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NY -> Boston AIDS ride..(9 posts)

NY -> Boston AIDS ride..opencl
Jun 23, 2002 11:40 AM
I woke up really late today... After taking a shower, I noticed groups and groups of riders passing by my house yelling "tracks" "stop" "slowing" etc... I knew right away that there was some sort of organized bike event going on... I quickly went out and ride along side a group and asked politely what this was all about... it was then that I realized that this was the 3 day AIDS ride. I rode alongside them for the last 10miles to the finish line hehehhehehe. ...wished i had a camera hahaha
re: NY -> Boston AIDS ride..NJRoad
Jun 24, 2002 4:59 AM
And just think $0.20 of every dollar raised goes to a good cause. Thanks Mr. Pollota.
Misleading to just plain false.djg
Jun 24, 2002 6:57 AM
It's true that PTW has been a controversial organization, perhaps deservedly so. It's also true that some PTW events have done particularly badly. It's just not true that the AIDS Rides themselves have had a return as dismal as the twenty cents on the dollar figure that you cite (with a reference to a Washington Blade Article criticizing last year's DC AIDS Ride for returning only 56% of dollars raised to the beneficiaries, a figure somewhat lower than the previous year's return for the DC AIDS Ride, but spectacularly better than your 20%).

There are many reasonable complaints you might lodge against PTW in particular, the AIDS Rides, or charity bike events more generally. It's not an accident that the two DC beneficiaries have decided to go it alone next year (one sponsoring an AIDS Ride without PTW; one pursuing other fundraising sources). On the other hand, many, many individuals have done a great deal of hard work at raising millions of dollars for critically important organizations through these events--return to the 2 Washington beneficiaries was, I believe, something on the order of 1.7 million dollars each last year alone. You do those people at least a disservice by fabricating numbers regarding their efforts (or by misleadingly tagging all AIDS Ride events with numbers from the very least successful of all the PTW events).
Misleading to just plain false.NJRoad
Jun 24, 2002 8:50 AM
The truth of the matter is that people who are willing to give, will do so in some form or fashion. I agree that there are costs associated with any fundraising event, however a smaller, more effecient event with local vendors donating their services would go a lot farther than PTW putting millions in fees in their pocket. How is this any different than the United Way CEOs of a few years ago with their 6-figure salaries and outrageous benefits?

The other very valid point is people are using the name of a good cause to raise money to finance their weekend challenge.
I still disagree.djg
Jun 24, 2002 10:32 AM
First, false figures are false figures and I don't see why you posted them.

Second, although I share some of the common concerns people have voiced about PTW, I do think there are a couple of further problems with your argument. For one thing, it's not at all clear to me that all--or even most--of the dollars given would otherwise have been bound for AIDS- related charities or indeed any charities at all. A huge number of the donations raised in conjunction with the AIDS Rides were small donations that at least appeared to come: (a) from discretionary spending rather than budgeted charity dollars; and (b) from segments of the population not always well-disposed towards the beneficiaries in question. I cannot say how much of the money could properly be described that way. But I am sure it is significant. And I'm confident that most folks who have participated in a ride will tell a similar story about some segment of their fundraising. If that's right, then your first statement, "that people who are willing to give, will do so in some form or fashion," may not, in fact, be correct. For all of PTW's problems--and indeed there have been many--part of their talent was talent at marketing AIDS-related charities to segments of the population that hadn't previously been involved with such charities. They got people to fundraise who hadn't been fundraising. And they got those people to raise money from quarters that had not been giving.

For another, while I'm not comfortable as a general purpose apologist for PTW, I do think it misleading to contrast some of their inefficiency and self-promotion with the outright embezzlment that we have, unfortunately, seen in certain other quarters. PTW has, at least, been pretty up-front about their numbers. That's what all the fuss has been about.

Furthermore, I think it's misleading and unfair to suggest that people are milking the name of good charities to support their "weekend challenge." Most AIDS Riders undertake significant financial commitments to participate. Apart from the registration fee, there's often a fair bit of stuff to buy, and I say this as someone who has been cycling for a long time and actually owned a fair bit of camping gear prior to the ride. On top of that, many riders self-sponsor to some signficant extent. In that regard, I think my own contribution of a couple hundred bucks this year (on top of registration; on top of expenses) was modest. And many people spend a significant bit of coin on fundraising itself. Add to that their transportation expenses (everybody has to travel to the start, or the finish, or both; everybody needs lodging the night before the event; a signficant number of folks have to pay for bike transport). Think about it for five minutes and it ought to be pretty easy to see how all riders bear some significant financial cost to participate and that many riders spend well in excess of what a weekend bike and camping trip would cost. Personally, I would not spend 500 bucks for a 4-day bike and camp excursion starting in Norfolk, VA, in June (transportation not included), if it were just for a vacation or "weekend challenge," but maybe that's just another place where you and I differ.

Hell, I'm tired of this. I don't have any stake in PTW and it seems to me that there are lots of reasonable, critical, and ACCURATE things one could say about the AIDS Rides or PTW or about charity rides more generally. But you seem unwilling to recognize any of the good in these events--or those who participate in them--and rather than focusing on the actual problems you spout a bunch of inaccuracies and misleading associations.
I still disagree.NJRoad
Jun 25, 2002 4:53 AM
I agree that the article was a poor one, I had seen a better presented article but was unable to find it again.

I guess what it all comes down to is I am HUGE fan of the slogan Think Globally, Act Locally.

I think events like the MS rides are as effective and don't leave the bad taste in peoples mouths that someone profiteering like PTW does. For these smaller events they are able to use local sponsors for things like food and water. They use local schools for camp, shower and kitchens so they don't have the cost of the "Tent City"

As far as PTW being forthcoming, I disagree, unless something has changed since I did the ride 4 years ago, no where does it say that PTW is a for-profit company on the sponsor sheet. Apparently they have corrected my other problem with the event and that was that they used the term AIDSRide when in fact portions of the proceeds were going to other uses than treatment and research of those afflicted with HIV and AIDS.
Jun 24, 2002 7:58 AM
From the Blade article:
"Pallotta's AIDS Rides almost never meet that 35 percent
standard. Last year's D.C. event, for example, generated only
56 percent net proceeds for the benefiting ASOs. "
Does anyone see anything wrong with this writing? Last time I checked, 56 percent was, oh, 21 percentage points higher than the standard that Pallotta's projects "almost never meet."
It's a mixed bag. Spend money to make money and all that. If the net result is more dollars to the charity than anything else that they are doing, along with intangibles like higher visibility, it's hard to complain too much, isn't it?
Poorly written and confusingMe Dot Org
Jun 24, 2002 1:34 PM
The Wise Giving guidelines state that the overhead costs should not exceed 35%. Palotta rarely hits that figure for its rides.

From their website:

"B4. Total fund raising and administrative costs shall be reasonable.

Reasonable use of funds requires that a) at least 50% of total income from all sources be spent on programs and activities directly related to the organization's purposes; b) at least 50% of public contributions be spent on the programs and activities described in solicitations, in accordance with donor expectations; c) fund raising costs not exceed 35% of related contributions; and d) total fund raising and administrative costs not exceed 50% of total income."

Palotta had a major falling out with the beneficiaries of the California Aids Ride. This year the San Francisco Aids Foundation and Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center decided not to renew their contract with Palotta, after several questionable expenses were charged to the 2001 Ride.

Palotta sued the charities in court, trying to stop them from organizing their own ride.

The sad truth is that both the California AIDS Ride and the newly formed LifeCycle ride both raised a lot less money this year.
Is that a Pallotta Teamworks event?jtolleson
Jun 24, 2002 8:24 AM
I don't think so, but maybe I am wrong.