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Old 06-28-16, 03:41 PM   #1
DGlenday
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Organizing A Charity Ride Next Year - Looking For Input

Some cycling friends and i are looking at the feasibility of organizing a charity cycling event in about a year's time.

It will be a 3/6/12 hour "endurance championship" that will be open to serious racers as well as the general public, and we plan to run it on open country roads. (We're busy scoping out routes - think we've pinned down a 6-mile loop.) I'm hoping for a turnout of 200 participants - perhaps I'm being optimistic..?

I'm busy researching about 1,000 things - and I'm sure I still haven't thought of everything - but I'll throw out a few questions:

(Feel free to cast opinions whether you're an organizer or a frequent participant.)

Registration and donation-management tools
Any thoughts on what we should use? I see a large number of systems out there - and the best seems to be "EventZilla". Or I could use BikeReg for registration alone and something else for donation management, but that seems like double the work.
Questions:
- What does BikeReg charge for registrations?
- Does anyone have experience with EventZilla or Active, or any other similar systems? Thoughts about how good/bad they are?

Insurance
Questions:
- Do I need it?
- How much?
- Covering what?
- Any experience or recommendations regarding specific insurers?

Timing Chips
I'm meeting with someone who runs a timing-chip company on Saturday to discuss
- What should I expect top pay?
- What are the advantages or disadvantages of timing chips?

Advertising
Without the number of participants, w could run this at a loss. Questions:
- What advertising methods have you found to be most effective?

Entry Fees And Participants Fund Raising
In a perfect world, I'd like the entry fees to cover the costs, and the sponsorship and the participants' fund raising would be our income. Questions:
- What is considered to be a reasonable entry fee, to ensure maximum participation?
- How much should I expect each participant to raise, on average?

Acreditation
Questions:
- Is there any benefit to jumping through hoops, to get acreditation from either USA Cycling or UMCA (Ultra Marathon Cycling Assoc.)?

Thanks for your help
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Old 06-28-16, 03:45 PM   #2
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Talk to some of the bike clubs in your area.
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Old 06-28-16, 04:36 PM   #3
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10 Wheels,

Thanks. I'm a member of several area bike clubs, as well as a velo club. That's definitely where I'll start - along with bike shops etc.
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Old 06-28-16, 05:13 PM   #4
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I'm not sure you can call it a "championship" unless there are multiple qualification rides.

18 hours? 24 hours?

There is a 12/24 hour ride about 100 miles from here. They have the ride separated into a "big loop" of about 150 miles, and a small loop of 10 miles or so. I think the big loop is optional, but one can do it once, followed by the rest of the time on the short loop.

It would just seem that a big loop would be more interesting than doing a small loop 20 or more times.

With a large field, you could pretty much create a continuous bicycle traffic jam on your small route. And it may not be fun for the casual riders to be lapped over and over again.
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Old 06-28-16, 05:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I'm not sure you can call it a "championship" unless there are multiple qualification rides...
I wondered about that Perhaps we'll just call it a "challenge".

We considered 18 and 24 hour options, but in order to get the biggest field possible, we thought we'd promote a more approachable challenge. When I've done 24 hour rides in the past, my cycling buddies have told me I'm nuts. So we'd like to present something they feel comfortable with - and more likely to join.

I'm aware that several endurance rides do one or more big loops before cutting back to the smaller loops. We're considering that too. Something like:
- 3 hour riders just do the 6 mile loop
- 6 hour riders do one big loop then the 6-miler
- 12 hour riders do 2 big loops then the smaller loop.

The only drawback is support : We'd have to arrange for more SAG, more control points, and more refreshment points ... whereas with just one loop, it would be more contained and easier to staff - and there would be fewer complications with police (etc.) support.

We're wide open to suggestions, and value your input!
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Old 06-29-16, 09:13 AM   #6
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What I would recommend: go super-lean with a pretty small-ish group for the first year to test out the kinks. Remember that the most successful charity ride here in MA (the Pan-Mass Challenge) started with a small group of friends!

You will want to think of your sponsorship as covering the costs and then anything on top of that is your contribution to charity. Counting on entry fees may drive you nuts because many people wait until the last minute and then if the weather is terrible, whoops!

Speaking of which, events should be rain or shine - you can't expect event volunteers to block off two days for you, and you really need volunteers for a safe event (not to mention the police probably won't want to hold a "rain date" for you as well)

Do you have a specific charity in mind? If you have flexibility I would make sure that it's a charity who is enthusiastic to be working with you and has a good list that will expose your event beyond your reach. (I have occasionally worked with orgs who don't do either of us many favors)

That's a few thoughts; hope that helps! I'm not here very often so if you want to reach me I'm at karin at tugboat23 dot com
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Old 06-30-16, 09:57 AM   #7
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Many thanks for the insights. I've added them to my to-do lists. The organizers are meeting next week to make a go / no-go decision, and I'll make sure they're aware of these considerations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mass BikePike View Post
Do you have a specific charity in mind? If you have flexibility I would make sure that it's a charity who is enthusiastic to be working with you...
Yes. One of my cycling friends runs a charity, and we thought this ride might be a good way to raise funds.
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Old 07-09-16, 01:27 AM   #8
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We Monton Sports would like to give our contribution of some free cycling socks if you like
https://www.montonsports.com/cycling...ing-socks.html
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Old 07-10-16, 05:03 PM   #9
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Charity events: you need to speak with a tax person. The IRS has its hand in this. Your event can be a fund raiser but it has to be sponsored by an organization that is like a "tax exempt organization". That's IRS language.
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Old 07-14-16, 02:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
Charity events: you need to speak with a tax person. The IRS has its hand in this. Your event can be a fund raiser but it has to be sponsored by an organization that is like a "tax exempt organization". That's IRS language.
Sound advice, thanks.

The charity we're doing this for has tax exempt status, and we'll make sure the legal and tax considerations are covered under their umbrella.
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Old 07-14-16, 02:51 PM   #11
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Phoebe,

Quote:
Originally Posted by phebe monton View Post
We Monton Sports would like to give our contribution of some free cycling socks if you like
https://www.montonsports.com/cycling...ing-socks.html
That is a very generous offer - many thanks! I'll PM you to discuss details.

Thanks again.
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Old 07-18-16, 07:12 AM   #12
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Despite the roads being open, you many very well need permits from every township you pass through.
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Old 07-20-16, 10:00 AM   #13
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Thanks - we're only going through 1 town, so it should not be too much of a challenge.
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Old 10-30-16, 11:30 AM   #14
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DG,

I sit on the Steering Committees of three bike rides in the Houston area. The rides I volunteer for are cross country type rides between 30 and 100 miles, so we have issues like Rest Stops, etc. you don't have to deal with. Still, organizing these things involve 1,001 details.

Don't try to organize it all yourself. Form a steering committee and divide the ride onto areas of responsibility. Registration, Volunteers, Safety, Routing, Logistics, Communications, Start/Finish managment, etc. If you have never done this sort of thing, you would do well to form your steering committee from people who have experience doing this.

Regards,
Jeff

Last edited by Tanstaafl; 11-09-16 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 04-06-17, 12:57 AM   #15
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I first started this thread in June, and received a lot of sage advice - as seen in the posts above.

This thing has taken off!

I've created a pretty comprehensive web site : HOME - Maryland Endurance Challenge

We also have a Facebook page : http://www.facebook.com/MarylandEnduranceChallenge

The ride will be in the format of a 12-hour challenge, with 6-hour and 3-hour options. It is affiliated with the UMCA and forms part of the annual "ultracup", and is the only ultracup race in the north east. But - it's not just a race. It's also a fun ride, for casual and hobby cyclists who just want a day out on the roads. If you're familiar with the (now defunct) Calvin's Challenge in Ohio - you'll find our ride to be very similar.

We've arranged (and paid) for timing chips, and we've established a registration and fund-raising site, we've arranged for 2 rest stops (one at the base, in a university campus, and one out on the road), SAG, port-a-johns, bike repairs, T-shirts, and a professional photographer, and more.

All permits are in place, and we have a ton of volunteers.

About 45 people have paid and registered so far including some of ultracycling's "luminaries" - a RAAM team, several riders who regularly place in ultracycling events, etc. We're hoping for 200 registrants.

The one thing I'd thought would be easier is raising corporate (financial) sponsorship. We've learned some lessons and I'm confident that will come next year - though I'm still really-really hoping to pull together a few thousand.

Last edited by DGlenday; 04-06-17 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 04-12-17, 07:13 AM   #16
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Very cool, congrats! Yes, corporate sponsorship are difficult. There can be many hoops to jump through on their side.

Good luck with the event!
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Old 09-07-17, 09:13 PM   #17
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sounds awesome!!
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