When the gift is halfhearted: A socio-cultural study of ambivalence in a charity sport event

Ayelet Oreg*, Itay Greenspan, Ida E. Berger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Taking a culturally sensitive approach, we set out to explore the social response to, and the cultural adoption of, charity sport events in Israel, where this phenomenon is relatively new and understudied. We show that charity sport events participation is accepted with mixed feelings: participants are motivated by their novice athletic aspirations and love for bike riding, and by their emotional connection to the cause, but at the same time are reluctant to fundraise and donate due to socio-cultural barriers. Using a qualitative, exploratory, single case study design, and relying on the literature of charity sports events, we show that in contrast to the extant distinction between philanthropic givers’ motivations and non-givers’ barriers, participants in charity sport events experience simultaneous motivations for and barriers to their own philanthropic giving. Although they strongly identify with their role as bike riders, and are motivated to take part in a challenging ride, they struggle with the roles of fundraiser and philanthropist that are inherent components of charity sports events. The combination of these experiences yields the experience of ambivalence towards philanthropic giving, which we accordingly term as ambivalent philanthropy.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1224-1242
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • ambivalence
  • charity sports events
  • philanthropy
  • socio-cultural barriers to giving


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