It is all for the charity

Looking into the sun charity photos

A bit of a different topic this week.  I thought it would be good to write a post giving the readers some insight into how the fundraising for a charity challenge works.

Charity or Holiday?

Every day we get bombarded with Facebook posts, emails, newspaper articles asking for donations to charity.  I know that I am one of these people.  Our friends sign up to do crazy things like trekking the Andes, cycling the length of Vietnam, walking through the volcanic landscape in Iceland, doing white water rafting somewhere in Africa or like me deciding to trek the Great Wall of China. They all sound like great trips and experiences of a lifetime.

Now, the most important thing to stress here is that these are “charity challenges” so the main aim is to raise as much money for the chosen charity as possible. The process is quite official as before you set up  your JustGiving page where friends can pledge money you need to get approval from  your chosen charity to raise funds for them.  I think there is a lot of confusion out there where this money goes and whether it is going to charity or paying for the person’s trip of a lifetime. Let me explain…

My experience

I have decided to use Charity Challenge company for my trek. It is an experienced company that has been organising all sort of challenges for the last 16 years. It is very easy to sign up, you choose your activity, pay the deposit and the last thing left is to choose the way you are going to pay for the trip – your own funds or let the charity pay for the trip and then fundraise for them. I have decided to pay myself for the trip as I was quite late to sign up and there was no way I could raise the required amount of money that the charity demands (over £3000).

Thinking about the charity…

Charity - Alzheimer's balloon

Because I am paying myself, I don’t have to set myself a fundraising target but what kind of challenge would that be! I can not only challenge myself, my stamina, my knee joints but also raise money for charity that is really close to my family – Alzheimer’s Society. To be honest, I did not realise how much the whole trip is going to cost… The trip, transport to Heathrow, Chinese visa and all my trekking gear however I am more comfortable self-funding the trip and then friends making donations don’t think they are paying for me to achieve a lifelong ambition.

I know that some people in my group signed up ages ago and  easily raised their target money. In their case the charity will pay for their trip and keep any money raised.

So next time you receive an email or see a post asking you to support a friend who is gong to do a challenge of their lifetime it’s worth thinking about the funding side of it.

Hope this post was a useful one and made it a bit clearer how the funding of the charity challenge works. Please like it, share it or leave a comment if you have something to add. See you next time!