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Middle-class problems: Online charity donations

By Marianne Levy

Please don't do a sponsored jog. I know you care about those endangered beetles. You've been training every day before dawn. You're running miles in the blistering heat. It's going to be agony. For me.

Because now I'm going to have to donate money in a place where everyone will see. A look at your Just Giving page reveals that several people have given you 50 quid, and one person's sent 200. My tenner's going to look mean.

Perhaps I am mean? If I were generous then I'd have already sent you £50. And I haven't. I'm still agonising. Oh, God, I'm a monster.

But I've never spent more than £10 on your birthday. In fact, it would be weird if I had. We don't even know each other that well.

I could give you 20 quid anonymously. Yeah, that's quite classy, actually. Only, you might think I'd ignored your call for sponsors. Maybe I could follow it up with an email explaining that I'm the anonymous donor… No, that would be the work of a nutter.

I know, I'll give you the money when I next see you. It does mean losing Gift Aid on my donation, which might have preserved the lives of several baby beetles, but I think they'd agree it's a sacrifice worth making. Great. Decision made. I'll text you now.

What? WHAT? You want me to come and watch you run? Why? I'm giving you £20! Surely that buys me the right to stay at home!

Yet here I am, cheering at the finish line. And here's a nice guy with a clipboard… he's really persuasive… and it seems I'm down to run 10k. Hey, you'll sponsor me, won't you?