Sorry, but NO I don’t want to sponsor your charity fundraiser!

Woah…rewind, rewind. What? No I don’t agree with this title. Not sponsoring your friends and loved ones who make an effort to give up their time for charity?

Woah…rewind, rewind. What? No I don’t agree with this title. Not sponsoring your friends and loved ones who make an effort to give up their time for charity? I can’t see that catching on.

Now before you all complain that there are far too many sponsoring letters, twitters, facebook campaigns flying around just bear with me a few minutes. Yes, there are. But they aren’t all calling to you. Different charities appeal to different people and if someone is taking time out to challenge themselves, YET also serve as a fund raiser, I can’t see what you have to complain about. If you don’t want to sponsor them – don’t. Somebody else will. Somebody who feels that particular charity has served them or a friend well will be able to dip into their pocket and give whatever they can afford. So you don’t need to feel guilty about it – or threatened.  They will understand. People who tend to put themselves up for sponsorship normally are pretty kind hearted people… otherwise they’d be asking you to pay them to abseil or run backwards through a park wearing shoes filled with baked beans. Do you see?

There will be times in your life that you cannot afford to donate to charity – no one is judging you. There will also be times when you may have a few hours to spare at your local charity shop – or you have a clear out of things you could sell at a car boot, but decide to give to charity instead. Every little bit helps.

You are bound to come across in these winter months people losing weight or training for marathons and some of them will be asking for sponsorship. Look, here’s one: did I mention my daughter is running the London Marathon? It is in aid of The Child Bereavement Charity – and I for one am sponsoring her. But I’m not expecting everyone I mention it to to do the same… but don’t let that stop you if you feel the need!

I asked an atheist the other day why people should bother sponsoring people for charity. They replied, ‘If God existed, it would be what he would want’.

Seems a good enough reason don’t you think?

If you are looking for a selfish reason though, what better than feeling good about the fact that the most exhausting thing you’ve had to do is either open your wallet or purse and extract a pound coin or your debit card? How tiring is that compared to running 20 miles around a park with your leg strapped to another? Also your friend will feel that you really admire what they are doing and your support will be truly appreciated. It will push them onto the finish line – ensuring they raise money for their chosen charity.  It’s not hard is it?

On the other side of the coin some of the people who take up these challenges are trying to change not only other’s lives, but their own. A personal challenge of parachuting or running a marathon can sometimes change a person’s outlook on life. They learn about themselves and feel able to tackle obstacles that they felt they hadn’t before. Why should we knock that?

So the next time someone you know has decided to do something a little challenging that might also help out a charity, please don’t automatically think of it as ‘just another money grabbing scheme’. They are giving their time (and possibly training hard) to raise awareness and also the funds of a deserving cause. It is not only individuals who feel the pinch during the recession. Charities are not immune.