The Caledonian Challenge event will issue golden bonds, charging charities to participate for the first time in its 16-year history.
The bonds will be issued to charities at a charge of approximately £1,000 per team (of four to six people) or £200 per participant. Participants will be required to pay a £100 minimum entry fee and commit to raising at least £500 for their chosen charity.
John Mercer, events director at the Scottish Community Foundation (SCF), which runs the event, told civilsociety.co.uk that on average previous year’s participants had raised around £750 so even with the bonds scheme in place charities could expect a positive return on their costs.
Caledonian Challenge decided to charge for golden bond places in order to allow a variety of charities to raise money. In the past all funds raised went to the SCF which distributes its funds to charitable causes throughout Scotland.
“Part of our remit is to strengthen community organisations in Scotland and the golden bonds scheme sets out a new way in which we can help strengthen and support Scottish communities even further,” said Mercer.
The 54-mile, 24-hour trek started in 1996 and has raised over £11m for the SCF through more than 14,000 participants.
Golden bonds have sparked controversy in the past. At the London Marathon it was felt that the scheme was expensive and lacked transparency in terms of the benefits to charities taking part. However Mercer told civilsociety.co.uk he was not aware of this and did not expect any backlash.