Oxfam celebrates Federer's 7th Wimbledon victory over Murray

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Oxfam celebrates Federer's 7th Wimbledon victory over Murray3

Fundraising | Kirsty Weakley | 9 Jul 2012

Roger Federer’s victory yesterday might have been a blow for British tennis, but it was good news for Oxfam which will pocket more than £100,000 from a bet placed by a man who left his estate to the charity.

Oxfam is putting the £101,840, enough to feed 10,000 people affected by the food crisis in West Africa for one month, into its unrestricted fund.

Nicholas Newlife, who left his estate to the charity in his will, placed the bet of £1,520 at 66/1 on Federer to win the men’s singles at Wimbledon at least seven times before 2020.

Andrew Barton, head of relationship marketing at Oxfam said: “All of Oxfam have been cheering Federer’s progress for the past couple of weeks. The real hero, though, must be Mr Newlife, for his generous gift and his tremendous sporting acumen.”

He added: “We hope Mr Newlife’s legacy – and Federer’s win – will inspire other people to support Oxfam and our West Africa appeal.”

Graham Sharpe, from William Hill, who took the bets said: “Normally we’d have mixed feelings about paying out such a hefty six-figure sum, but in this instance it seems that it was meant to be, and we are delighted that a sad story has had a very positive conclusion.”

The charity still stands to make up to £200,000 more from bets placed by Newlife on tennis player Andy Roddick and cricketer Ramnaresh Sarwan. In 2010 it claimed £16,000 from a bet that Federer would win 14 grand slam titles by 2020.

Each year Oxfam receives between £12m and £13m in legacies, which represents 12 to 13 per cent of its income to supporters. So far Newlife is the only person to have bequeathed betting slips. Other unusual legacies include a pair of gold teath and dentist’s chair (from a former dentist) and the royalties from books and plays, including Doctor Finlay’s Casebook.

Outstanding bets

  • £1,000 on Andy Roddick to win at least seven grand slam singles titles before 2020 at 33/1 – this would win £34,000.
  • £750 on Andy Roddick to win at least ten grand slam singles titles before 2020 at 100/1 – this would win £75,075.
  • £350 on Ramnaresh Sarwan to make over 7,000 test match runs by the end of 2019 at 50/1 – this would win £17,850.
  • £300 on Ramnaresh Sarwan to make more than 8,000 test match runs by the end of 2019 at 100/1 – this would win £30,300.
  • £250 on Ramnaresh Sarwan to make more than 9,000 test match runs by the end of 2019 at 250/1 – this would win £62,750.



10 Jul 2012

I love it when bets help a good cause. This was very generous of Newlife!
There is a new toilet paper organisation that uses 50% of profits to build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world. I had a bet that they would reach their funding goal

Rob Dyson
PR Manager
9 Jul 2012

Wow, "unrestricted funding" - surely Oxfam might have had a tighter, more personal message for the family of Mr Newlife than that? Juxtapose this with The Samaritans' reaction to the generosity of donors following Claire Squires untimely death, and it seems a little trite?

I know that project restricting £100k in a charity's terms is crazy, but - if only for PR purposes - it might have been nice to have given a more personal comment. E.g. that 'the money will go into a fund in Mr Newlife's memory, and the charity will endeavour to spend the money on projects that he would have had specific passion for...'

We all know the leccy bills need to be paid, staff salaries, overheads, and bricks and mortar must all be covered, but this story achieved viral status over the weekend, and made Radio 4's flagship Today programme this morning. A high profile gift warrants a more delicate response perhaps?

To step away from Oxfam, it's a shame we all let donors - and their memory - down sometimes by not being specific or tangible about the impact of their valuable and generous gift.

Rob Dyson
PR Manager
10 Jul 2012
Response to [Rob Dyson]

Okay, so I concede I was playing (a bad) devil's advocate in my earlier comment; but my point led to an interesting and lively debate on twitter about how legacy giving might better position itself; the public trust in charities’ spending; and how we (charities) articulate vital unrestricted funds in a tangible way.


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