We’re all familiar with the social media shout outs that start to happen around this time of year. A gym obsessed friend decides to run a marathon or trek up a mountain in aid of endangered grey kittens and we spend the next month or so watching our newsfeed being festooned with reminders to visit their Just Giving page. Enough is enough. Here are 6 reasons why I’m not sponsoring you to do something you enjoy:
1. You’re running the marathon because you want to
Let’s be honest, there’s a reason you’re training for that marathon, planning that trek or jumping off that building and it’s got nothing to do with curing cancer. You’re doing it because you want to. Why, therefore, am I paying for it? Many people like running and yet for some reason I’m asked to be a ‘sponsor’ when, given half a chance, you’d do it all again tomorrow. I understand rational humans don’t want to spend their evenings sweating through lycra and dodging copious dog turds around the streets of London, but most also don’t want to eat their bodyweight in cheese and watch every episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer on a sunny weekend. The latter’s my plan for Saturday – wanna sponsor me for it?
2. It’s inefficient
If it’s really about raising dough for the dying, it’s a horribly inefficient way to do so. People spend hundreds of hours training; they buy fancy equipment; they wear ugly apparel and hire bulging personal trainers with one syllable names like Chaz or Jezz. Instead, if they spent this time at a regular job donating their earnings to charity, they’d end up with more cash overall and not have to resort to grafting their friends.
3. Why should you get the credit?
You are not the one forking up the cash. As we have established, you’re doing something you already wanted to. So how do you then have the cheek, of boasting on social media about the amount of money you raised. That credit doesn’t belong with the runner for shaking down guilt-ridden friends, any more than the cardboard carton deserves the glory for the eggs a chicken squeezed out of its backside.
4. I’m not paying for your bungee jump
The worst possible type of sponsored event, has to be the entitled, audacious adolescent who asks for money to do something that sounds amazing: ‘I’m bungee jumping off the monkey temple of the Goddess Psoriasis in my great uncle’s memory, ‘me and three friends are swimming with sharks in Tahiti for my neighbor’s tattoo removal’. Then, worst of all, it turns out, the first £500 pounds goes towards the trip with whatever’s left over tossed to the cause. It’s a con straight from the mind of Del Boy, yet somehow it doesn’t end in hilarious failure, but with smug, suntanned teens basking in a free holiday.
5. Screw the donkeys
If you’re lucky enough to have had a relative suffer from one of the sexy diseases then the cash is bound to come rolling in like a jackpotting slot machine. But if you’re limited to a pool of friends and family whose only complaints are infected big toes and raging STDs, then you’ll have to make do with a random charity. Let’s be clear though: while you may value the lives of depressed donkeys in Doha, I do not. I don’t want to be forced to sponsor your chosen charity above my own. I have a plethora of sexy killers to pick from and I’d rather subsidise my own woes than your need for pictures of animal amputees.
6. Be honest
If you still want to run that race and ask for cash, that’s fine – more money for charity isn’t going to hurt – but own your sweaty motivation. Be honest about the reasons you’re doing it and don’t look at me like I want to euthanize babies if I choose not to sponsor you. If you want me to part with my cash, offer up something you wouldn’t normally do or something that will bring me joy: bake some cakes and sell them, shave your head like a renaissance monk, get a tattoo of the priest from Fleabag. The possibilities are endless, much like the number of people guaranteed to ask me to sponsor them this month…