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    Former MSE Debs
    Real-life MMD: Should I cut back so I can sponsor a marathon run?
    • #1
    • 23rd Aug 12, 4:54 PM
    Real-life MMD: Should I cut back so I can sponsor a marathon run? 23rd Aug 12 at 4:54 PM
    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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    Last edited by Former MSE Debs; 28-08-2012 at 2:30 PM.
Page 1
    • Ebenezer_Screwj
    • By Ebenezer_Screwj 28th Aug 12, 10:46 PM
    • 420 Posts
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    • #2
    • 28th Aug 12, 10:46 PM
    • #2
    • 28th Aug 12, 10:46 PM
    If you can't afford it don't do it. What is this charity anyway ? Doesn't charity begin at home ?
  • Bananabelly
    • #3
    • 28th Aug 12, 11:48 PM
    • #3
    • 28th Aug 12, 11:48 PM
    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!
    • whitewing
    • By whitewing 29th Aug 12, 12:08 AM
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    • #4
    • 29th Aug 12, 12:08 AM
    • #4
    • 29th Aug 12, 12:08 AM
    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.
    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.
    • AnneMary
    • By AnneMary 29th Aug 12, 12:22 AM
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    • 125 Thanks
    • #5
    • 29th Aug 12, 12:22 AM
    • #5
    • 29th Aug 12, 12:22 AM
    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.
    • pennypinchUK
    • By pennypinchUK 29th Aug 12, 12:36 AM
    • 382 Posts
    • 732 Thanks
    • #6
    • 29th Aug 12, 12:36 AM
    • #6
    • 29th Aug 12, 12:36 AM
    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.
    • cazpost
    • By cazpost 29th Aug 12, 8:30 AM
    • 109 Posts
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    • #7
    • 29th Aug 12, 8:30 AM
    • #7
    • 29th Aug 12, 8:30 AM
    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.
    • pineapple
    • By pineapple 29th Aug 12, 8:56 AM
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    • #8
    • 29th Aug 12, 8:56 AM
    • #8
    • 29th Aug 12, 8:56 AM
    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 ).
    Or be firm and get it off your back once and for all and say that from now on you have other charity arrangements.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 29th Aug 12, 8:58 AM
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    • #9
    • 29th Aug 12, 8:58 AM
    • #9
    • 29th Aug 12, 8:58 AM
    Say you can't afford it. I rarely sponsor anybody - I hate the blackmail aspect of it too.
    • alisonjanew
    • By alisonjanew 29th Aug 12, 9:32 AM
    • 40 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    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!
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 29th Aug 12, 9:39 AM
    • 6,924 Posts
    • 9,126 Thanks
    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.
  • magentalady
    I have a rule that I won't sponsor someone to do the same thing twice. If it's a new challenge, and I can afford to, then I'll gladly sponsor them for it, but when they do the same thing again the next year I very rarely sponsor them a second time, unless perhaps it's a charity I'd be giving money to anyway.

    I have friends who've been doing the Race for Life for the past seven years or so and who ask me for sponsorship every single year. I haven't sponsored them since the first time and we're still friends, so I'm sure they understand.

    Similarly, I've only ever asked for sponsorship when I'm doing something that really is a challenge and isn't something I would just do for fun anyway. Otherwise, as someone else has already said, it's just asking someone to sponsor your hobby.

    And don't even get me started on people who want sponsorship to go on holiday! I've seen people get stroppy because someone won't sponsor them to go and trek the Great Wall of China or whatever, which just seems rather cheeky to me.
    • Cinders2001
    • By Cinders2001 29th Aug 12, 10:09 AM
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    Set Amount/Help/Not Realize/Pride!
    Instead of a 1 a mile or whatever it is, give a set amount like 5 or 10 full stop.

    Or you could offer help during the sponsor rather than a monetary help.

    Or, as he is family, i'm sure he would understand if he was quietly spoken to about your situation. He/she's probably quite unaware of the predicament you are in, and would understand if he/she only knew.

    Hard though it may be, a quick swallow of the pride and respectfully tell-all may just be the best thing.

    Hope all goes well whatever you decide.
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    • crogers
    • By crogers 29th Aug 12, 11:20 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    Still sponsor, but reduce the amount. That way you will feel good, not guilty and i'm sure that your relative will understand in the present climate why you have had to do this. Good luck
    • Fujiko
    • By Fujiko 29th Aug 12, 11:47 AM
    • 149 Posts
    • 183 Thanks
    I sympathise with this dilemma because it is hard to say no to a friend and/or neighbour, and particularly so when you are asked to sponsor a child. My solution is never to pay by the mile or whatever but to donate a set amount depending on how sympathetic I feel towards the particular charity. I do find it embarrassing to be presented with the sponsorship form showing pledges of anything up to 10 a mile which does almost amount to moral blackmail!
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 29th Aug 12, 11:48 AM
    • 25,182 Posts
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    Most people I know just give a set amount anyway.

    I'd be honest and tell your relative that you are hard up.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

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    • Jo09
    • By Jo09 29th Aug 12, 11:48 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    You should sponsor what you want to and can afford. You shouldn't feel obliged if you cannot afford to do it. Your family member should understand and may be upset if they knew the hardship you were going through.
    • Augustus the Strong
    • By Augustus the Strong 29th Aug 12, 12:03 PM
    • 304 Posts
    • 313 Thanks
    Augustus the Strong
    Just give him a fiver if you can afford it, or whatever you can afford - a couple of quid is better than nothing - but remember, it's not him personally you're giving money to, it's the charity. Explain that you don't want to not sponsor him, but you really can't afford any more than that (whatever it is).
  • milvusvestal
    Marathon sponsorship
    No, let's get this right - your relative isn't running for charity, he/she is running purely because they want to and for their own sense of achievement. Charity runs are fine, but those taking part haven't really done anything special, and they have become an easy way to raise money by striking at people's consciences. Does your relative pledge, say, 20 for every mile run? I somehow doubt it, so why should you pledge anything at all?

    It would be different if sponsorship was sought for, say, redecorating elderly people's homes, or dug their gardens or cleared their rubbish to the local tip, as something positive is done to earn it. But running for personal pleasure - no!
    • 19lottie82
    • By 19lottie82 29th Aug 12, 12:50 PM
    • 5,790 Posts
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    I have ran a few 10ks for a charity that is very close to my heart and most people know why it is close to my heart.

    I appreciated ANY donation, including one for 3 from one of my mates who is a student, living in London (hence he has very little spare cash).

    When you talk about "cutting back" to make a donation, I get the feeling that you think you are expected to donate a substantial amount? I'm sure your relative would appreciate any donation.

    BUT that's only if you want to. No one should force you to donate, and shouldn't feel guilty if you don't.
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