Go the Extra Mile for ME – and Your Favourite ME Charity

August 27, 2013

by Sasha

Coins by Catalina Olavarria

Though notes would be good…
Photo: Catalina Olavarria/Flickr

‘Go the extra mile,’ you’re thinking, as you lie on your sofa. ‘I can’t go the extra inch. This isn’t some sponsored walk thing, is it?’

No, my friends, it’s not. It’s an exercise in financial efficiency – oh, the fun! – that will allow even the most broke among us to have a go at raising some money for our favourite charities.

Here’s how it works. Most of us have everyday opportunities to save a bit of money here and there but we don’t bother because the amounts are fairly trivial and it doesn’t seem worth the extra effort. Perhaps your usual breakfast cereal is on special offer but there’s no room for ten boxes of it in your cupboard; maybe you’ve got a small item that seems too much trouble to list on Ebay so you give it away.

However, these savings can quickly add up and if you know the money is going to an ME charity, you’ll be motivated to make that extra bit of effort. So this week, commit yourself to saving or making money in a way that you wouldn’t have bothered with if you weren’t doing it for charity, and at the end of the week, donate your hard-earned wealth.

To show you how this works, I’ve had a go myself the week that I wrote this article and here’s how it went.

Saturday: Had a mineral water (boring!) instead of a cappuccino while out for a coffee with a friend. Saving: 90p.

Tuesday: I only buy odds and ends at the Co-op supermarket but force myself to bother with their loyalty card so that I can donate the money. Today they sent me their annual statement: £5.41.

Thursday: I went to buy my usual A4 refill pad at the stationers and found they were on offer if you bought three. Only two were on the shelf so I sent an assistant off for a third when I wouldn’t normally have wanted to stand waiting that long. Saving: £1.02.

Friday: Tesco gave me one of those annoying vouchers last week offering money off if I spent £15, much more than I normally spend in a supermarket because I can’t carry that much shopping home. I usually just throw these vouchers away but this time I bought eight boxes of tissues, which I’m going to have to keep in the wardrobe. Saving: £3.00.

My total saving during my test week, then, was £10.33, which I shall roll up with whatever I save this week and donate to the charity of my choice.

So, you get the idea. This week, starting today, join in with me as I do this again. Let your favourite charity know about this event – you have full permission to repost this particular article immediately anywhere, as long as you include a link back to this page – and encourage them to ask their supporters to join in too. Let’s see if we can get all our charities benefiting.

And post below, and/or on your charity’s Facebook page or blog, if they feature the article, to tell everyone how much you’re saving and how you’re doing it, to help others do the same.

Let’s go that extra mile and make some money!

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19 comments

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Sasha August 27, 2013 at 11:00 am

A couple of days after I finished this test week, I did my mum's home insurance renewal and finally got her to agree to let me check out insurers other than the one with whom she'd been forever. They had quoted her £600 – I got her insured elsewhere, with better cover, for £185! She was so pleased that she offered £100 of the saving to the ME charity of my choice, without me dropping the slightest hint or mention what I'd been doing that week to raise money.

That kind of thing can be a gigantic moneysaver, if you're willing to make the effort (including on someone else's behalf!). :thumbsup:

Purple August 27, 2013 at 11:14 am

With insurance and things like subscribing to satellite TV, it is also worth checking on http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk and if renewing/buying through them, there is often a nice sum for the charity too (at no cost). Other countries must have similar schemes.

Tally August 27, 2013 at 2:16 pm

This is great idea. There are millions of us ill across the world. We could finance large researches all by ourselves for just a few dollars a month per patient.

Simon August 27, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Great article, Sasha, thank you. The ebay idea is excellent and will now sell a couple of things for ME charities I've got sitting aound. Swapping a cappucino for mineral water, however, is a step too far for me.

Sasha August 27, 2013 at 2:32 pm
Tally

This is great idea. There are millions of us ill across the world. We could finance large researches all by ourselves for just a few dollars a month per patient.

Very true – I'm a big fan of the idea of many of us making small contributions.

Sasha August 27, 2013 at 2:34 pm
Simon

Great article, Sasha, thank you. The ebay idea is excellent and will now sell a couple of things for ME charities I've got sitting aound. Swapping a cappucino for mineral water, however, is a step too far for me.

Yes, there is a limit to the amount of hair-shirting that ought to go on around this! It makes it easier that it's only for a week, whatever you do. :)

Legendrew August 27, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Good article – the money has to come from somewhere and if everyone does a little it soon adds up!

Nielk August 27, 2013 at 4:11 pm

This is a great point, Sasha. There is strength in numbers. Whether a thousand people donate $10 each or ten people donating a thousand each- the total is ten thousand. Thank you for the reminder.

Bob August 27, 2013 at 4:12 pm
Twitter mentions
Open Med Foundation‏ @OpenMedF​
Sasha at Phoenix Rising wrote a great article suggesting an easy, unique way to raise money for your favorite… http://fb.me/2phdGsIuU

https://twitter.com/OpenMedF/status/372472806828548096

Tom Kindlon ‏@TomKindlon
Sasha encourages ppl to make little financial savings in their lives & give proceeds to favourite #ME charity http://phoenixrising.me/archives/18475 #MECFS

https://twitter.com/TomKindlon/status/372333107715661824

Purple August 27, 2013 at 10:21 pm

There was a fundraising campaign a few years ago based on a similar principle as Sasha's article. The campaign was called 'Just Four Quid' – this is because if every one of the estimated 250,000 UK sufferers donated £4 to ME research, this would raise £1 million. The blogger on the Just Four Quid blog looked for ways to save money and encouraged readers who used the money saving tips to donate part of the savings to ME charities.

http://justfourquid.wordpress.com/

Purple August 27, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Simon – good luck with the eBay sales! It's surprising what can be sold on eBay. My past sales included some used packaging materials and airline overnight toiletries bags. As well as broken computers… presumably people buy these for parts.

There is an option to use eBay for Charity – http://ebay.co.uk/ebayforcharity/sell.html – so if you were to use this, eBay would waive the same proportion of the final selling fee as the proportion of the selling price you choose to donate to charity (e.g. if you choose to donate 50% of the final selling price to charity, eBay would waive 50% of the final selling fee). But there are drawbacks with using eBay for Charity if the item doesn't sell though. Also, eBay often offers free listing days when you don't pay a listing fee (i.e. the fee to list your item which has to be paid irrespective of whether the item sells or not). So best to list items on those days.

I hope you are not planning to sell your country! Countries have been put up for sale on eBay in the past: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unusual_eBay_listings

Sasha August 28, 2013 at 1:56 am
Bob

Tom Kindlon ‏@TomKindlon
Sasha encourages ppl to make little financial savings in their lives & give proceeds to favourite #ME charity http://phoenixrising.me/archives/18475 #MECFS

https://twitter.com/TomKindlon/status/372333107715661824

Thanks, Tom Kindlon, for tweeting (?) the article – and for putting it out on Co-cure. :thumbsup:

Sasha August 29, 2013 at 10:33 am

Well, I just saved my first blob of money this week! :)

My favourite A4 refill pads are still on sale (at WHS, UK A4 refill pad fans) so I loaded up big-time and bought six, and used the 20% discount card that they gave me last time, saving a total of £3.96, which I'll be donating to the UK Rituximab trial along with whatever else I get this week by making the extra effort. I wouldn't normally have looked for any more of those pads until I was running out again.

How is everyone else doing? Saved/made any money yet by going the extra mile?

Legendrew August 29, 2013 at 10:36 am

I had something pre-ordered with Amazon a few days ago but then cancelled it and re-ordered it using the Phoenix Rising Amazon link you posted a few weeks ago.

Sasha August 29, 2013 at 10:38 am
Legendrew

I had something pre-ordered with Amazon a few days ago but then cancelled it and re-ordered it using the Phoenix Rising Amazon link you posted a few weeks ago.

Well done! Not only did you go the extra mile but you auto-donated! :thumbsup:

I've got the link permanently on my menu bar now and it's a big timesaver as well as a permanent reminder to go via the Phoenix Rising link.

Sasha September 1, 2013 at 5:48 am

Saw an offer for loo roll in my local supermarket yesterday so hefted two bags of nine rolls home (something I definitely wouldn't normally do!), saving £1.48 thereby.

Sasha September 3, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Well, I've spent most of this week horizontal and so unable to put as much effort into this as I'd hoped (that's ME for you), but I nevertheless managed to save £5.46 this week, which, added to the £10.33 I saved during my test week, is a not-bad £15.79, which I shall donate. And of course there's that £100 from my mum!

I'd hoped to put some stuff on Ebay that I just haven't been able to motivate myself to sell for myself – clothes, for example, are a bit of a pain to photograph and list – but I will do that when I'm able and donate that too.

Hope those of you who tried this project this week managed to make some savings!

Tuha September 3, 2013 at 2:47 pm

I will also join this effort. Yeasterday I saved my first 1,50 Euros. I was in a pub with my friends. Everyone was drinking a lot of beers and I was there in my corner drinking some glaces of mineral water – I am always very thirsty. When I wanted to ask about one more glaces I remembered this article. So here you are – there are so many possibilities how to do it.
The research is very expensive and sometimes it looks that the efforts like this are not worthy. But sometimes when you get lucky also a small study can turn to a big finding. So that´s why I think this effort can be usefull and I join it. Maybe there is a miracle waiting for us just behind the corner

Sasha September 3, 2013 at 2:52 pm
Tuha

I will also join this effort. Yeasterday I saved my first 1,50 Euros. I was in a pub with my friends. Everyone was drinking a lot of beers and I was there in my corner drinking some glaces of mineral water – I am always very thirsty. When I wanted to ask about one more glaces I remembered this article. So here you are – there are so many possibilities how to do it.
The research is very expensive and sometimes it looks that the efforts like this are not worthy. But sometimes when you get lucky also a small study can turn to a big finding. So that´s why I think this effort can be usefull and I join it. Maybe there is a miracle waiting for us just behind the corner

Well done – those 1.50 Euros/pounds/dollars soon add up!

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