Freeman Blog

Heartbreak and Happenstance

Posted by Mark Freeman
Mark Freeman
Mark Freeman & Associates was established by Mark Freeman to bring together a number of trusted associates who...
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on Wednesday, 02 May 2012 in Freeman Blog

Article by Lynda Frampton
Marketing & Communications Consultant 

Isn't it interesting to see what makes people donate to charity, and how media coverage can influence that?

The tragic death of Claire Squires in the London Marathon last week caused a deluge of giving to Samaritans via Justgiving. At the time of writing this total stood at nearly £1million, compared with the £600ish she might reasonably have expected from family, friends and colleagues, and is an example of great goodness and generosity coming out of a personal tragedy.

The Great British Public have been prompted to find a huge sum of money which they hadn't already pledged, in memory of someone they didn't know personally, to a cause (albeit well-known nationally) that they may have no connection with. What is behind that?

Would it have been different if Claire had been running for a little known national charity? Say Choice Support ( which supply those with learning difficulties - to live a fulfilled life? Or perhaps Beatbullying ( who also had marathon runners, or even Small Charities Coalition ( Or perhaps...or perhaps...we can all name them, local, national or international, but those with very limited media coverage.

Perhaps it was the London Marathon itself that we have such respect for - for any amateur athlete or even couch potato it's the one event which is open to all regardless of ability, and which has an iconic connection with fund-raising and a second-to-none feel-good factor for all concerned.

Or did the media coverage focus laser-like into more profound feelings of guilt, thankfulness or admiration which we might all feel, and which were released by Claire's death.

Whatever combination of those it was, it's heartbreaking for Claire's family that it took her death to make it happen, but happenstance that she was supporting Samaritans rather than one of the thousands of other deserving causes whose work could be transformed by the same media coverage... not to mention the money!


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Mark Freeman & Associates was established by Mark Freeman to bring together a number of trusted associates who could offer charities sound professional and practical advice for trustees and senior management.

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