Choosing a charity

not what I expected

21 to 37 of 37 messages
10/10/2006 at 12:14
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.
Duck Girl    pirate
10/10/2006 at 16:56
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.
ImRio    pirate
11/10/2006 at 07:54
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
11/10/2006 at 09:39
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!
13/10/2006 at 16:35
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.
13/10/2006 at 17:02
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.
18/10/2006 at 17:08
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!!!!!!!!!!
18/10/2006 at 17:10
another vote for children with leukaemia!

how much did you end up riaising for them
18/10/2006 at 17:27

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.

18/10/2006 at 17:29
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!

18/10/2006 at 17:30
Doh! Just noticed that you were answering a previous response IDG. I'll go away quietly...

18/10/2006 at 17:34
Hippo - Between me and my hubbie we got close to 2600 but that is before the tax back.
18/10/2006 at 21:30
One option is to negotiate with a national charity for some of the funds to go to a local project.

I hope to run for the YMCA (national) I am currently discussing a % going to the YMCA in my home town.

To date they have been very open to this. They obviously have to cover their costs but thats only reasonable.

From this thread it seems clear that a positive experience for the runner means better income for the charity and the possability of repeat custom.

The money grabbers will lose out in the long run.
18/10/2006 at 22:30
thats brilliant Gym Addict
but i do wonder if you had "only" done £100-whether that would have been ok
18/10/2006 at 22:46
Never had any trouble with larger charities personally, although I suspect the minimum amount to raise on the GNR has gone up a lot over the last few years. I do feel though that I cannot personally deal with the pressure of raising a minimum of £1500+.

Running a mara is hard anyway without the possibility of a very large financial penalty at the end of it.

It must be easier if a few of you enter the ballot and then if in, all work to raise for the Gold Bond of one of you if they don't get in the ballot.

However, as an enthsiastic runner for charity it still makes me feel very uncomfortable knowing that charities apparently have to pay £300 for a place and then ask for you to raise 5 times that. Somebody is benefiting from all this and somehow I don't think the money is all going to those who it was raised for.

As for the original question - they may have their wires crossed, in which case a call should confirm that - why would they turn down several hundreds of pounds for the price of a runners pack.

If they genuinely meant what they said they have definitely lost the plot and I would run for somebody else instead - probably write a stiff letter to the charities patrons as well.

19/10/2006 at 11:06
Crikey I didn't realise so much went on behind the scenes vis a vis the charities. I ran in 2005 for a local children's charity who were very supportive. My target was £1250 but in the event I managed to raise £2300. I too found it a big strain though and much worse then training.

I've entered the ballot for next year but was thinking of going for a GB place for Cancer Research for a variety of personal reasons. However, was not very impressed by the organisation of the Race for Life I took part in in the summer and I did find them pushy. So maybe a more local charity would be better...


Still thinking about it!


PS I wrote a book about my experiences called Running on Empty:Diary of a Marathon Mum, and am donating a percentage of the profits to Tadworth Court Trust who I ran for. Anyone doing FLM for the first time and in need of inspiration do contact me at: If I can do it anyone can!
19/10/2006 at 16:27
Hippo = re the money - I was aware that it cost the charity roughly 300 so I would have ensured that I raised at least that amount. The first time I ran for them I only raised a couple of hundred and they were really nice about that too. (It was a local race and so cost them nothing more than a race pack and a top).

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