Tight with time, tight with money

There is an ‘i’ in community after all.

Michael Freer
3 min readFeb 27, 2021


Photo by Adrien Ledoux on Unsplash

Fundraising and sponsor hunting is something I do on a regular basis, and when doing so I have conversations with fellow business owners, or NGO/Charity directors. In each and every one of these chats, we always come to the same conclusion.

The majority of people are ridiculously tight with their time and money.

Being based in Croatia, a few locals who I discussed this with explained how the previous generations used to be compared to now. More caring, more giving, didn’t complain and believed in a hard graft. Croatia is an ex-socialist state, yet today there are elements of the self-centred capitalism that could be partially blamed for a few recent events we’ve seen in the UK.

Here we are richer than ever in so many ways, yet it seems stingier and more selfish.

Charity starts at home

I’ve heard this phrase time and time again when it comes to reasons why we should stop foreign aid, or not donate to countrywide NGOs, or not support a different social group than we’re in. The thing is people have started to replace ‘starts’ should be replaced with ‘stops’ while ‘home’ seems to be getting smaller and smaller.

When people have the option between sacrificing a few coffees a week to put some food on someone else’s table, it’s no longer an easy and obvious decision.

Who is this family? Why are they poor? They probably got themselves into that situation, why should I help them?


We all help our friends and family out with certain things, be it time or money. My family no longer get that pleasure from afar, and I help local friends out where I can, giving lifts, looking after pets or kids or helping with ideas or businesses. But this is a given — if we didn’t then it would be pretty selfish.

Outside of this, it’s another story. In the UK in 2019, only 20% of people formally volunteered somewhere each month. In Croatia, there is no consistent approach to tracking these numbers, so in some places it says 5% and other 46%.

Either way it means less than half of us are giving up some of our time to…



Michael Freer

Social enterprise enthusiast, avid traveller and fiction writer. www.ensoco.co.uk