Choosing a charity

I've got a GFA place for next year and want to run for a charity on my terms - i.e. raise what I can, without commiting to £1500+ sponsership.
The company I work for has 2 nominated charities which they support so I approached the fund raising committee to say I interested in running for one of these charities. I was told that I would still need to raise £1000 to run for them although I wouldn't have to pay the £100 registration as I had my own place !!!

Isn't that a bit of a cheek ? Aren't I doing them the favour by raising money for them - and then they still demand a minimum amount ! I'm not looking for a free mountain bike or a pasta party, I simply want to raise money for a good cause, without the pressure of a minimum amount.
Or is this just the way charities work ?

I've run for Unicef before and they were just happy to get what I had raised.


  • Capricorn

    just do your own sponsorship then, and give them the monety after
    they wont say no
  • I think you should pick a different charity

    this is one of the reasons I stopped raising funds for charities at races

    it seemed the more you gave the more they wanted

    so just run for myself know

    evening PH
  • hello TC

    i do see your point
  • I'm going to try Scope (because my baby niece has severe cerebral palsy so I have a personal interest there) and if they're also like that I'll take up TC's point of view and forget about charities.
  • Capricorn,

    choose a different charity. If you go ahead and run for this charity, and raise their minimum amount then all you are doing is supporting their system.
  • I still dont see why you canyt just riase what money you can-without charity support, then just give the dosh to the charity you want

    youve said you dont need anything else

    dont do it officially
  • Interesting, I had thought of trying to raise some money for charity if I got in through the ballot for next year, its my 5th attempt (I think) not sure I will now.
  • I think someone at the charity has got their wires crossed. There can't be a minimum if you have your own place.

    Speak to someone else there - maybe its run by volunteers and not professionals.
  • I raised money for Cancer Research, not for FLM but another marathon with no minimum amount. They were ok before hand - fundraising pack but no goodies (which is fine - I want money raised to go to Cancer Research not a fancy goodie bag for runners). But after the race I heard literally nothing for a couple of weeks and then I got a vaguely threatening letter demanding that I send in all teh money I had raised (which I had already done, through JustGiving). After that - nothing at all. Apart from occasional e-mails asking me to run again.

    The next time I ran for a really small local charity. I could see the difference the money made with my own eyes and there was genuine gratitude for the effort that went in.

    Now I don't expect a parade and a brass band but raising a couple of grand is bloody hard work and a thank you would be nice. Trouble is that the big charities are big business now, raising millions from hundreds of thousands of people and we're all just cogs in a big machine. I personaly won't raise money for a "corporate" charity again.
  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭
    Whenever I've raised money its gone to a local and personal charity, either cancer or the hospice where my dad was cared for and I just sent the money after the run, usually getting a lovely reply and thanks. Prefer to do smaller ones than the big boys.
  • After I sent the money off for the RFL last year I had phonecalls asking me to to donate a minimum amount of £25 a month, when I said no they got really stroppy and asked me to donate a one off sum. When I said no to that they asked for friends names who might be interested in donating.
  • Big charities are run like big buisnesses 'cos they have to be - that's how they raise the most funds. If employing 'chuggers', or phoning people from call centres, or whatever, proves effective, then that's what they'll do.
    unfortunately then that means that there's a bit less money to go round for small, local, or volunteer-run charities, and when you do do something voluntary then people tend to assume you are getting paid for it so give less - i'm a trustee of a small volunteer-run charity & when i do things like standing around in the street with buckets then more & more people will ask 'are you being paid for this' first, or just won't give at all.

    <commercial break>
    if you're interested in running to finish off a badly-needed children's outpatent's department for a psychatric hospital in Calcutta (the only one accessible to most of West Bengal), please drop me an email - 100% volunteer-run, no freebies, but lots of encouragement from an enthusiastic committee with both very serious & 'fun' runners.
    </commercial break>
  • IDG - I fundraise for the hospice that looked after my dad and do street collections too. We have badges which actually state we are volunteers which helps.
  • Thanks for the responses - seems the answer is definitely to go for a small, local charity and avoid the big "corporates", which I will do.
    Does anyone know how justgiving works - do you set it up yourself or does the charity do it up for you, and if so would smaller, non-corporate charities be able to ?
  • you can quite happily set it up yourself capricorn

    the site does charge the charity for its services-so not all the little charities use it
  • I prefer to give to charities of my choice by standing order. There are two that mean a lot to me and that's how I support them. It leaves me free of the stress of Raising Money, and leaves my friends, colleagues and neighbours free of the stress of either forking out repeatedly or saying no. If people wonder why my name rarely appears on their Just Giving pages - well, that's why. I can't afford to give to everyone that asks. So when I do, I do it anonymously. I hate the whole guilt/bullying thing that surrounds charity giving - as Meldy said earlier, it feels like you're being held to ransom.
  • I have a lot of sympathy with that viewpoint Jj
    I will only fundraise once a year(and get sick of ppeole asking me with every mara who i am raisng money for)
    and yes, most of my regular stuff is via standing order
  • SlugstaSlugsta ✭✭✭
    The smaller, local charities don't tend to get GB places so will be very glad of your support.

    Jj, I too have a lot of sympathy with your attitude. I tend to keep a small 'kitty' (not a leopard!) for ad hoc donations but also have some on standing order.

    Although I had a GB place for FLM this year, I did promise my friends and family that this would be a 'one off' event.
  • I had my own place in 2005 and ran for Wateraid. They didn't ask for a mimimum amount and were really nice. I was treated the same as the 'bond' runners and I got a running vest and a congratulations card for finishing in the post a few days after the race. I was invited to a post race massage/meal or something similar - but I just wanted to get home.
    Since '05 Wateraid have invited me to be in their FLM team and I'm sure a minimum amount would apply. I would love to run FLM again but know I would struggle to raise much above £500 so for the benefit of the charity I have decided to let other people haver their places.
    FLM is a really big fundraising event for charities, and they have to make the most of it. I know during mile 1 of the race I realised that's what it's all about really - the crowds that support you all the way along feel good because of the good causes - not my PB!
  • I can understand, but not agree, with the logic of the charity in the initial post. They offer services to their runners and probably don't want their Golden Bond people paying £1,500 of the service and others paying £300 for it.

    What they should have though, is a different package available to people wanting to fundraise off their own backs. They could have gotten, say, £300 from your efforts but thanks to their greed have ended up with nothing. People are obviously going to tell them to get stuffed so I don't see how that is good fundraising practice.

    What I would advise all people with their own place to do is to avoid big national charities. These get enough money as it is on marathon day. It really annoys me at the FLM and GNR to see people raising thousands of pounds from their local communities, only to give the money to the national headquarters of the big charities. I'd rather see more people running for causes which they know will benefit the communities of the people donating the funds rather than going to the same 33 charities everyone else is supporting.

    If you contact your local Council for Voluntary Service ( will help you find it) they will be able to advise you on numerous charities in your area who your money will make a massive difference to. They will organise a lot of media work, fundraising and other activities off the back of your efforts and make you feel very special.

    The charity I ran my first GNR for raised nearly as much money as I did from their own activities surrounding my participation. That meant a lot more to me than merely giving them a cheque and being just another number on a database for them.
  • Capricorn: 'Does anyone know how justgiving works - do you set it up yourself or does the charity do it up for you, and if so would smaller, non-corporate charities be able to ?'

    Depends whether your charity is registered with it. The problem with JG is that they charge you a flat-rate fee regardless of how many sponsorship pages you have (and then take a % from donations on top of that), so it's not so cost-effective if you only have a few people doing events every year (that's why Antara doesn't have JG).

    Don't forget, if you are raising funds for a golden bond place, the first £250 goes to buy a place for you, not to the charity. It's still better for the individual charity to have some funds raised that way rather than none at all, but it does reduce the 'pool' of money around for all charities - so little ones get increasingly squeezed out.

    Roobarb - thanks, we already have 'VOLUNTEER' badges, but a lot of people won't see those.

    If you are considering which charity to raise funds for - some find it easier to recruit people than others. Overseas charities (without a local connection), and mental health tend to loose out to fluffy animals & cute small children.

    If you can, then volunteering directly for the charity can do as much if not more good than fundraising or giving money. If you approach a charity you are interested in with a bit about what you are good at / interested in, then you might be able to be a lot of help for a few hours a month or a one-off project - we've recently had someone write us some proper accounting spreadsheets & a database which has made life a lot easier, and there's people all over the country who write letters to the patients in India which are apparently very enthusiastically recieved - doesn't take more than a few hours a year but seems to make a lot of difference.
  • Children With Leukaemia have never asked for a minimum sponsorship in any of the 3 times I have run for them. They only ask £1 for your place too!!!

    They would be happy to have you run for them I am sure and you wont be expected to give a set amount
  • I've never had a GB place but have raised money four times for my local children's hospice. They've been nothing but supportive and have never put any expectations, unrealistic or otherwise, on me. They don't do GB places or JG, so perhaps they've not yet reached the stage of losing the plot!
  • I had my own place for London last year and offered to run for the British Heart Foundation. They didn't have a minimum amount so I registered with them and received confirmation stating they would send me a T-shirt and sponsorship pack. Despite several e-mails and phone calls both before and after the race, the pack never arrived. They lost out as although some people paid me up front (about £400 I think), I had loads more people who had offered to sponsor me once the forms arrived. In the end I gave up and just sent them a cheque.
  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    That surprises me about the BHF. I've done some fund raising in the past (mainly London to Brighton bike rides) and they've always seemed quite efficient at that kind of thing.

    I've made a charity application to Cancer Research but I've applied through BHF as well just in case. Might sound a bit cynical, but I know Cancer Research are oversubscribed for Golden Bond places and BHF should take my previous fund raising efforts into account.
  • I jsut want to stick up for a big charity. I have run for Children with leukemia twice now - both times I had my own place. They were absolutely fanstastic and seemed chuffed to bits to get anything from me - no pressure on the amount at all.

    This year they have already offered me a guaranteed golden bond place which I have accepted mainly due to how fab they have been in the past.

    So, not all the biggies are the same.

    I did write to Breastcancer breakthrough once and got a letter telling me it was a "2500 minumum - lord above!!!!!!!!!!
  • another vote for children with leukaemia!

    how much did you end up riaising for them
  • Capricorn,

    Just to let you know that I ran FLM for Scope last year on a Gold Bond place as my little boy Riley has severe cerebral palsy. My mate was in via the ballot and also ran for them. He made no commitment to raising any particular amount but they still treated him the same as me: free singlet, post-race massage, information pack, pre-race support etc. In short, very helpful - I'd run for them again but have a Whizz-kidz Gold Bond place this year.

  • By the way, Iron Duck Girl. Just go to and follow the instructions - it's really easy to do and easy to raise loads! Here's the one I did last year,

    Sorry but I don't know how to do the hyperlink thingy so you'll have to cut and paste!

  • Doh! Just noticed that you were answering a previous response IDG. I'll go away quietly...

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