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Marathon runner aims to frustrate Archer's fundraising record bid

Marathon runner aims to frustrate Archer's fundraising record bid

Marathon runner Laura Foster doesn’t want Jeffrey Archer to gain the world record for fundraising in a charity marathon run. So she has set out to beat that record herself.

“Why should Jeffrey Archer hijack the London Marathon for his own personal glory?” asks runner Laura Foster. She feels his bid to raise £1.66 million for charity and break the record for the largest charity sum raised for a marathon detracts from the ethos of the London Marathon.

Describing herself as “Ms Ordinary” and “Nobody from Nowhere”, she believes the focus should be on all the ordinary runners who raise millions for charity every year. “If Ms Ordinary broke the record, then Archer would be starved of the publicity he is seeking, and the spotlight would stay on the event and the charities that benefit from the thousands of ordinary runners that raise money every year”, she argues.

Foster has launched a Web site with the title People Vs Peer to promote her campaign and is using Justgiving.com to handle sponsorship donations. She is raising funds for ChildLine, NSPCC, Cancer Research UK, Help the Aged, and Shelter. She is also accepting donations by cheque for some of these charities, by publishing a PDF version of the donation form.

She has produced a downloadable poster to promote her bid, and has already attracted media coverage. Her first online donation was received on 11 January 2004.

This is a fine example of an individual using the Internet to promote her fundraising activities and secure the donations tax-efficiently.

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Research massive growth in giving.

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