to someone saying I have made one large donation to Race for Life.

But I think you sound a bit unreasonable. Please bear in mind that the events usually involve a fair amount of training, giving up time etc for the person doing it. I personally have done 60k walk for Breast Cancer and emailed everyone I knew, wrote letters etc (and generally harangued!!) and raised over £5,000 in doing so. I also have direct debits to large no.of charities but there is no way Ilike could ever offer any charities anything like that amount. So that's the reason why people do it. And if you speak to anyone in the Charities Sector they will tell you they could not survive without the amounts that these events raise - and whilst there is obviously more admin in collecting gift aid for 40 people who are doing the run than 10 people, the extra effort is worth it.

Now, one thing I do object to are people doing stuff like the Matchu Picu (sp) trail for charity and asking for sponsorship - er, no, you know what, pay for your own travelling ta.

Word · 10/06/2008 21:52

Mmmmmm.. will have to think whether I dare make one big donation, next year. I understand what you mean about the training, and reaching their own targets, but it still seems slightly silly to donate to the same charity four times over.

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1dilemma · 10/06/2008 22:01

Agree and disagree
my dh is doing a triathlon soon, and is very shy so doesn't want to ask for sposorship.
Has great ideas like my mother organising a BBQ and getting everyone to sponsor him (we have no garden) fine but she does't want to ask her friends either.

They all seem to be looking to me to sort this out.

I pointed out to him that he should have just given the money from the new kit (running shoes etc) to the charity and they would have made more.

Personally i don't like sites like justgiving that take a cut we worked out they had made 28 million pounds from their cut the other day (I think that was the amount)shame when everyone thinks their money is going to charity but if they process the tax back then maybe it's OK? how long does it take to process the tax back?

Anyway I see what you mean (we do give regularly to charity in other ways too!)

ChukkyPig · 10/06/2008 22:05

Sort of related I think - I had an email recently from someone asking me to sponsor them for a swim and directing me to a website.

I was happy to sponsor them but was horrified when I put the details on the website and it took the money straight away.

Isn't the whole point of sponsorship that the person gets the money when they've done the difficult thing? If the money gets taken before they've done it, then it's a donation surely, which is a completely different thing.

I got another one through and looked at the site carefully, it turned out they took a small % of all donations for admin costs!!!

So now I say to people that I am happy to sponsor them the old fashioned way, and will fill in the gift aid on a traditional sponsorship form and give them cash.

I resent having to cough up before the task has even been accomplished (presumably you couldn't ask for your money back if they didn't do it!) and am appalled that the people who run some of these sites seem to be creaming off some of the donations for their own profit.

Sorry this really got my goat recently - and that's my take on it!

Word · 10/06/2008 22:08

AAAAAGH! You two have gone and given me another 2 reasons to be miffed - no, downright pissed off!

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MummyDoIt · 10/06/2008 22:10

People tend to do sponsored events for very personal reasons. It's a feeling that you're doing something for a cause very dear to your heart. When someone close to you is struck down by a serious illness, you feel utterly powerless to help them so raising a bit of money for a related charity makes you feel a bit better. If your friends and family make donations, it makes you feel as if you've achieved something. Believe me, it can make a huge difference. I ran Race for Life last year for my Dad and my DH, both of whom had oesophageal cancer. Dad died last year, DH is still fighting it but both of them said it gave them a real boost to know people had pledged money. This year I'm sponsoring my sisters and SIL who are all doing Race for Life. Sure, I could pledge one big amount instead of three smaller ones but they want to feel as though they have given something of themselves so I am happy to sponsor them individually. By all means, say no and make your donations to your preferred charities but you should know that, for some people, these events are something more than just putting their hands in their pockets.

Word · 10/06/2008 22:10

Maybe I should have given all my donations to the one friend who is going to the trouble of asking personally, and doing it the old-fashioned way.

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Youcannotbeserious · 10/06/2008 22:11

I sort of agre too...........

Chukkypig (great name, BTW) - the websites should allow you to pledge an amount of money without coughing it up before the task is complete.

what gets my goat is being asked (by multiple people) to sponsor a 5-10Km walk... WTF?? I walk my dog more than that every day. That is not a 'feat' for most able bodied people (the people who are asking me are healthy 30 somethings)

I've also seen a big rise in people asking for larger donations to do things like climb a mountain - seems to me like it's asking your mates to pay for your holiday (ut maybe I'm a boring grumpy old goat!)

I DO partake on quite a few charity things - I love the MOONWALK for instance, but I just pay the minimum donation myself, plus whatever anyone offers. I don't ask for donations.

Word · 10/06/2008 22:12

Fair point, Mummydoit.

But also, then, if there's a cut taken from sites like Justgiving, isn't it better if people collect themselves and send it in?

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1dilemma · 10/06/2008 22:16

Yeah come on there must be some charity bods/tax bods (like anyone would confess to that!!) who will tell us how much it costs to process the tax

Word · 10/06/2008 22:16

Just looked at Justgiving's T&C. They take 5% on the gross donation - ie donation plus any Gift Aid reclaimed, where applicable.

Don't blame JG for existing - obv a market there. Just blame people using this service. I appreciate that more people are reached through emailing, but come on, close friends? How hard is it to ask directly?

So I now know that 5% of all my donations of late have not gone to the charities concerned. That'll teach me to read T&Cs

FFS. I will DEFINITELY just give to my friend with the form and pen next year. The others will have to understand, I'm afraid.

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ChukkyPig · 10/06/2008 22:17

Youcannotbeserious - that's what sent me beserk. If someone asks me for a donation to a charity they care about, that's fine. If they ask me to sponsor them to do something quite impressive, that's fine too. I am more generous as they have to do something difficult to get the money (although in practice I'm sure everyone pays up if the person has a good go!).

Taking the money up front without any warning that that's what's going to happen is downright outrageous! You should have seen my face , my DH decided to hide!!!

MummyDoIt · 10/06/2008 22:21

You are obviously all the lovely sort of people who pay up instantly. Sadly, I had two people who pledged money and, despite several requests, did not give it to me by the deadline. I ended up putting it in myself. In theory, I agree that sponsorship should be paid AFTER the event but taking it in advance does get round the problem of non-payers.

oranges · 10/06/2008 22:24

I really, really hate the 'please sponsor me trek the himalayas' one - makes me feel i'm paying someone to have a holiday. I don't like being asked for sponsorship as the asker tends to imply i don't donate to charities otehrwise, and i do.

Word · 10/06/2008 22:26

yeah, oranges, you're paying for their holiday....aka, in some cases, their ego trip.

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ChukkyPig · 10/06/2008 22:29

Justgiving is the one where I spotted that too. I think it's out of order that the site does not have plastered all over it that they are taking a cut. I wonder if the people who are doing the sponsored event even realise half the time. Grr.

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