We’ve all been there, haven’t we? On one end of the email or another. You know, the “I must be mad, but I’m running a marathon/jumping out of a plane/shaving my pudenda for charity, and I’d love you to sponsor me!” email.
Frankly, I’ve probably sent almost as many as I’ve received. Albeit more from the athletic challenge standpoint than the follicle-challenging end.
So I tend to bite the bullet and click the usual link to justgiving.com and pay up in direct proportion to how challenging I think the event is (marathons and triathlons get a fair slice of my hard-earned wedge, whereas 3k sponsored strolls tend to elicit mars bar money, if you were wondering).
I do so mainly out of guilt, if I’m honest. Because having passed the hat around so often myself, how could I refuse to sponsor other people? But I’m now suffering from a whole new strain of charity fatigue, which involves not a failure to give, but a mortal dread of asking my long-suffering friends and family to sponsor me again.
And I know I’m not alone in feeling like this. Especially as Golden Bond places for the Flora London Marathon now start at £1,500 a pop. So my question remains: is there a better way to get sponsorship for charity events? And the answer? Well, yes, I think there is.
Charities know the value of having a presence at the FLM and Great North Run. Which is why they give all of their runners a gaudy, branded running vest. And I should know, having dressed in a ‘daffodil’ vest for the GNR and only avoided wearing the Hospices’ ‘Sunflower’ vest for the FLM by virtue of the vest they sent me being far too small. So is it time that corporate sponsors started sponsoring shirts in the big road races?
If there’s any media or marketing people out there who think there’s any mileage in this, why not give me a shout?