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Charity and Fund Ride Costs

Old 03-18-18, 02:06 PM
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ad18
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Charity and Fund Ride Costs

I really want to ride some charity events and special rides to raise money for special causes this summer. There are multiple events that really appeal to me but quite a few do not list entry fees on web home pages. Appears to be hidden on the other side of the registration forms. You get in there and see you can't afford the ride fee or there are additional requirements of minimum pledges. Some I will enter, others I won't because frankly I can't afford them. Or is it to get your email registered and then bombard you with email requests for donations? I understand and accept what these worthy causes are trying to do, but wish they would be more up front and simplify their entry requirements. Am I being unreasonable?
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Old 03-18-18, 02:17 PM
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I've never seen one that didn't reveal the fee or fund raising minimum prior to the final commitment button. Also, there is normally an "unsubscribe" feature to avoid the barrage of emails.
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Old 03-18-18, 02:27 PM
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Just take the link and register. If you don't see how much they want before they ask for your payment, then don't give out your payment info.

One of the events I ride in doesn't give much info at all. For it, you do have to click the "register" link before you find out anything about route, entry fee or such.
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Old 03-18-18, 02:51 PM
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Another consideration - some charity events are done entirely or nearly so by volunteers to keep costs down and the maximum money going to the cause. Good, professional websites may require personnel, experience or money they do not have or want to spend.

I know of one ride that was done entirely by volunteers at real expense in effort and time. A group started by the ex-ceo of that non-profit took over the organizing. The ride got better. The organizers started doing other rides and taking over some other existing rides, getting bigger and bigger over the years. Even though that first ride kept getting bigger the returns to the non-profit that started it kept getting smaller. Eventually the organizers decided to not support the non-profit and help other bigger name charities instead. (As one who had volunteered at the non-profit, I stopped riding that ride.)

There was a happy ending. I saw that the oraganizer's name had changed and that the ride was billed once more as benefiting the nonprofit. I signed up. Before it started the organizer came up to me, beaming, and said he had purchased the old company and now it was back to doing his passion all along, supporting that non-profit.

Ben
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Old 03-18-18, 03:53 PM
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I just found it frustrating that you had to dig around and/or register to see what entry fees were. As well, when you start the register process, see that entry fee was $100 and you were expected to raise $1000+ in donations as well, I got sticker shock and bailed out. I must state I also struggle with asking people for donations. I did like some sites who also gave you choices on type of entries. Some were flat rate for the day, some had flat rate plus donor pledges got you a special jersey or tee shirt, some if you got some much in pledges you rode for free. But see the # of riders from previous years obviously I am in the minority of how to get involved. I'll revisit some of them and see if what and how I can do it. At the end of the day they are all for great causes.
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Old 03-18-18, 04:08 PM
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I've been doing these rides and runs for years now, the expense for putting one on is high, consider police for road closures you have to provide porta potties even water stations, food for post ride,, trophies,that adds up,,, and if it weren't for the volunteers you simply couldn't hold an event,,,,, but I still haven't seen one event advertising without the I initial cost for entering,,,,, and they're getting costlier to be able to do let's say two a month,,,,,
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Old 03-18-18, 06:11 PM
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If a charity wants to organize a ride as a fund-raiser, I view it as a commercial offering. It has to be at a competitive price for what they're offering. If they get greedy and want to make a $1000 profit for $15 of effort, I'm going to decline that ride regardless of whether or not I feel the charity is worthy. If it really is worthy, I'll donate directly.
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Old 03-18-18, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ad18 View Post
..............when you start the register process, see that entry fee was $100 and you were expected to raise $1000+ in donations as well, I got sticker shock and bailed out. I must state I also struggle with asking people for donations.................
I'm thinking you must have been looking at the BikeMS event in your area or something similar. A very worthy cause, but I agree, the info on the website does more to scare you away than it does to get on-board with their program.

I've looked at it for a couple years in a row but never got past just looking. I did note that the site for my state did let you find out who is registered and contacts for the individual teams. So I might call some of the team leaders and find out what they do and what they expect of team members.
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Old 03-19-18, 07:54 AM
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Depends on the ride. Many charity type events have rides in multiple locations, with varying costs and pledge requirements (if any) depending on the locale. It is much easier to simply list those event prices on the registration page.

As to the rest, I've never seen an event where pricing was "hidden". Yes, I may have to go to the event registration page, but it really isn't that much more difficult to click the link than dig around a website.
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Old 03-19-18, 08:55 AM
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If you really want to help the charity, donate to them directly. Don't do it as part of a registration for an event.

The event costs money and it usually uses up a good portion of the registration fee on the event itself so very little goes to the actual cause it's supposed to be raising money for. That why many switched to 'raising awareness' rather than raising money because it avoids legal problems later.

Not all charities are like this. But some MAJOR ones are known to have bike rides, walks, 5k runs, etc that bring in A LOT of money, that nearly all goes towards funding the event itself and not the charity.

Any charity worth donating your time and money to will be able to QUICKLY AND EASILY show you exactly what the cost per registration fee is, how much of that goes towards the event itself and how much goes towards the charity it's supposed to be raising money for. Any respectable charity will be more than happy to provide that information. (And it better be accurate or there is major jail time someone is risking)

Any charity that doesn't make that information readily available shouldn't be trusted. Any individual small charity might not be a scam, but because many are they ruin it for everyone so demand proof of where the money goes.

The Wounder Warrior Project is a prime example of this sort of thing. Sounded like a great cause. But something like 95% of all it's income went towards generating more income, not towards actually doing anything to help anyone. They got hit HARD by the feds over it. I think they are more legit now, but the point is to not just assume a charity is on the level. There are non profits that do this kind of research for you and can give reports cars on what the charity actually does with it's money and how much goes towards the cause it promotes. Those groups go through tax filings of the charities and all that sort of research to give you a reliable answer on if you can trust the group you're dealing with.

MOST charitable groups are on the level. But because of SOME who are shady it's worth checking up on ALL that you want to donate to.

Then you have the honest trustworthy groups who look dishonest because they just don't know how to communicate what they do. I work with a lot of charitable groups to provide benefits for their employees. Some are totally legit honest people who want to do good work in the world but are just clueless on how to promote it. (Do gooder minds aren't always the best marketing minds)

So you have an honest reputable charity who's doing honest work with their donations, but they have no idea how to promote what they do so their website looks amaturish and shady as a result. They just don't think of things like "How do we make the guy viewing our website interested in donating?" They think more like "We hope people will just give us money so we can do good work". We do a lot of free consulting to our clients on that too, where we take our business and marketing skills and help them promote their charities in a way that resonates with their target demographic.

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Old 03-19-18, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by ad18 View Post
There are multiple events that really appeal to me but quite a few do not list entry fees on web home pages. Appears to be hidden on the other side of the registration forms. You get in there and see you can't afford the ride fee or there are additional requirements of minimum pledges.
Having done countless charity rides in my life, I have to agree with Post No. 3. Also, if you are looking on the web page, how can the fees be listed on the "other side of the registration forms"? Does that mean you have to look at the back of your computer to see the fees.?


How about providing a link as an example?
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Old 03-19-18, 09:17 AM
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In defense of some of the high profile examples of charities that wind up putting 95% of their donations toward expenses such as advertising, events and administration. I'd like to put forth that the 5% they do wind up giving to the cause is way more than the cause will have gotten without their efforts to make people aware of the need.

I wouldn't just nix the event and simply donate. The registration fees are what funds the event, not gain a donation. The donations are ask for separately. Poor participation in the event might cause them not to meet the fixed costs of the event and then they have to use some of the donation money for the event.

Advertising, which is one of the functions of the event, is a nasty catch 22. It takes money to get money. Some charitable causes take more effort (money) to get their message to the fewer people willing to donate to that cause.
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Old 03-19-18, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Fastfingaz View Post
I've been doing these rides and runs for years now, the expense for putting one on is high, consider police for road closures you have to provide porta potties even water stations, food for post ride,, trophies,that adds up,,, and if it weren't for the volunteers you simply couldn't hold an event,,,,, but I still haven't seen one event advertising without the I initial cost for entering,,,,, and they're getting costlier to be able to do let's say two a month,,,,,
+1. As someone who was once heavily involved as a volunteer for putting on a large cycling fundraiser for the MS Society, I can also say that back in the day, there were far fewer events. As such, it was easier to get corporate/business donations for things like food, water and Gator-Ade. As the number of events began to multiply, there was the same pie but smaller slices for everyone, which means ride organizers had to start ponying up money for things they used to get for free. Size also affected that. It's one thing for a business to donate sandwiches for 1,500 people. It's another when the ride grows to 7,000+ people like the MS ride I used to volunteer for has.


A final factor is the negative public perception that ensues from the revelation that too much of the donations are going towards staging the event. Higher registration fees mean more donated money can go towards providing the services the organization does.
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Old 03-19-18, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
A final factor is the negative public perception that ensues from the revelation that too much of the donations are going towards staging the event. Higher registration fees mean more donated money can go towards providing the services the organization does.
That is why many are going to an event fee + required donation model. The event fee is strictly for costs associated with the event, while 100% of the donation goes to the cause the ride is supporting.

Unfortunately for those of us who aren't sales people, that means something like a $200 minimum donation is coming out of our own pocket, and pushing the ride past the affordability level.
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Old 03-19-18, 09:48 AM
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I'm not really comfortable pointing out actual rides that use the registration first method. That is the way they wish to do it and I respect that. I just think it would be more rider friendly to just put the actual price on the home page or put a direct link to pricing instead of having to start the overall event registration to see it. Maybe it is a marketing ploy that if you start the process you will continue to the end regardless of the price. Or, you are on the web page to register regardless because you are going to participate regardless. I'm cool with either reason and understand. However, to simplify it for me, and possibly others, that want to participate in other events on a limited budget, just make it easier for me to make that choice and see costs easily. My wife and I make donations to various causes such as Canadian Cancer Society, Heart and Stroke, and Toronto Sick Kids hospital in small increments throughout the year. So if I can do a special ride to raise a few more dollars for a specific charity and have some fun doing it we both win. Would just like to see some things simplified a bit I guess.
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Old 03-19-18, 10:01 AM
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I've been doing charity rides for nearly 20 years now, and they were usually in the $25-50 range for registration. It's rare now that the lower limit is $60 or so and sky's the limit for the upper end. I used to do 10 to 15 rides a year, and my tax deduction was $800 - 1000 for them all. Now I might do 1 or 2 a year. I just did my 18th Solvang Century ride, where I hate the road quality up there, but that was one of my first rides back in 2000 and, even with rising intro costs I try to keep my string going. I know organization and permits, insurance, and other things keep rising. I've also so seen the number of riders declining event by event over the years. One has to wonder just how much of the registration costs actually benefits the charity. Another factor is travel costs. Hotel rates have gone crazy and make the registration cost a less significant part of the weekend cash outlay. My Solvang room rates used to be $89 or so, a night, now it's around $400+ for the weekend. I guess that's "life in the fast lane".

As an aside, I do volunteer SAG support on two local charity rides, and enjoy the experience, and the camaraderie among riders and volunteers alike, I just worry that the pricing and numbers of these rides are scaring riders away or pricing them out of the event.

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Old 03-19-18, 10:04 AM
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If you hate getting the endless requests for donations, establish an email box just for that purpose. There are a number of free sites you can use. I use that inbox for all of the potential junk mail senders. When I get one that is particularly onerous I just label it spam and it never again shows up in the regular inbox and gets automatically deleted after 30 days. A candy company that I used just once for a gift must send offers several times a week. When I got charged sales tax on the expensive purchase when my own state does not collect sales tax on edible food including candy I knew it was the last time I ever used them for gifts.
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Old 03-19-18, 10:42 AM
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https://www.charitynavigator.org/ind...h.cnadvisories
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Old 03-19-18, 10:46 AM
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I do about 8 charity rides a year. In fact I have another one coming up this Saturday. I've never been to a web site that has not shown the registration cost and/or required commitment. National rides, like the MS 150, Tour de Cure and Honor Rides all tell you what the registration fees are. The fees are much cheaper when they first announce the ride and go higher as the ride nears. The most I have done for a commitment is for the MS 150 rides and that's only $250.00. The only one I've seen with a high registration fee and a commitment that's up in the $1,000 range is the Ride to Recovery but that is a 4 to 5 day ride.
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Old 03-19-18, 11:02 AM
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I too do a few charity rides. MS was my favorite. My team of 10 or so would raise about 4K. We did ok for a bunch of hick boys.

Until this year they cancelled the ride. I and my fellow riders reached out to get it reinstated. No luck reached out to national and nothing. Got a response from the prez and it said we didn’t raise enough money to continue the event. We usually raised about 50k for one weekend. It was costing about 10k according to them to put on the event. So the 40k we made clear for them wasn’t enough? We were pretty put off about it. Also got word they are going to do the same with the MS walk if they don’t make 65k this year. That is 10k more than the goal. So yeah MS is my crap list right now.

One other that does great is purple ride stride for pancreatic cancer. Costs to register is 35$ but no fundraising mins. They do an awesome job and always crush the goal at the one I attend. A well done event.

You need to check your orginizations to make sure they are worthy of your time and effort!
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Old 03-19-18, 11:41 AM
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Y'all ought to try the Tour De Lequer,,,, no entry fee,,,, but you got to have stamina,
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Old 03-19-18, 12:53 PM
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And----------------------as with all charities you should check out what percentage of the money raised actually goes to whom ever the charity is raising money for. Unfortunately some very well known charities only end up giving 10% or less to the people that is supposed to get it.
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Old 03-19-18, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
In defense of some of the high profile examples of charities that wind up putting 95% of their donations toward expenses such as advertising, events and administration. I'd like to put forth that the 5% they do wind up giving to the cause is way more than the cause will have gotten without their efforts to make people aware of the need.
I wholeheartedly disagree. "The cause" (whatever it might be..vets, starving kids, flu shots for the homeless, etc....) isn't only funded by a single charity in most cases. So it's not like the 5% that the shady charity gives is better than nothing. The 95% that the shady charity wastes might have been donated to another more reputable charity that supports the same cause. So "the cause" could have gotten the 95% with 5% for operating expenses instead of 5%. And the 95% that could have gone to the cause ended up going to fund a charity executive's pockets.

The Wounder Warrior Project example is one example. They were taking in hundreds of millions of dollars a year and were basically only funding a lavish lifestyle for the charity board members. Rank and file employees of the charity were being sent on mandatory "company retreats" to Hawaii and stuff where the parties were BEYOND extravagant and were costing multiple millions of dollars to put on multiple times a year.

All of the lavishness was used to generate more donations by making the charity a household name, which they did very well. But the board members were being paid a percentage of the overall donations. So their focus was on increasing donations, not using the money towards the stated cause.

I think in one year they took in $360 million and spent $26 million on actual charitable deeds.

That's not okay. That's not "$26 million that wouldn't have gone to the veterans otherwise".

That's $360 million might have been donated to any number of reputable veterans' charities who would have put $350 million of it towards the charity and not towards 'operating costs'.

So the shady charity took $360 million from good people who wanted to donate to a cause and used $324 million to have parties. But the same donors were more than happy to donate that same $360 million to the same cause, and had they done so through a different charity the cause would have gotten over $300 million instead of $26 million.
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Old 03-19-18, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
If I could I would start a charity ride without fees...just donate if you are financial able, however much you can...if you can't, it's okay too, just ride. Those who contribute above a certain amount get VIP treatment at rest stops. Sort of like how Public Television operates.
I've seen events like that. Not necessarily a bike ride. But just general gathers in a park for a cause. People bring food and drinks and check books. The event costs VERY little because you're not outputting much. And anything it raises goes toward the cause.

I've put on events like that myself.

You tend to bring in a lot less cash, but with your expenses way down you can often come out ahead.

The down side is that its not flashy. So you don't 'spread the word' as much and encourage other people to donate. The big charities with budgets for TV commercials and what not spread the word easily, but then spend a lot on more TV commercials.

Personally I've found that local charities run by volunteers aren't as flashy but they often do better work for the cause than national charities who have a lot of pomp and circumstance.
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Old 03-19-18, 03:09 PM
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@sipjacks -- I don't know specifically about WWP. But would 26 million dollars been raised for wounded vets that year if they hadn't taken out a lot of expensive TV advertising? In the grands scheme, I doubt that lavish trips and dinners for the board members comprised much of the 360 million compared to the cost of earning the 26 million from an overwhelming population that didn't realize there is a need.

Advertising is expensive. Some donors need some pomp as well as some wining and dining to get them to loosen their wallet.
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