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

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  • Talent
    Talent Posts: 244 Forumite
    We don't sponsor anyone for anything, ever. Our answer is always the same, we sponsor one charity and we give directly, no middle-men (or women, we're not sexist either!). Also, we don't ask for donations towards the amount we give and we don't advertise what we give or to whom. Rest assured it's not one that gives their executives huge salaries, huge pension pots, first class travel, entertainment allowances, palatial offices and subsidised accommodation. Now who could that be??
  • Pee
    Pee Posts: 3,826 Forumite
    There was someone on thought for the day once, a religious person, saying that in economic hard times he would rather reduce his life insurance than his gifts to charity. That is going way too far but it did make me think and I have made regular contributions to charity with the idea that I buy charities a drink a week. I can afford to do this and I am sure theat they need the help.

    That said I didn't realise sites like Just giving kept so much of the money themselves and how much money can go in administration.

    I think the suggestion of offering to drive him there or some other such useful suggestion - maybe dog sit his dog that day - and showing you are supportive is just as important.

    The trouble with saying you can't afford it is people have a nasty habit of saying but she can afford a new dress, new curtains, a bottle of wine, new toys for her children or whatever and be critical about your choices. Said new thing may have in any event been a present, but it can be discussed and criticised.
  • No, you should never feel obligated to give money you can't afford !
    But a few people have commented that people who ask for money for running marathons etc are asking you to sponser their hobby. I don't think this is fair, in most cases it's possible to compete without having to sponser any charities and every competitor has to pay a fee to enter. The fact that so many people do support charities and ask for sponsorship is a reflection on their charitable nature , because collecting sponsership money from people can be as much fun as cleaning the loo!
  • Middlestitch
    Middlestitch Posts: 1,486 Forumite
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    If you feel 'obliged' (or simply want) to make a donation, tell the truth that you are very strapped for cash and hope he won't mind a token donation of xxx. Every little helps, be it 5p or 50p.
  • If you know a year in advance that your relative is running a half marathon you have plenty of time to think about whether to sponsor him or her, also plenty of time to train for one yourself as then you will understand that you don't just turn up on the day and 'take' other peoples sponsorship money, but it is a big commitment and the easy part is parting with £10 sponsorship money and feeling good that you have helped a worthy cause and showed appreciation that someone 'else' is willing to do the hard work and train, eat healthily, sacrifice time and effort, and keep focussed on turning up on that day even if it is only for a measly sponsorship amount. Just think that when they signed up to do it they didn't make it conditional on how much money they raised, because every penny counts. However, I have never run a half-marathon so who am I to say, but fair dos you know every year what is coming so you should something figured out by then.

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  • It's a charitable donation. Key word is "charity" - something you choose to give to (or not).

    Really, you shouldn't have to feel obliged to explain. I've discovered recently how liberating it is to be able to simply say "no" or "sorry, I can't" rather than feeling like having to explain myself!

    If your relative is close enough, or you think its going to cause a problem later on, it's quite okay to just say "I'm really sorry, I'm not in a position to help this year."

    (I'm a runner who mugs everyone on his email distribution list when I do a charity event. But I *always* preface any request (and mean it!) with a "Feel free to ignore this email. If it doesn't float your boat, no problem. We will still be friends and I won't ever mention it again.")
  • Pisco_2
    Pisco_2 Posts: 7 Forumite
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    Have you considered donating your time to the charity - or even the event organisers. Most events like this quite often need volunteers to help out such as people to hand out water along the route, monitor road crossings, registering people etc. In the current economic climate a lot of charities are starting to realise that skills/time donation is as valuable as money.
  • mjbmjb
    mjbmjb Posts: 31 Forumite
    So far this year, I've had about 6 work colleagues take part in a charity event of some kind. At least they sent out a link via email for us to donate, so we could politely ignore it without causing offence to them.

    Why do people feel the need to raise money for charity if they are running the London Marathon, rather than just doing it for the challenge? (I've run it 3 times, amongst dozens of other running events, and never once did it for sponsorhip).

    You'll just have to say that you are up sh*t creak financially and you've got £600 of bills to pay, that you can't afford. Be honest!
  • I've been guilty of taking on charity challenges for the last few years. I support my local hospice for personal reasons (& yes I do donate money myself & pay all costs for my challenges). I would hate to think that anyone who'd been kind enough to sponsor me had done it because they felt they had to or was pressured into it. I'm sure your relative won't mind one bit if you don't donate, for whatever reason.
  • woodfairy
    woodfairy Posts: 65 Forumite
    I regularly do races and only occasionally do it for charity as I don't want to overload people asking for money. Yes, it's my hobby and I'd do the races anyway - but it is a good way to raise a bit of cash for charity as well. I don't get any additional benefit from asking for sponsorship - I pay my own fee for the race and for everything else I need. To say that I'm getting other people to pay for my hobby would be untrue!

    It's lovely when people do sponsor me but I would never expect someone to do it and I'd feel terrible if I knew that someone was giving money when they can't afford it!

    Giving to charity, whether through sponsorship or anything else, is a personal decision and you should never be made to feel obliged or guilty by someone else.
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