Gransnet forums


Not to sponsor someone's holiday?

(27 Posts)
JessM Mon 26-May-14 06:52:50

Interesting article about the pros and cons of raising money for charity while
having an exciting holiday. You know the sort of thing: "Will you sponsor my daughter, she's cycling to the top of Everest to raise money for cancer?"
I always say no. I'd rather all my donation goes to charity rather than half of it subsidising someone;s "gap experience". But this article does lay out the pros and cons in a thoughtful way. After skimming it I might conclude
If you are a fairly affluent young person who as had lots of holidays you can b** off and get a part time job and fund the trip yourself before you start asking for donations. Or get your parents to pay the costs.
If you are a young person who comes from a poorer background I might agree.
But generally the best way to support a charity is a direct debit, even if it is a small one. This gives charities the steady predictable income that allows them to plan and operate effectively.

MiceElf Mon 26-May-14 07:50:31

Quite agree, Jess. We tithe our income and that goes to four different charities - with gift aid - and that's it apart from the occasional dreadful disaster.

I don't put money in buckets - no gift aid possible - and I certainly don't sponsor other people's jollys. That might make me a sour old bat and it does take a bit of nerve to decline nice young people whose parents are known to you but that's the decision I've made.

Soutra Mon 26-May-14 08:14:34

Absolutely. I gift-aid whenever possible including books I take to the Oxfam book shop, and donate direct to charities sometimes by standing order. Why should I subsidise such a trip or be made to feel guilty if I refuse?

Gagagran Mon 26-May-14 09:01:32

Couldn't agree more Jess. I also object to sponsoring the fit and able athletic types doing long-distance rides, swims and the like. I always want to say "Why don't you go and dig over some gardens for some pensioners or do some painting and decorating for those unable to do it themselves any more"

All that effort and energy could go into much more useful and practical applications. It feels as if I am being asked to pay them for doing something they want to do physically but they hang a moral imperative of charitable intention on the endeavour. Then you are made to feel mean-spirited if you decline!

Most of us choose which charities we wish to support and it's no-one else's business which they are or how we choose to do so.

whenim64 Mon 26-May-14 09:02:13

No, you are not being unreasonable. Why do we keep getting asked to put money into charities that divert money away from the cause? I don't want to send money to help wild animals and get a newsletter, free fluffy polar bear or anything else that could be spent on the animals themselves, and I certainly don't want to donate in order to win a free car (recent email from a childre's charity) - sell the car and give the charity the money.

sunseeker Mon 26-May-14 09:21:21

I think this kind of thing is akin to blackmail - we all want to support charities and some of us support our favourite charities on a regular basis - but whilst recognising that the people who carry out these extreme challenges do so with the best intentions I do think they should fund the expense themselves and ALL the money raised should go to the charity. The only time I have supported this kind of thing was when a group were travelling to Africa to help dig wells and build schools.

I used to help arrange charity events and the costs involved were all borne by those of us arranging the event, this meant more money went to the charity.

Nelliemoser Mon 26-May-14 09:47:34

JessM I am very against this idea.
I upset someone at work by refusing to sponsor someone on trip for a charity walk on the Great Wall of China.

I made the point they could do a sponsored walk in the UK for much better financial gain and general ecological benefit.

I think the whole concept of this is just plain wrong.

FlicketyB Mon 26-May-14 11:48:26

Quite agree, these 'sponsor me for charity' wheezes irritate me beyond measure. One of my neighbours is currently on a long walk to raise money for a the local theatre. Now I do see that provincial theatre is important to many people, but so far the sponsorship total is below £10,000. The walk is taking 2 months and with the costs of the event, is the £5,000 or so that will be left for the theatre worth it?

I have a portfolio of charities I support on a regular basis, I have chosen them carefully and it covers the areas I feel most strongly about. I review them annually and sometimes drop one and pick up another.

I have not sponsored my neighbour, the only one of her immediate neighbours who hasn't, I am not a theatre goer and I think her marathon walk is pointless. I am sure she could have raised the same money in other ways, dare I say it strikes me as bit melodramatic!!

KatyK Mon 26-May-14 11:59:00

I give to two charities via direct debit each month. I also buy raffle tickets from the RNIB twice a year. I have sponsored my granddaughter to do Race for Life a couple of times, so don't mind that sort of sponsorship. My pet hate is people standing at the entrance of a supermarket when I go to shop. OK, it doesn't hurt to put a few coins in the bucket but I feel totally under pressure and like a bad person if I don't put anything in.

GillT57 Mon 26-May-14 12:23:38

Oh thanks heavens, it isn't only me who feels this way. I have a friend who is almost a professional walker, he trains and walks all year (doesnt work) and then after all the training and the walk, he basks in the congratulations.hmm Well, it would be absolutely pointless without those of us who year after year sponsor him. It would seem that many of his friends and family are starting to feel the same as the amount being raised decreases every time.The last epic walk raised just over £1000, he would have been better taking a part time job, donating and gift aiding the income. I donate and gift aid to charities which mean something to me. I hope I dont sound curmudgeonly, but I do resent the basking in glory while those of us who put our hands in our pockets get overlooked

glammanana Mon 26-May-14 14:38:06

I donate by DD to two Charities who I know get all of the monies donated no stupid salaries for managers etc,and always drop something in RNLI box when I am down near the River front where they have a Mooring and information display open to the public most days.
If any more of the young men stop me in our local shopping centre and refer to me as "young lady" I think I will scream with indignation and tell them where to go I find them most insulting.

Judthepud2 Mon 26-May-14 15:05:05

I like flicketyB's idea of a portfolio of charities managed on a regular basis.

granjura Mon 26-May-14 15:09:12

I suppose it depends on circumstances. I was asked to sponsor my great nephew for a trip to the other side of the world, for 'charity'. He goes to a major public school and parents are very wealthy. So intitally I felt a bit annoyed. On the other hand I felt it was great that those well-off kids were encouraged to think about the plight of others, and motivated to do something for another community- so I did contribute.

On the other hand, one of my ex students is in the terminal phase of cancer. No husband, and two young kids she knows she will soon have to leave behind. She has a team running for the Cancer run in June- and it is really important for her, to feel she is fighting for others who may stand a chance- it gives her hope. And of course I've sponsored her and many others who are also ex-students of mine who will be taking part in the race.

Quite different to someone becoming a 'professional' charity runner.

rosesarered Mon 26-May-14 15:15:33

I agree with all the posts.We should be all free to give [or not give] as we like. Well, of course we are, but sometimes it doesn't feel like it.Three years ago, our doorbell rang and DH answered it. I heard the voice of somebody who sounded elderly and hectoring in equal measure.After a while he came in to the room and said 'who IS that woman?'I looked out of the window and saw a thin old lady that I had never seen before. DH thought it must be a neighbour. He had given her £5! She said that she did dotty things to raise money for charity, and she wanted the money NOW not afterwards as she couldn't possibly come back to every house again.I told him not to be so stupid next time.I since found out that she really did do dotty things to raise money for charity, but far from being a neighbour lived in another village entirely. She told him that all his neighbours had given her £5, thus embarrassing him into giving the same amount BEFORE she had even done the event [which she enjoyed doing and all the associated kudos.]She came back last year, I had forgotten who she was but we had visitors and I was serving a meal, so asked her to call another time and she was outraged!Went off muttering. She came again last month, and this time I told her that we didn't sponsor anybody except our own relatives and friends, and she tried to argue with me about this, unbelievable.I had to say goodbye firmly and close the door, and she went off muttering again.Now, she is probably eccentric, and she does raise money doing whacky stuff, but she also hectors people into giving her money, even naming the amount of money that she, a total stranger, wants! You can't give money to everyone, and had she been a close neighbour then we would have done, if only for the sake of harmony,
but we limit this form of giving to people that we know well.I don't think we should feel guilty about it either, it's our own hard earned money after all. As to supermarkets, I am sick of having to run the gauntlet of people shaking buckets at me both inside and outside, when already struggling with a large trolley, a shopping list and a cross DGS1 who wants to go home and play chicken invaders on the computer. angry

Agus Mon 26-May-14 15:16:39

I don't think this is the best way to fund charities. I do think anyone who wants to donate to a charity would be helping more if they gave the money directly to the charity rather than via sponsorships..especially when it's under the guise of doing it 'all for charity' when in fact it's a costly 'jolly' and the charity will get some of the money.

My bug bear at the moment is a children's comic asking for money from my GDs to help animals and if they do this they get a letter and a fluffy toy as When mentioned. I have written to the publishers explaining I don't approve of their emotional blackmail of children and I will not buy this comic in future as it was causing more upset than enjoyment.

Grandmanorm Mon 26-May-14 15:39:36

8 years ago, aged 65, I did the Great Wall of China Trek for Cancer UK. I paid my own fare and only family and very close friends sponsored me. I organised events and all the money went to Cancer research.
I trained long and hard for that trek and I can tell you it was no easy task.
I raised thousands of pounds that would not have been gathered otherwise.
Some folk did ask why they should pay for my holiday. As I hadn't ask them to sponsor me I wasn't bothered. I did it for a dear friend whose daughter had died from brain cancer.
I have not done any more sponsored events as I think once in a life time is enough for me and indeed for asking family and friends for sponsorship.
I am happy to sponsor close friends and family.

rosesarered Mon 26-May-14 15:48:59

Well done Grandmanorm. smile I think that some people do get hooked on doing this kind of thing, and go from one thing to another, asking people to cough up time after time.At 65 I think it must have been a hard thing to do, how far did you walk?Are you a seasoned walker?

Grandmanorm Mon 26-May-14 15:57:38

Thank you roses, I wasn't a seasoned walker at all or indeed fit, and my DH laughed when I said I was going to do it. He did support me in all the training and made sure I had excellent equipment for the journey.
We trekked 40 miles over 6 days, on the Wall off the beaten track.
I trained for 18 months and I completed every day although not everyone did.
No way could I get hooked it was knackering!!!
However, I had a great sense of achievement at the finish and I did raise a lot of money.

annodomini Mon 26-May-14 16:32:31

When my DSs have done sponsored events, I have asked them how much they would like me to donate, but in most cases, they have simply paid their own entrance fees to the event, rather than hassle relatives for cash. The exception was DS2's very wet bike ride from London to Paris in aid of a children's heart ward.

NfkDumpling Mon 26-May-14 17:22:25

My nephew, as a new GP, managed some very nice trips up Kilimanjaro and such going all expenses paid as the doctor on these sponsored trips. Then there are the guides, air fares....... I do wonder how much actually gets to the charities coffers.

Ariadne Mon 26-May-14 17:34:21

I do agree with the OP! As some of you know, we do a lot of voluntary work here and in LEDCs, and do find it hard to condone, in general, (having read Grandmanorm's account I understand there is another side to all this) this sort of fundraising / holiday, where the dispersal of monies raised is often in question.

DGD1 has a gap year coming up, and has applied to volunteer for 6 months with Community Service Volunteers in this country, having seen some of her friends do the "month in..." route. She will work wherever needed, with her board and a little money supplied. I am very proud of her.

Silverfish Mon 26-May-14 19:52:56

some years ago I worked in a large organisation and almost every week someone would come around with a collecting bucket to ask for money to pay for a childs holiday in somewhere like Disney land. I have no objection to the principle but usually the person doing the collecting was the childs granny and I once asked who else was going and it tuned out that the parents and several siblings were going too and the money went directly to the childs parents, apparently the child had a handicap. It was hard to say no, but I felt like it was begging. If it was collection from a recognised charity to send children on holiday I would have donated but I felt that why should the parents and the other kids go for free too. I do believe that with a registered charity they send kids on holiday with perhaps their mum but not the whole family. Every week someone would be collecting for someone in the family, it sometimes seemed like a scam.
Once they collected for an old lady to have her garden dug again it was a relative doing the collecting.

JessM Mon 26-May-14 20:03:04

Good for you grandmanorm - that's the way to do it.

Agus Mon 26-May-14 20:22:08

What an achievement Grandmanorm! In both respects.

ginny Tue 27-May-14 08:16:13

My SIL did a bike ride from Lands end to John O'Groats ( he looked on it as a holiday ! ) last year. He was sponsored but paid all his own expenses and every penny of the sponsor money went to charity. Likewise my DD ran the London Marathon and all sponsor money went to charity.

Like the OP I'm not keen on the ones who have to use part of the sponsorship to actually fund the trip.

I often think that it would be better to sponsor people to actually do something that will benefit the community at the same time as raising money.