#altnational – a thank you

Last week I floated an idea about making charitable donations instead of Grand National bets, and then I set up a thing to do just that.

I was hoping to raise £50, and I ended up raising the limit throughout the day. We ended up with just short of £230 plus Gift Aid donations of £50.

I was hoping for a dozen folk to give £2, instead 3o people contributed, and the donations were much higher. In retrospect the first few donations may have set the tone a little – perhaps if the first bids were lower we’d have had many more donations that were lower, but I can’t know for sure. Either way I’m really pleased and a little surprised by the support the idea got and by the generosity of you all.

The charity that we chose works with retired horses and with children and was suggested by a work colleague. The Just Giving page tells you more about them if you want to learn more about their work.

Although the £250 target was totally arbitrary, it would be ace to get some more donations to take us over that line. If you know anyone riding high with their takings off the 66/1 winner ask them to consider making a donation.

Thanks again for your support. And no, I don’t think I’ll do this again next year, I don’t want to get caught up in doing a “thing” so if anyone wants to take up the idea please be my guest and I’ll have a flutter with you next year. x

update: #altnational

Earlier I put a blog post up with an idea to do something positive and useful with my general and growing dislike of the Grand National. A number of people gave me some nice feedback on Twitter along the lines of “that’s a good idea” and “yeah I was thinking about that”.

Simon Gray signed off on a name (we tried some puns around totes, and gambling but they didn’t stick so we’ve ended up with): #altnational. It’s not that original but it does the job.

Shona McQuillan helped me choose a charity: I wanted something with racehorses, education and Just Giving enabled so I’ve gone for Greatwood. Cheers Shona!

And now, it’s a real thing: #altnational on Just Giving.

So, if you’re with me this far here are some things I’d like you to do, if that’s OK…

How it all works

  1. Go to the Just Giving page and donate the sort of money you might have put on a horse in the Grand National
  2. Please Facebook and Tweet your “bet”, some suggested text:
    “Just made a bet I can’t lose – I’ve donated to charity instead of betting on the #grandnational http://www.justgiving.com/altnational #altnational

Trios, accumulators and other fancy bets

If you prefer a different charity then go ahead and do that – the important bit is the principle of donating your gambling stake and telling people about it.

Jon Bounds had an idea about running an “alternative sweepstake” where we’d draw the name of one of the people who do this out of a hat, and they get a winner takes it all prize. I’d still like to do that. If you can donate a prize, please let me know.


Tote Amazeballs – a half baked idea for tomorrow

Ok, so I have a half-baked idea and you might be able to help before I actually throw it together.

When I was a lad we always used to have a flutter on Grand National Day. I’ve not done that for a long time now. I’ve become increasingly uneasy with the idea of the Grand National with each passing year to the point where I’m a bit said that I ever took the pound my Mum gave me and chose a horse. The debate around this race and racing in general seems to be picking up too, or maybe I’m just tuned into it now.

Anyway, what I’m thinking is this:

  • Tomorrow I’m going to give a donation to a horse sanctuary – it’s my own each-way bet on the nags, and I think I’ve picked  a winner
  • I thought “if I tweet about that other people might too”
  • I then thought “I could set up a Just Giving Page for it”
  • I then mentioned it to some friends and the idea of a sweepstake emerged, so we could give a prize to one person who donates

Is this a good idea? I dunno. I’ll do a donation anyway. Here are my questions:

  • Does this make sense?
  • Is it useful?
  • What shall we call it?
  • Who can offer a prize?
    • Prize idea 1: a “vintage” Totopoly set from someone’s loft
    • Prize idea 2: a case of booze from a booze brand who wants to do something guerilla to spoiler John Smith’s sponsorship of the event.

Let me know, and I’ll do WHATEVER YOU SAY