Running for charity?

how do you choose?

20 messages
20/09/2012 at 23:59

Now obviously this is partly a silly question- clearly all charities are good, worthwhile charities to run for- but i was wondering if people generally had a preference when choosing a charity to run for? do you base your decision on charities which have helped your family/friends? or do you pick a big well known charity in the hope of getting lots of sponsors? or a smaller one with the idea that they will welcome some support? just interested really.... oh and do you find that people are happy to sponsor for any length of race/event....or is it best to save the sponsorship for 'big' distances like a half marathon/marathon?

21/09/2012 at 07:01

I choose to run for charities which I believe strongly in the work they do.

I would never take a golden bond place, but when I have run for charities have just entered the race (by ballot if necessary) and then chosen a charity to run for. I really don't like the way some runners seem just to want to do an event, and then just seem to pick any charity to run for which will enable them to do fulfil their own desires. Clearly the charities get some benefit, or they wouldn't do the scheme - it just doesn't sit right with me.

That means I am free to pick whatever charities I want, and am not just limited to big ones which can afford golden bond places. The last 2 I ran for were "Save the Children" - the main charity the school I teach in supports, and a local charity working with young people in our town.

21/09/2012 at 08:03
I think it really depends what you want from the charity. For me, I'll only run for a charity that means something to me and if that means no on route support, finishing tent etc then so be it.

I know friends that will pick a race and then pick who's offering a bib and reduce it from there.

A friend of mine actually started a spreadsheet showing of every pound raised, how much goes to the cause and how much to overheads etc. you'd be surprised for some charities just how much doesn't go to the cause itself.
21/09/2012 at 09:36
Yes.... Have to admit its easier to fundraise if you believe in the cause and have some connection. I also don't feel right asking mates to sponsor me to do distances that I can cover relatively easy.. Obviously this is different for ever runner but you should be sponsored for something that challenges you? That may be a 5k run and that's fine. I have my own place in a half next month and haven't fundraiser because the aim is for it to be a stepping stone to a marathon. I have 2 charities on mind with personal connections whom are small and don't provide bibs.. Massages or pasta parties.
Being a mum...the amount of ladies that do race for life 5k and 10ks all asking for sponsorship is overwhelming sometimes...especially at the school gates. I think its a great cause but I cant sponsor everyone I know that does it. If I enter a charity based running event such as these I usually make a small donation myself.
21/09/2012 at 10:18

Why do you want to 'pick' a charity? 

If one doesn't spring to mind, why not just run for the pleasure/challenge/training?

21/09/2012 at 10:34

Usually people raise for a charity that has some meaning to them, although now I believe people would run for jsut about anything and pester everyone for money so they can walk around London in April.

I wouldn't sponsor anyone who was not actually doing something challenging. Half marathon, not a chance! marathon... well maybe if it was to the north pole or something but certainly not for a simple city marathon.

seren nos    pirate
21/09/2012 at 10:39


I would sponsor someone for a half marathon or shorter if I thought it was a challenge.something they have never done before.........

a 5k for some is harder than a marathon for others................It should be a challenge


But agree that why pick a charity.if you haven't got one that means something to you then just do it for yourself


21/09/2012 at 10:41

I think WiB is right - there are SO many events these days asking for money that it's hard when so many people are asking for sponsorship.. I have a friend that will regularly abuse her Facebook page to fund whatever race/event she's currently raising money for. Don't get me wrong - she raises a lot of money for charity but being asked a dozen times a year to fund her latest trek to china/running a 5k etc. gets old very quickly

There was a girl on here saying that she was funding her only charity place at London via direct debit. I thought that was a great idea.

21/09/2012 at 10:53

Seren - I see your point on whether you think it is challenging or not. For arguments sake lets take an able bodied person (not literally, I don't have a van or anywhere to store them), comes to you and they want sponsoring for a 5k/10k yet there are 10s of 1000s of other people with the same basic tools who are running 26.2 miles just in one race. Not to mention the guys and girls running 50, 100, 150 miles. 24 hours. 6 days. Across America. Around the world and so on.

It goes back to how the marathon (other distances are available) can be devalued through it being made to look easy. Obviously it isn't, and I truely think anyone who goes out and trains seriously then runs a marathon to the best of their ability is awesome.

seren nos    pirate
21/09/2012 at 10:57

I just think that if anyone who has never run or done any activity actually goes out and starts training and does a 5k then I take my hat of to them and would sponsor them............I wouldn't then sponsor them the next year or the next to do it.....for it to be a challenge they have to make strides either much faster or go further.........

21/09/2012 at 11:42

You don't HAVE to run for a charity. I've done a few Half Marathons and I did the first one for a charity, because it was a genuine challenge for me, having never done any running before and being a lardarsed boozer at the time (possibly still am!), but since then, I've not done any for charity as I don't want to have to go around cap in hand every time I enter a race. The only time in the future I'd consider getting sponsorship is if I were to run London or an ultra. I do plan on doing full marathons before I;d consider doing London so I'd probably come up with a challenge of doing it under a certain time to try and justify sponsorship.

It does annoy me that any non runners, when I tell them I'm doing a race, ask which charity I'm running for, as if there would be no point doing it otherwise.

21/09/2012 at 13:51

What MattDA said.

21/09/2012 at 14:47
Wilkie wrote (see)

Why do you want to 'pick' a charity? 

If one doesn't spring to mind, why not just run for the pleasure/challenge/training?


seren nos wrote (see)


I would sponsor someone for a half marathon or shorter if I thought it was a challenge.something they have never done before.........

a 5k for some is harder than a marathon for others................It should be a challenge


But agree that why pick a charity.if you haven't got one that means something to you then just do it for yourself


^^ i do have a charity in mind that means something to was more a general question about other people and what they did that's all  

As gemgemx says it can get a bit overwhelming with people asking for sponsorship every two minutes and you have to draw the line somewhere don't you in terms of what to sponsor and what again, was simply wondering what others did

21/09/2012 at 14:53

Running has been hijacked by charities. Seemingly every race makes a donation to a local worthwhile cause, which puts the price up and I already donate through my pay, but have to do so again if i want to run a race (slight exaggeration). Do cricketers and footballers make a donation every time they play? Give propoer running races back to proper runners, not bloody clowns and bears and let them run in the big charity rip offs.

22/09/2012 at 10:01
+1 for UFO. Get really fed up if someone says in the office what are you doing at the weekend, and if you say doing a race getting asked which charity

The first time I did a race for charity it was harder collecting the money than doing the race now I race just for me
23/09/2012 at 10:57

Sometimes is good to just run for yourself.

23/09/2012 at 14:55

ive only ever raised money or charity once, but i did so anyway and donated it all after the race, it was for a charity which helped my grandfather in the last years of his life.

the same charity offer places for london, but they want a minimum £2000 raised, and thats just too much, so id rather just get a ballot place if possible and then raise what i can on my own, 

23/09/2012 at 15:20
I would never do a Marathon for charity as I enjoy running them and all of my friends and family know that so I don't think it's fair for them to sponsor my hobbies. If I was doing something out of my comfort zone that I would hate doing eg. Swimming the channel or climbing a mountain then I may ask for sponsorship for that, although I would pay all the expenses myself.
It really annoys me when people ask for sponsorship for an event which often sounds like a glorified holiday.
23/09/2012 at 19:14

I agree Millsy, although some of the challenges look like fun. I'd like to do one that involved a big mountain climb as I'm a keen mountain walker but would need guiding for anything that involved climbing and it would be a massive challenge for me as I'm afraid of heights. I decided that if I were ever to do something like that, that I would pay the upfront fees myself so that anything and everything raised would go to charity.

23/09/2012 at 20:37
I've always wondered how much actually goes to the charities after all the costs have been extracted etc.
I'm not against charities but if I give them a pound I would hope that at least 90p of that would go to the people who need it.

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