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Charity rides and minimum fundraising requirements

Old 06-19-19, 08:46 AM
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jadocs
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Charity rides and minimum fundraising requirements

I see a lot of charity rides in my area and think it's great to help a cause. I've ridden in a few myself. What has been bothering me is the minimum amount that has to be raised by an individual in order to ride in the event. It's almost like charities are saying "thanks for helping us, but you have to help us *this* much" by raising an established minimum amount. I understand events and support cost money. Why doesn't the initial fee include support costs? If the entry fee does include the costs for support, then it seems greedy to me to have a minimum requirement to raise. If initial entry fees do not include support costs, then what is that cost for? The privilege to raise money for a charity? ....that's even worse. It just puts a bad taste in my mouth.

If I'm missing something, let me know.
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Old 06-19-19, 09:56 AM
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Most rides have a set limit amount of participates it can support, and if it is a particularly popular event then they want to make sure they maximize the amount the event will receive by setting that as a barrier to entry. Not so much about making sure they cover the cost of support they do that with the event fee. They want to raise money and as such reach out to all the participates to crowd-source the fund raising. You can not have an infinite number of participants and some events get set to rather low numbers under 2000 due to local constraints set by outside forces (local police, regulations, venue size, etc).
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Old 06-19-19, 08:10 PM
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I have to hand it to the person who came up with idea to outsource their fundraising. I don't know what determines the minimum amount but I see it go up each year for the popular rides around Texas. I thought the fundraising portion went to the charity while the entry fee offset the cost of the event but I don't know. I did one of the rides in 1987 and 1988. The ride lasted two days and I enjoyed them (even though I rode in the rain and had a 30 mph headwind the next year) but it took me 6 months to collect the money from the people who pledged so I stopped doing them. Now I just write a check and mail it to them when I want to support the cause.
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Old 06-19-19, 08:29 PM
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Yeah, it still doesnít sit right with me. Itís like who do they think they are. We are trying to help them. I have no problem with covering support costs to ride, but donít tell me I have to raise a minimum amount. It smacks of lack of appreciation.
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Old 06-23-19, 09:34 PM
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The registration fee goes to fund the ride, The fundraising funds the charity. I do my local BikeMS each year. It really is not hard to reach the minimum, its a reasonable amount. And the minimum ensures a certain amount of income they can expect to operate the charity. I find nothing wrong with it at all. No one is going to tell you that you cant self fund the ride IE pay the registration plus minimum out of your own pocket.
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Old 06-26-19, 12:47 AM
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The thing is good ride for the charity, It's good think to help poor people for collecting fund from rides. I really appreciate for that. Also, I follow your thread for the same.
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Old 06-26-19, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Noahma View Post
The registration fee goes to fund the ride, The fundraising funds the charity. I do my local BikeMS each year. It really is not hard to reach the minimum, its a reasonable amount. And the minimum ensures a certain amount of income they can expect to operate the charity. I find nothing wrong with it at all. No one is going to tell you that you cant self fund the ride IE pay the registration plus minimum out of your own pocket.
Not arguing with that. I have a problem with the minimum amount regardless of how easy it is to bombard your friends on social media and ask for donations <--- That in itself is invasive especially when one does multiple charity rides.

Last ride I supported had a $20 fee and a $300 minimum for the privilege of helping this charity and to ride. That's ridiculous. Charities should ensure costs of support are covered in the entry fee and be grateful for what they receive in money raised. Setting minimum amounts is like looking at a gift horse in the mouth.
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Old 06-26-19, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Last ride I supported had a $20 fee and a $300 minimum for the privilege of helping this charity and to ride. That's ridiculous. Charities should ensure costs of support are covered in the entry fee and be grateful for what they receive in money raised. Setting minimum amounts is like looking at a gift horse in the mouth.
Actually, many charity rides or at least the charities they benefit will let you fundraise for them, with no minimum. They just won't let someone participating in that capacity ride. Often they call it a "virtual rider" or something, and even if they don't there would be ways to fundraise for the charity beyond their bike ride.

Two people have already explained some of the key reasons:
Originally Posted by Noahma
No one is going to tell you that you cant self fund the ride IE pay the registration plus minimum out of your own pocket

People actually do this - they just want to do a ride that sounds interesting, and for that category, it becomes the "enhanced entry fee" for those who mostly care about the ride but are willing to give to the charity out of pocket. (Though I've thought about it I've never done so as the century-scale routes that look "interesting" don't allow the unusually long time on course I'd need to finish as typically anyone riding that far is riding faster than I do)

Originally Posted by hgak
Most rides have a set limit amount of participates it can support, and if it is a particularly popular event then they want to make sure they maximize the amount the event will receive by setting that as a barrier to entry. Not so much about making sure they cover the cost of support they do that with the event fee. They want to raise money and as such reach out to all the participates to crowd-source the fund raising.

This is a good point too. Think of the entry fee as the logistical cost, but the fundraising minimum as the opportunity cost of letting one rider, vs. some other who might raise more (or might never register) take an entry spot.

Ultimately you have a range of options:
  • If you are deeply motivated by the cause and excited to ride you can enthusiastically fundraise and enjoy the ride
  • If you care about the cause but object to the minimum, you can fundraise with no minimum and not ride
  • If you mostly are interested in doing the ride you can buy your way in by paying the minimum
  • If you mostly care about riding your bike you can go ride it somewhere/sometime else on your own terms.

Last edited by UniChris; 06-26-19 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 06-26-19, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Not arguing with that. I have a problem with the minimum amount regardless of how easy it is to bombard your friends on social media and ask for donations <--- That in itself is invasive especially when one does multiple charity rides.

Last ride I supported had a $20 fee and a $300 minimum for the privilege of helping this charity and to ride. That's ridiculous. Charities should ensure costs of support are covered in the entry fee and be grateful for what they receive in money raised. Setting minimum amounts is like looking at a gift horse in the mouth.
your not helping the charity if you only pay the 20.00 fee to ride, all your doing is paying the amount needed for them to recoup the costs associated with holding a ride event.

I don't think your understanding what I am saying. Lets take your example. In order for you to ride, It will cost $320.00 That fee covers the cost to fund the ride, and the minimum, and the 300 is the minimum they require to be able to fund their organization. So, if they did not have the fundraising component for the 300, no matter what, you would pay $320.00, that is what it would cost you to ride. They are not putting on the ride for the sole purpose of having a ride, they are using it as a mechanism to fund the charity, so if they did not have the fund raising each rider would still be required to pay 320.00.

BikeMS has a 65.00 registration fee, and a 400.0 min. fundraising fee. If they did not have the fundraising fee, and just wanted to do a ride AND meet their financial obligations to keep the foundation open, they would charge a flat 465.00 fee. The fundraising component allows them to be able to have the potential to bring in funding above the minimum they require to stay open, thus providing more support for those helped by the foundation. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

There is nothing saying that you MUST fundraise, just pay the fee and minimum out of your pocket and be done with it.
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Old 06-29-19, 04:36 AM
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I was on a ride a couple of years ago and someone came running out of their house. "Are you on a charity ride?" Another rider said, "Yes, MS." The person asked how they could donate, "go to the website." We were not on a charity ride. I have tried doing this since then, but I don't think the person gave any money.

This happens often enough that I should pick a charity and have some handouts about how to donate.
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Old 07-01-19, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Yeah, it still doesnít sit right with me. Itís like who do they think they are. We are trying to help them. I have no problem with covering support costs to ride, but donít tell me I have to raise a minimum amount. It smacks of lack of appreciation.
You can simply not participate if you don't like the terms. Sounds you want to participate but don't want to fundraise. Wouldn't be much of a fundraiser if people were not required to, you know, raise funds above costs. What benefit would you be bestowing on the organization by only allowing it to break even?

And having once helped pull off the second largest MS 150 in the country (the City to Shore) for numerous years, I can tell you that the registration fee for many (if not most) events does not cover the costs associated with a rider's participation.
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Old 07-01-19, 04:38 PM
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I am going to chime in here with a personal experience with the folks at MS.

We had a good MS ride in my home town. Supported very well by the local shops for the stops and such. I was involved as a volunteer in the planning and getting it set up. It had been run for years. Cost was I think 35$ to ride and I believe it was $150 minimum.

Anyways two years ago they decided to cancel the ride. I wrote letters and called the MS office. They said it wasn't "profitable" their words anymore to have the event. We had a couple hundred people ride. Yearly fundraising numbers were about 40-45K a year give or take. I was told by the MS president that if it doesn't raise 65K its not worth their time and if I wanted to continue the ride we could do it alone without their help.

So if the entry fee pays for the event the rest of the money is for the charity, why were we cancelled. Because we were not profitable enough? They are getting greedy IMO! Our entry fee's covered out events and then some!

I did pay my own way 100% for the event because I didn't want to fundraise the money. We always enjoyed the ride and such, but now I am turned off by the pay to ride for charity events as well. I have done others still because I believe in some causes but I still think some of the event owners are forgetting what's its about. Charity events are important I believe still but sometimes they need to remember the FREE money raised from good people keep them going.....

So another one I do participate in purple ride stride. The one I attend in Minneapolis has an entry fee no issues with that. A recommended fund raising goal that I just pay. It too is a great ride with good support BUT they don't stop anyone from participating in the run/walk/ride if they don't hit a certain number. They still make lots of money for the cause and have great successes. They are very much about the people at the event, more so about chasing the $$$ or so it appears.


I will get off my soapbox now.....sorry
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Old 07-01-19, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Sounds you want to participate but don't want to fundraise. Wouldn't be much of a fundraiser if people were not required to, you know, raise funds above costs. What benefit would you be bestowing on the organization by only allowing it to break even?
Nope not what Iím saying at all.

Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
And having once helped pull off the second largest MS 150 in the country (the City to Shore) for numerous years, I can tell you that the registration fee for many (if not most) events does not cover the costs associated with a rider's participation.
Thats my point. If it doesnít it should.
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Old 07-01-19, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
I am going to chime in here with a personal experience with the folks at MS.

We had a good MS ride in my home town. Supported very well by the local shops for the stops and such. I was involved as a volunteer in the planning and getting it set up. It had been run for years. Cost was I think 35$ to ride and I believe it was $150 minimum.

Anyways two years ago they decided to cancel the ride. I wrote letters and called the MS office. They said it wasn't "profitable" their words anymore to have the event. We had a couple hundred people ride. Yearly fundraising numbers were about 40-45K a year give or take. I was told by the MS president that if it doesn't raise 65K its not worth their time and if I wanted to continue the ride we could do it alone without their help.

So if the entry fee pays for the event the rest of the money is for the charity, why were we cancelled. Because we were not profitable enough? They are getting greedy IMO! Our entry fee's covered out events and then some!

I did pay my own way 100% for the event because I didn't want to fundraise the money. We always enjoyed the ride and such, but now I am turned off by the pay to ride for charity events as well. I have done others still because I believe in some causes but I still think some of the event owners are forgetting what's its about. Charity events are important I believe still but sometimes they need to remember the FREE money raised from good people keep them going.....
Exactly my point.
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Old 07-01-19, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Thats my point. If it doesn’t it should.
From a cyclists perspective, sure. From a charity's perspective... nope.

They'll allow you to self fund, but what they really want is someone with the time and energy to go recruit donations, and keeping the literal entry fee barrier to entry low helps that opportunity stay inclusive of those who may have that the knack and a great network, but few personal funds. It's not really like someone's going to be comfortable asking for five bucks towards their basic entry fee on top of the donation... If you self fund it all looks like one pot of money, but doing it the "right" way there's a strict line (at least in one direction) between the cyclist's own contribution, and the funds they've raised from others.
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Old 07-02-19, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Nope not what Iím saying at all.



Thats my point. If it doesnít it should.
Maybe someone will someday figure out what you are saying.

You don't know the first thing about how fundraising rides work. Events don't want people who only want to cover costs because the goal is to, you know, raise money above and beyond costs. Not sure why you cannot understand that, but if that offends you than simply don't participate.
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Old 07-02-19, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
I
So if the entry fee pays for the event the rest of the money is for the charity, why were we cancelled. Because we were not profitable enough?
It almost certainly did not pay for the event. We used to have two two-day MS rides in the Philly area. One eventually go cancelled because of declining participation. The effort to put on one of the rides is HUGE. Transportation. Lodging for riders and volunteers. Food. (When there were far fewer charity rides it was easy to get a lot of free stuff from companies. Not any more.) Signage. All the administrative work, including coordination with multiple municipalities. Many people work full time on events for months. The organizations cannot continue events that don't have a decent return on investment. It's a waste of resources to do so. Not-for-profits cannot waste resources lest they be criticized. Imagine trying to explain spending $100,000 to put on an event that only takes in $110,000 when that event required 20 employees to work full time for 5 months on it. THAT is why there is a minimum fundraising amount. Also lost on the OP is that MOST PEOPLE would not participate if they were forces to fork over the costs themselves. The OP would, but MOST PEOPLE would not. The notion has been looked at and rejected.

Sorry you lost your ride, but you have to understand the "behind the scenes" issues. It's not about greed.
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Old 07-02-19, 06:22 AM
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I'm opposed to anything the encourages people to raise funds for charity at work. I get enough random solicitations by telephone, I shouldn't have to deal with it from real people while at work. It creates an unreasonable social pressure for me to donate money to causes someone else selects. I prefer to make such choices myself.
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Old 07-02-19, 06:32 AM
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I generally donít like to pay to ride on streets where I ride for free. I am self-supporting in all my rides, even the long ones so I donít need their swag. Plus I already have a closet full of charity ride jerseys.

If it is a group that I support, such as the American Diabetes Assoc., then I donít mind a reasonable fund raising minimum. I know the money is going for a good cause.

I thought that part of the reason for having charity rides was to raise awareness for their cause, not just to raise funds from the ride itself.

The problem now is, as someone has already mentioned, that these fund raising ďgoalsĒ keep going up and up. I fear that good fund raiser causes may be pricing themselves out of existence with these steep requirements.

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Old 07-02-19, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
It almost certainly did not pay for the event. We used to have two two-day MS rides in the Philly area. One eventually go cancelled because of declining participation. The effort to put on one of the rides is HUGE. Transportation. Lodging for riders and volunteers. Food. (When there were far fewer charity rides it was easy to get a lot of free stuff from companies. Not any more.) Signage. All the administrative work, including coordination with multiple municipalities. Many people work full time on events for months. The organizations cannot continue events that don't have a decent return on investment. It's a waste of resources to do so. Not-for-profits cannot waste resources lest they be criticized. Imagine trying to explain spending $100,000 to put on an event that only takes in $110,000 when that event required 20 employees to work full time for 5 months on it. THAT is why there is a minimum fundraising amount. Also lost on the OP is that MOST PEOPLE would not participate if they were forces to fork over the costs themselves. The OP would, but MOST PEOPLE would not. The notion has been looked at and rejected.

Sorry you lost your ride, but you have to understand the "behind the scenes" issues. It's not about greed.

In that large of a scale I get that it can be very costly! I have no doubts, but ours was not near that size. I was part of the planning and our costs were seriously low to plan the event. I can guarantee you we made money on the entry fee's. But our ride was also a one day event and we had tons of local support that didn't cost MS anything.

We were just bummed we lost ours of course. BUT yes the multi day events and large scale versions I am sure are insanely costly and a giant nightmare to plan and pull off.

bottom line in our case was we didn't raise enough, we were told that straight from the MS office. If fundraising wasn't 65K or more we were out. I understand that its a way to make money for them and that is critical but to put a straight profit number on it? No longer a charity fun ride and simply put its a money thing....

I have a very close friend with MS, hate it, she struggles every day and it breaks my heart! I have a very personal interest in getting MS resolved or getting closer to it.
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Old 07-02-19, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
I thought that part of the reason for having charity rides was to raise awareness for their cause, not just to raise funds from the ride itself.

The problem now is, as someone has already mentioned, that these fund raising ďgoalsĒ keep going up and up. I fear that good fund raiser causes may be pricing themselves out of existence with these steep requirements.
BINGO! I understand they NEED to make money on these events but if they make 40K in a one day event I call that significant! They called it not enough.

I too believe that these types of events will be shrinking too. That is truly sad too.
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Old 07-02-19, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
But our ride was also a one day event and we had tons of local support that didn't cost MS anything.
The chapter still has costs it needs to cover. Office space. Utilities. Salaries. Insurance. (Big one.) Postage. It may also have been paying for policing. Permits? There are a lot of hidden costs involved with even relatively small events. (My local club moved the start of its century outside the city because of hidden costs like having to pay for a city electrician to be on location since an electric coffee pot was plugged into an outlet at city-owned building.)

You sure things like signage and rider numbers were donated? What about T-shirts and other incentives?

In any event, it's about the efficient use of resources and generating an acceptable ROI, if you will, and bike fundraisers are on the more costly end of the spectrum compared to things like walks.

My old friend who used to run the City to Shore back when there were maybe fewer than 2,000 riders raising a combined $2 million once joked that if the chapter had its way, the event would consists of one person raising that amount. That brings me back to my point about events like that not wanting people like the OP, who simply want to cover costs. No different than a restaurant not wanting a diner who only wants to pay the establishment's cost of supplying a meal. The events are expressly designed to be "profitable." If there is not sufficient profit to justify the effort, the organization, unlike a private business, which can operate at a loss if it so chooses, has an obligation to devote its resources to more profitable ventures.
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Old 07-02-19, 08:46 AM
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I agree, and while I've done a couple of charity rides I don't like fundraising and have no inclination to do these rides. I can go out and ride the route if I want to. I can donate to the charity if I want. I don't need to mix them and don't like the gimmick.
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Old 07-02-19, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
The chapter still has costs it needs to cover. Office space. Utilities. Salaries. Insurance. (Big one.) Postage. It may also have been paying for policing. Permits? There are a lot of hidden costs involved with even relatively small events. (My local club moved the start of its century outside the city because of hidden costs like having to pay for a city electrician to be on location since an electric coffee pot was plugged into an outlet at city-owned building.)

You sure things like signage and rider numbers were donated? What about T-shirts and other incentives?

In any event, it's about the efficient use of resources and generating an acceptable ROI, if you will, and bike fundraisers are on the more costly end of the spectrum compared to things like walks.

My old friend who used to run the City to Shore back when there were maybe fewer than 2,000 riders raising a combined $2 million once joked that if the chapter had its way, the event would consists of one person raising that amount. That brings me back to my point about events like that not wanting people like the OP, who simply want to cover costs. No different than a restaurant not wanting a diner who only wants to pay the establishment's cost of supplying a meal. The events are expressly designed to be "profitable." If there is not sufficient profit to justify the effort, the organization, unlike a private business, which can operate at a loss if it so chooses, has an obligation to devote its resources to more profitable ventures.
I just called the lady I worked with who was at that time an MS employee. She was in charge of the Walk/bike events when we still had them.

anyways not to get too off topic here, she gave me the general breakdown.

The last year there was about 4600$ for entrance fees...
We had a pre-party and packet pick up that were packed by volunteers. The packets costed MS 12.00$ish a bag. We did have a taco bar a local place that was 1500 for that.

Day of ride we used a MUP and public roads. The start and finish line was public parking lot adjacent to a park, city waved permit fee's for fundraiser events, still does to this day.

Ride stops were all done by our LBS, 5 stops, 3 bike shops, one running club and one hospital ran our stops. They provided everything at the stops, water, snacks, and small bike repair set ups. Actually our hospital provided almost all the beverages/food at the stops. Repair set up at every stop were put up by the bike shops too. Sag wagon was done by one of our local racing clubs. MS paid for their gas but they did the rest.

finish line event they got the usual MS bling stuff....We didn't provide foods we had our local food trucks show up and gave the riders good prices. I am sure they still did well even at a discount. One finish line bonus was a free beer. A local dist. owners wife has MS so he would give everyone a the finish line a free beer. That was pretty fun actually. Was all free to MS.

Advertising was 90% taken care of by the local media, we didn't purchase any banners/signs locally. We got some large banner and inflatables from the MS HQ. We didn't pay for any electricity, the city also let us use that for free. Again fundraising events such as these were very welcome by the city. they just hooked up a couple of breakers to a light pole and we had power. Everything was outside. I don't remember the tents, I am sure those had to be rented. I didn't ask about those. Probably another 1,000 for tents?

We were a small event in the grand scheme of things. Only one person was paid, the MS employee the rest of us were volunteers.
We seriously did this event for under 7K, this is not including the MS employees pay, she was getting that always because she was running all the events. I know that factors in but we costed 5K or their about, the last year we raised after entrance fees $44,190.
They said that wasn't enough to keep it going. They cleared 40-42K easy.....See why we call this BS! Again we were not an event with thousands of people with much logistical issues with permits/fees/city approvals but you get my point.

In the end its a business decision whether I like it or not. I have a personal passion for the terrible MS to ease the pain with those who have it. So cancelling our local ride didn't sit well with me.

---carry on---
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Old 07-07-19, 08:07 PM
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shelbyfv
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I've always self funded charity rides, just my nature. If the minimum is too much for me to swallow, I don't do the ride. It's not for me to say how much is "right" and more than that is "greedy." Probably each event has staff that figures what they need from each rider to make it worth their time. I might disagree with their assessment but it's not my ride. Lots of stuff to get riled about, interesting to hear what does it for others.
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