Friday, 20 July 2007

Too much Charity

Can you sponsor me?
Have sponsorship events gone too far?

Let me set out my stall I think charitable giving is a good thing. People should be free to give their money to whatever cause they choose? I am always impressed with the huge sums people raise. My only observation is, are the events getting a bit too elaborate?

In the olden days you did a sponsored spells and got penny per word you got right or similar. I also remember trudging round a polluted lake in Stoke on Trent once to raise some cash and more recently we powered our way down the Thames to win the Great River Race last year. If we are honest the rowing was the main thing and the charity bit was an added bonus (at least as far as I’m concerned)

My main problem with sponsored events is, why should I care if you do all this running etc? If a friend asks for sponsorship and it’s an appropriate charity (I’ve never refused yet) I give them a donation and wish them well. I never give a price per lap etc. I’m also happy to see their sweaty race pictures but my giving isn’t dependent on them finishing.

Which brings to the item that started this all:
I got a request to sponsor an acquaintance for a cancer charity. The guy in question is doing a triathlon for very personal reasons and I wish him every success but just look at what he’s doing (see below). I hope he completes it all, but isn’t this Herculean task a little out of kilter with me bunging him a few quid. I mean if you want to cycle along the Great Wall of China do so, but do you need to justify it by being sponsored? Lastly I must stress that I’m not slagging off the people involved, it just seems that we have got into a strange potlatch with these things which may be getting out of balance.

I think if you can afford it, a direct debit (direct from the charity to cut out the chuggers) claiming the tax back is the best way to give, that and by volunteering your time. So why not go off and sign up for one now, maybe a lesser know one who needs the money or maybe a local one you can have some direct involvement in.

Here’s the event is it excessive? I’m not sure. But good luck to them.
The Swim - The English Channel
The Cycle - The day after the swim – Dover, Crawley, Bath, Gloucester, Cardiff, Worcester, Sale, Penrith, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, Doncaster, Northampton and finally finishing at Twickenham in London (10 days. Total miles = 1120! Cycling 100 - 120 miles a day)
The Run - London to Paris - 262miles in 10 days


Coventry Blogger said...

Interesting comments as ever BLTP! I'm less charitable than you (ha ha) and a pet hate is those sponsored trips to walk across the Andes or whatever to raise money in aid of whatever. Actually it's a holiday somewhere they'd feel a little bit guilty going to otherwise, with an added glow. Those people doing the sponsored event you described are something else though! And the Cancer Research Fun Run I cycled past yesterday seemed a celebration and commemoration of family and friends lost as well as a fund-raiser.
Charities have had to think of more and more imaginitive ways to get money, it's difficult enough for them (as I well know). It totally p****s me off what a tight nation this seems to be. People seem to want more and more for less and less. Food is cheaper than ever, cars are cheaper than ever, taxes are lower than, well, ages. And don't get me started on housing!

BLTP said...

I said I was unsure about all this. I assume they will raise loads of cash which is good and memorial rides etc are a good idea. I just can't see how it relates to my fiver. maybe firms should push payroll giving more I don't know.

Rob said...

I think that the person doing the event should give the money. After all, they're the ones whose egos are getting the stroking, they're the ones taking the time off work, away from the spouse and bin-lids etcetc. In short, they're the one having all the laughs while we're meant to not only pat them on the back but chuck money at them too! Amazing, really...