Re Bequething and charity issue in general. Myself and a friend decided we wanted to run the FLM in 2003 and wanted to raise money for a small but (in our opinion) v. deserving autistic charity. The charity in question whilst doing very worthwhile work largely unfunded except for membership subs simply couldn't afford to purchase a couple of guaranteed places and neither my mate or me could afford the money up front on their behalf although we're absolutely certain we could have raised well over the £1500 each in return.
We entered via the ballot hoping that agianst the odds both of us would get in and we could raise money for this fantastic little organisation who badly need the funds. We both chose not to bequeath. My own reasons were that: I do give money to charity regularly and I just didn't see thsi as the most efficient way of making a donation. And to which charity would it go to anyway? I didn't want a "consolation" fleece if I didn't get in.
It's entirely up to each individual whether they want to bequeath or not and I wouldn't criticise anybody who did.
I do think Oracle has raised some very valid issues in his many postings but my main concern is that the FLM seems to have become a bit of an annual cash cow for the charity big guns who can afford to lash out on lots of guaranteed places. Do the math and you can see it is big returns for not much effort on their part. Very lucrative for the big household name charities but how do the have nots get a look in. We probably all have our favourite causes but perhaps there ought to be some sort of system by which small charities who cant afford it could be helped get up the ladder.
Perhaps the organisers of the FLM could allow smaller charities a "special rate"