Being charged by charity NOT to run in VLM

Is this right?

1 to 20 of 31 messages
Dustboy    pirate
16/10/2013 at 22:49

Mate of mine registered to run for charidee X. Paid a hundred pounds to go into the draw to run for the charidee and has been told that he hasn't secured a place. They, of course, keep the hundred quid.

It's a well known charidee.

This sounds odd to me. Any experience on here of this please? I've not done a sponsored place before so I can't help him with any advice. Is it normal?


16/10/2013 at 22:56
Nice money if you can get it.
Never heard of this being done before but I've never had anything to do with Golden Bond places before.
cougie    pirate
16/10/2013 at 22:59
No shame in mentioning the charidee if this is what they've done ?

Did they make this clear to him at the time?

I've not heard of it before.
16/10/2013 at 23:02

Maybe check the small print just to make sure your mate didn't make a donation of £100 in order to go into the draw - either way it's not good practice imho.

I run a small Charity and we would never get a golden bond and maybe a silver one in 20 years time. Personally I'd never run VLM under a bond cos whilst I like running I'd not want to 'pay' £2,000 for the pleasure (even if it's a good cause). There are several charities that hold 100+ Golden Bonds - you do the Maths


Dustboy    pirate
16/10/2013 at 23:16

It's Alzheimers. I've just looked, there is indeed a £100 registration fee & £2000 target to raise. There is nothing obvious as to what happens to your £100.00 if they decide they don't want you.

I have only had a telephone conversation over a car phone so I might have misheard, but this "fee" seems to give weight to what I thought he said.


17/10/2013 at 04:39

Last year I ran for a small charity Cash for Kids. They asked me to pay £100 to secure my place then raise £1500 which I did. Some charities insist on £50 payment for the place also.

Each Charity is charged £350 plus by VLM so in order to make money they have to set a target for runners. I do agree though they should not be taking money for a 'Draw' and then saying you havent made it.

17/10/2013 at 05:06

Unless it was absolutely explicit that he was buying a 'raffle ticket' for a place, then this seems downright immoral and I wouldn't care if it's a charity... I would be demanding my money back. It's like they're using emotional blackmail to keep his money or something.  Very poor form, all taking your word for it that he was not made aware this possibility/probability.

Cheerful Dave    pirate
17/10/2013 at 06:22

Apart from anything else, if this was a fee to enter a raffle rather than a straight donation then there might be tax liable on it.  It's certainly not eligible for gift aid, so it seems a strange way for the charity to do business.

seren nos    pirate
17/10/2013 at 07:02

i have heard of this before.its a bit like opting to donate your ballot money.....

but i believe the charities make it clear that its a non refundable fee........if they didn't then I think he should complain.

 If they did make it clear then I don't know what the fuss is about.

17/10/2013 at 08:34

Yes - it all depends whether he knew upfront whether the £100 was non-refundable. 

If he didn't know I think he has every right to ask for it back.

seren nos    pirate
17/10/2013 at 08:41

can't see the details for the 2014 entry........but on the 2013 there was the £100 registration fee and then a box to tick if you wanted them to take the £100 if you were successful or not........

so people had the option to tick into the right to donate........

of course this might have changed again..........but i really don't think that a national charity would just take the money unless they made it clear that they would

17/10/2013 at 09:14

Sounds like someone didn't read the small print and ticked the wrong box...

Dustboy    pirate
17/10/2013 at 09:30

It would seem as though it is above board then....


But if I were someone dealing with the big A in the family, a house move, a very uncertain job and a new baby to feed, I'd be mightily hacked off if it were me.

One to stick in the learning bank then...


17/10/2013 at 10:12
I'd does sound like there may have been a tick box hidden away on the firm somewhere to opt in / out of donating / not donating.

As you say it's probably legal but still dubious on moral grounds.

Watchdog had a section, last night, on online ordering where people were being opted in to things they had not ordered.
seren nos    pirate
17/10/2013 at 10:26

millsy.if you look at last years there was nothing hidden .they mentioned it in the explanation and then it was an opt in box...not an opt out so not something you would have missed....

as people apply for charity places with a charity that is close to their heart i imagine a number would want the money to go even if they were not they must have had the money spare to apply in the first place.....

so I can't see how it could be dubious




17/10/2013 at 10:29

How is this any different to what the London Marathon do where they ask if you want to pay up front and donate the money even if you dont get in? (albeit they tempt you with a 2nd prize draw ...... and a jacket I think)


17/10/2013 at 10:52

it isn't different - the OP was just querying what the charity had told the applicant beforehand.



17/10/2013 at 10:54

oh well in that case, whats the guy complaining about? Dont go ticking boxes you havent read seems to be the point to take from all of this.


seren nos    pirate
17/10/2013 at 10:56

i will say that all my evidence is about the 2013 places so they might have done it differently this year......

17/10/2013 at 11:18

Something similar- I saw something on facebook about a club that was giving away their VMLM places through a ballot- and to enter the ballot you had to provide a copy of your rejection letter and a cheque for £50 to the club. Hadn't gone down very well. Of course I now can't remember which club it was (it flagged up on my feed as a friend had commented on it)

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