Various comments and opinions over at the Ego thread reminded me of the summer of 2012, when I became disillusioned with Fundraising Swims. This photo was my last attempt to get money from friends and family as a pass through to some charity, the low point of my ask, and the beginning of a better, more openly selfish me.
I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.
HAHA! Where do I send my donation?
It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.
If I asked friends to buy me three pizzas and then didn't finish a single slice, I'd feel like a dork.
...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
I met a swimmer who decided to fundraise 1mil from his (rather wealthy) friends and companies he worked with, and the money went all to a respectable charity. He asked everyone to donate only little before the swim and majority after he completes successfully(!) the swim so he is motivated. None of the money went to finance the swim. I was very happy to contribute.
My 75 year old cycling friend, a retired high school math teacher, picks a charity for every 100mi bike ride she does and then she hits her old friends who have money and don't do much sports anymore. She pays her registration fee and all other expenses with the rides herself. As she says, she will ride anyway and if it can bring some good to someone, then why not. When I like the charity she picks, I contribute.
I met a swimmer who started some sort of "fund me" page to help raise money to cover their (proper noun not used for de-identification purposes) registration fee and other expenses. I did not contribute. I don't think I need to support someone else's hobbies or maybe I just don't have enough information of the person's case.
I also met a swimmer who is planning an outrageously long, 'adventurous' swim even though 'their' swimming resume is rather slim. They claim that once they get everything set up, they plan to fundraise from sponsors about 5mil. But in order to approach the sponsors, they already fundraise for the initial 'setting up boat and stuff' amount.
I think all above examples are different from each other and it is hard to have general opinion. Even cases that we might not like, usually have more intricate details and maybe if we knew all of them, we would change our opinions. I do not like the categorical statements I read sometimes.
And before we decide to have some strong opinions anyway, I invite you to consider one more case:
I also have friends who fundraise to finance their 'self-inflicted' upcoming life style changes and they don't contribute anything from their fundraising to any charities (most of them don't even pay taxes of their fundraising). They just ask people to get them stuff because they decided to make a lifestyle change that they technically cannot afford to support using their own means. So they organize baby showers, bridal showers, etc. I fail to see the difference between this case and some of the cases above.
Nothing is black and white. But whatever you do, make sure you declare it a world record!