So, my sister and I (not picture above) were helping in the preliminary stages of planning a charity race for Royal Family Kids Camp--a charity that we support by donating a week of our time each summer as volunteers. My sister was hunting around on the internet regarding logistical planning for a 5K/10K type event, and she stumbled upon this wonderful article about the economics of charity runs.
Let me hit some of the highlights for you:
Not (necessarily) because of this article, but I'll just point out (to keep my pride in tact) that we've decided against sponsoring a charity run/walk, and are opting to promote a Sponsor-a-Child program so interested friends, neighbors, colleagues who can't afford to donate a week of vacation, can donate directly to sending a child to camp.
"A grad school colleague once hit me up for a donation for his participation in a Habitat for Humanity project in the Philippines. While he agreed that [good economics] would dictate that he instead work more in the States and donate the money to hire folks in the Philippines more competent than him to do the construction work, he also noted that that alternative wouldn't get him a trip to the Philippines. And, of course, I then declined to subsidise his vacation.
"Any individual wanting to help the charity would almost certainly do better to spend the time working overtime (or taking a part time job), donating the money to the cause, and asking their friends to match a portion of their contributions... I've also noticed that participants in these runs really do not like it when you suggest to them that the people they're trying to help would be better off if they'd take a part time job rather than do the run.
"...you shouldn't feel bad about declining to subsidise a colleague's exercise regimen."