Open Thinkering


No more #LettingGrow

Update: I’ve heard back from 90% of the people who donated to #LettingGrow, all of whom have said they don’t want me to ask Cancer Research to return their donations. Given how overwhelming the response has been, and the difficulty of getting a refund for people, I’ll only now do so if asked specifically. I hope that’s OK!

It is with huge regret that I announce that I cannot continue with my #LettingGrow campaign. I had fully intended to not cut my hair or beard for the entirety of 2013 but, for reasons personal and professional, I shaved my hair and beard last night.

I am looking into ways to refund everyone who so kindly donated to Cancer Research UK. However, JustGiving makes it extremely difficult to do so:

Online Giving – we run and maintain a website that processes donations on behalf of the charities featured on it. For this service, and the support we provide to them and their supporters, charities pay us a transaction fee of up to 5% on the donation. Because we promptly pay donations to charities, we regret that we can only refund a donation if the charity expressly requests it, and they can pay us back. Please get in touch with the charity first.

During the period of growing my hair and beard, I learned many things about myself and others, not least that:

  • people are much more likely to strike up random conversations
  • international travel is a lot more difficult when you look significantly different from your passport
  • I should have talked through my plans my nearest and dearest before taking the plunge

A sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated. I pledge to refund everyone who donated, even if it means it coming out of my own money.


42 thoughts on “No more #LettingGrow

  1. No refund required. I get nagged by Katie if I don’t shave for a week. The nagging of five months is well worth the donation!

  2. No refund needed – twas for a good cause anyway 😎 Did the kids recognise you this morning ? @daveterron

  3. Hi Doug,
    Fwiw, no refund for me either please.
    A bit late but you could have started another sponsorship for shaving and getting it all cut off.
    Or you could offer locks in place of refunds;)

  4. Doug – thanks for your email & well done one getting this far. No refund required and if you can use my donation in the way you planned please do

  5. I definitely do not want a refund, Doug. This is an amazing charity and they need the money. Also, I’m well impressed that you went this far. I can’t go a day without shaving or a month without a haircut. Well done for your hard work. (Maybe hard work is the wrong praise needed. Patience? Endurance?) Also praise to the family for putting up with a hobo!!

  6. Well done, Doug! In my eyes you have completed the challenge, so no refund on my account, please. Cheers, Teresa x

  7. No refund for me either – it was a brave attempt to battle airport security and the family ! Two things the internets can’t help you with hehe

  8. No refund! For your commitment to Cancer Research, and for making it such a personal project, Doug, you have my admiration. This is in no way diminished by shaving at this stage. Lose the hair, keep the passion.
    And on behalf of my parents, both lost to cancer, thanks again.

  9. “All good things” brother. Thanks for the push, awareness, and thoughtfulness. It is never a bad thing to bring attention and additional funding to cancer research.
    Knowing how much my Dad (who passed away from cancer) hated it when I would grow my hair long in my youth, made me feel closer to him since I decided to #growitout with ya back in Jan. thank you for that. Keep inspiring!

  10. Well done Doug . I thnk 5 months is a really great effort . You were getting pretty unrecognisable under all that hair

  11. Dude, people sponsor you for the effort and because they support the cause. It is as much as if I sponsor someone to run a marathon for charity, I would not expect a refund if they “only” did 18 miles. You succeeded in my book.

  12. No refund for me either! Congrats on getting this far & hope you are not too chilly without all your fur!

  13. Thanks for hanging in there for 5 months! No refund is necessary for me; the increased awareness is worth it alone.

  14. Hey Doug, I was waiting until it grew really LONG before donating, but since my intention was always to donate to this worthy cause, I will still donate now regardless of whether it is over. My mother has fought cancer 3 times. Every day that you did “let it grow” was worth it for finding a way to help people like her. Thank you for doing this for 5 months.

  15. Doug, having only just survived the one month of Movember last year with family *support* I have watched with interest throughout your lettinggrow campaign, but not supported, until today. I’ve made a modest donation direct today to help offset those ‘demanding’ a refund! Well done to you and your family for getting so far…

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