What if.......I don't make the fundraising target

Having missed out on the official ballot, I've been offered a place by a charity.

What experience does anyone have in terms of knowing how strict the charities are about fundraising targets?


  • Hiya. My understanding is that if you commit to a charity golden bond place then you commit to raising at least the minimum amount they state.  If you don't manage to raise that much then I think you are liable to make up the difference yourself.

    I might be wrong but to some charities things like FLM are their biggest earners and they take it really seriously.

    I've run for charity twice in the past and am doing so again in 2008.  Luckily I've managed to make more than they asked both times - am hoping I can do it again this time around.

    Good luck with it.

  • I ran for a charity last year and signed a contract stating that I was morally obliged to raise the stated amount.

    There has been some debate as to whether these are legally enforacable (the charities could lose their tax breaks if this money was not considered a 'donation') but I wouldn't want to be the one who put it to the test. I have also heard a rumour that charities share details of nayone who does not pay up, so there would be no chance of another charity place for anything in the future.

    I know that some charities have allowed peeps to carry on the fundraising afterwards if they are short of the target, but that just means more car boot sales etc later on in the year.

    The fundraising was the hardest part for me, especially as I have no access to corporate donations. I made more than my target eventually but swore I would never do it again.

    Good luck!

  • Yep I had to sign a contract too.  However my friend who ran for a smaller charity was told "just do your best" sort of thing, which was much nicer.. FLM places are gold dust though so you can see why charities are going to make sure they get the most they can from you.

    I too made way more than my target but said "never again" (or at least not again for a good few years).. 

    Good luck anyway!! I think it helps if it's your first marathon (?) as people are a lot more impressed and supportive and willing to part with bigger sums of money! I sold mine as "a once in a lifetime" thing, which I did honestly think at the time, but am currently in training for my 4th marathon (Paris) so I think if asked for sponsorship again people might not be so generous... 

  • Good luck if you decide to go with a  charity. But the amount of money you have to raise is the precise reason why I'll not be going down that route.
  • they cant force you to pay up any short fall. Otherwise they would in effect be selling you the place and there would be a tax liability.
  • I think they can put on a lot of pressure, I've heard of one charity that made people who failed to raise their target set up a direct debit mandate to that charity to make up the shortfall.
  • If you do go down the charity route, set up a justgiving account and get as many pees as possible to donate through that. I remember talking to someone who was still trying to collect dosh off peeps (who had pledged)  more than a  year after the event.
  • I really struggled with my target this year and ended up a wee bit short.  I put in quite a bit of my own money and sold a lot of stuff on Ebay - some of it sentimentally valuable - but even then I didn't hit target.  I have to say I wasn't impressed with the support my charity gave me in my fundraising efforts or the pressure they put me under afterwards.  There was even talk about me being put on a 'blacklist' altho' quite what that constituted I don't know.  I included a note with my last payment effectively saying 'this is all you're going to get' and that seemed to end it.

    They can't force you to make up shortfall but they will put the hard word on you.

  • to be fair though, if you agree to raise a certain amount isnt it only fair to do so?
  • if you think you can't raise the money, why not enter a different marathon? small local one, or big city one like paris, rome, berlin.
  • I raised for a charity with London.  It put a bit of pressure on me until I organised a charity night on my local boozer.   Sold tickets for £3 (gave some away) shamed people into donating gifts and had raffles, bingo, prizes. I raised just about my total on that one night.  Not to mention had a ball.

     Good luck have a charity night

  • Some charities like help the Hospices, ask you to raise a certain amout ( last year £1600.00.) I ran for them  in the FLM 2007 and raised the amount asked but i wasn't asked to pledge that amount but asked to raise as much as I can but try and hit the target.


  • I think you get shot

    Pug image

  • Don't be silly Pug.

    But they might send the bailiffs around.




    I was going to say the same as Pug....

  • Macmillan asked me if I'd be prepared to take part in more fundraising events over the course of the year to make up any shortfall in sponsorship money.
  • At the end of the day the charities that have comandered the LM CANNOT make you pay any shortfall in your pledge even if they have made you sign a "contract". They WILL be taxed by H.M.C&E and their is no way they will let that happen. They play on your concience to "do the right thing" but do not get caught in the trap, do your best and that is it. They may put you on a "blacklist" with their charidy buddies but, hey you can live with that!!!!   
  • Dave I relly don't think this is a very positive view and shows a complete lack of morality.

    If nothing else it deprives people who are genuine and detracts from the hard efforts of others.

    There is "no trap" charities ask you to pledge to raise a level of sponsorship. If you are in doubts about it then don't take the place. if you do and you fail in your obligation then expect the charity to be disappointed.

    Charities may forward the names of "low performers" to FLM and charities can view the name of these people.

  • I agree with Mike.

    Aren't you essentially stealing from the charity? The target they set is what they believe to be achievable and what they expect to receive. If you don't meet it then you should have to make up the difference. If a shop short changed you and decided that they weren't going to put it right you'd be a bit miffed to say the least...and you're probably only talking about a few pence.

    This is why I'd rather wait on the (stupid) ballot. I'd feel too much pressure to raise the amount, so I leave it to people who are happy to do so.

  • I'm running for Unicef next year, need to raise £1,500. I need to send a cheque for £300, post-dated until June or July. If i don't raise the minimum, they cash it.

    If you don't think you can raise the money, don't sign up. Simple image

  • Seriously, you will probably find that you become focussed on achieving the target. Christmas is the great time to start as beer loosens the wallet. In my first year I was tasked with raising £1500, and ended up handing over £4000. Sure the target seems like a lot, and I was bricking it too. The reality was that it focussed the mind, and became a self managing project itself. Identify your sources ie everybody in every circle of colleague and friend. Never go anywhere without a sponsor form. Never. And get the money up front.

  • This is very true, I was finding the prospect of raising £1900 for Macmillan quite daunting but have personal reasons for running from them so decided I'd do whatever was needed to raise the money.  It was two weeks ago that I got my GB place and I started putting it on people straight away, in those two weeks I'm up to £840 already through my justgiving place.

    I'll feel a huge relief once the target is achieved as the pressure will be off and I can concentrate on the running, but I've still got quite a few things lined up in the way of fundraising and I will hopefully smash my £2000 target. 

  • Thank you ...thank you....thank you.

    You can always realy on the RW site to provide a good range and balance of comments - I appreciate all those comments posted.

    On balance I've decided that :

    1. The pressure of trying to raise this much may be a step too far, and inspired as I am by other's achievements in raising huge sums, I need to allow someone else to take the opportunity

    2. I'll still train for a spring marathon...Paris or Blackpool.........and will raise some sponsorship for that ... but keep in with the charity that had the space in case of last minute drop outs

    3................ponder whether I should set up a thread entitled........"does anyone want to sponsor me" because at 50p a go I might meet my target given the liveliness of this site.


  • Luckily I've not had to go down the gold bond route, if I did - then I'd think long and hard about raising the required amount.  Some of the prices set are a bit high I think - and if I'd done all I could and pestered everyone I had, then I wouldnt be digging into my savings to make up the last bit.  OK - I'd prob bung £100 in or so to start things rolling, but if the target was 1900 and I'd raised 1700 - then I wouldnt feel overly guilty about falling short.

    At the end of the day you'd have given the charity an extra what - 1400 or so ? which isnt bad really.  

     Its a bit of an easy fund raising way for charities isnt it ? Buy the places, and watch the money roll in.  And who was it saying that they worked for a charity, got a place thru the ballot, and then went to the charity to say that they wanted to raise money for them, and the charity set a minimum ? What the hells that about ? Mad !

    I've only done the charity thing once - I feel a bit silly asking people to give to charity for me to do something i love doing.  None of the couch potatoes ask me to sponsor them to watch eastenders.  

  • slow improver.....Paris filled up a couple of weeks ago but there must be plenty more out there

  • Well done Slow improver, you have taken a very sensible and considerate approach to the whole aspect of taking a place and pledging a sponsorship obligation.

    Good Luck in finding a suitable race.

  • I've just taken the plunge again and accepted another charity place.  They are called Hearing Concern and "only" want £1,000 which I think I can do.

    Last year had a justgiving site and let people use the old paper and pen sponsorship form too. Justgiving is fab but had a nightmare chasing the other people up for months afterwards who pledged but them seemed to just ignore me asking for the money afterwards?! Drove me crazy!!

    So I don't know if it's a little harsh but this time I am going to say to people they HAVE to either use justgiving or PAY UP FRONT when they sign the form, or they are not allowed to sign it!! No more of this "stick me down for a tenner" stuff.... 

  • Having just completed my first Marathon with a charity, I was extremely lucky to be given the sun of £500 to raise. This I did with ease...and raised another couple of hundred quid more! But..I've checked various other charity pledges and most are asking much much more! No way could I have raised this. It's put me off applying for 2020...and unless I get  ballot place I doubt I will take part...which is a shame! I've asked for donations once..I doubt I would get the same response a second time.
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Glenna, you're right, you won't. People are very generous the first time around, because they all know what a marathon stands for and entails. Second time isn't as much of an achievement, you've already established that you can do it. Third time around, you're basically asking people to fund your hobby. It gets harder and harder each year, and you need to bear that in mind.
Sign In or Register to comment.