Real-life MMD: Should I cut back so I can sponsor a marathon run?

edited 28 August 2012 at 2:30PM in Money Saving Polls
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Former_MSE_DebsFormer_MSE_Debs Former MSE
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edited 28 August 2012 at 2:30PM in Money Saving Polls
Money Moral Dilemma: Should I cut back so I can sponsor a marathon run?


For the last few years, one of my relatives has run a half-marathon for charity and asked friends and family to sponsor him. I always struggle to spare the cash, however, I always sponsor him because I feel obliged. That time has come around again and money's tight as ever. Should I make cuts and sponsor him, or confess that I don't have the money?
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  • If you can't afford it don't do it. What is this charity anyway ? Doesn't charity begin at home ?
  • I am careful about what charities I support and research them carefully before donating. You shouldn't feel bad, and I doubt your family member wants you to make cuts just to sponsor them. I doubt that they will notice anyway, unless no one gives money.

    One option would be to say you can't afford it, but could help by driving them to the race, helping them train or giving your time in some other way - be there to cheer them on!
  • whitewingwhitewing Forumite
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    I would say give if you can, but maybe say that this will be the last time as you are reviewing all your charitable donations.

    Our circumstances are such that we are not donating money at the moment, but we do donate goods to charity shops where we can.
    :heartsmil When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them with glad cries of "Me too!" be sure to cherish them. Because these weirdos are your true family.
  • AnneMaryAnneMary Forumite
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    I reckon your options are:
    Sponsor him but for a lesser amount you can afford - with a quick sorry things are tight this year and I feel bad because I really admire you for doing this.

    On the other hand he obviously enjoys running so you could think, "why should I shell out for him doing his hobby".

    What I wouldn't do is make things difficult for yourself because of feeling under obligation.
  • No brainer. This person is a relative, so you should be able to be honest with them and say you can't afford it. Don't sweat about it - only give to charity (or anything else) what you can afford.
  • cazpostcazpost Forumite
    109 Posts
    How much money are we talking about? Whenever I get asked to sponsor people I am often amazed at what people give,£10 per mile etc,and wonder how on earth they can afford it. I always say to the person,'Sorry,moneys really tight,but I can give you a couple of quid' and give it to them then and there. I wouldn't give them anything if I didn't have the cash to spare,no matter how worthy the cause.Simply explain to the relative that you are not in a position to give them a large amount ,give them what you can afford or offer to help them in another way,for example,taking the sponsor form around your friends and work colleagues to get him extra sponsors.
  • pineapplepineapple Forumite
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    Imagine you had oodles of cash, had no family pressures and wanted to donate to something. Would you choose this particular cause?
    Frankly I hate the sort of charity pitching that, let's face it, relies on a captive audience - family, friends, workmates.
    But if the answer to the question is 'yes', we can usually cut back on something so I would sponsor.
    If the answer is 'no' or if you really do have your back against the wall financially then just say 'No thanks not this year' and smile sweetly. Frankly you don't owe the relative any explanation. The problem with saying you are hard up at the moment is that you will most likely get the 'but the tiniest amount helps' response. And you will possibly feel even more awkward sponsoring a little amount than nothing at all (some of the pressure in these things comes with being presented with a sponsorship list where you can see what others have offered :eek:).
    Or be firm and get it off your back once and for all and say that from now on you have other charity arrangements. ;)
  • PasturesNewPasturesNew Forumite
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    Say you can't afford it. I rarely sponsor anybody - I hate the blackmail aspect of it too.
  • Just be honest and say you can't afford it. You're under no obligation to give money. That's what I always do and people still speak to me!
  • TBagpussTBagpuss Forumite
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    No, you don't have to sponsor them. I agree with @Pineapple that I would avoid going into detail about why not, as this could lead to your being pressurised.

    You could simply say that you have already used up your budget for sponsorship for this year (which is true. fter all, that budget may be £0, if you are struggling financially!)

    If you feel that the charity is a good cause and you want to show support you could (subject to your financial situation) give a small amount - there is no rule that says you should, or must, give the same as you have in previous years, or that same as other realtions have given.

    if you either don't give, or give less than other/previous years and your relative (or other family members) is rude enough to comment then a simple "I can't afford it. I've given more than I could afford in previous years" is entirely appropriate.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
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