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NorthEast AIDSRide(7 posts)

NorthEast AIDSRidenyc_biker
May 4, 2002 11:07 PM
'sup all!

Don't know if you guys have heard of this charity event.

I am trying to raise funds in order for me to participate in the Northeast AIDSRide that will take place on June 20, 2002 and ends on the 23rd. I signed up this week and have until May 24th to meet my goal. This is a 4 day ride with 350 miles total and over 100 hills to be conquered. This will be my first ever charity ride. Was hoping if some of you would be kind enough to donate $5 or $10 towards this cause. I would really like to make this happen and hope that you could check out my progress. check my link out.

thanks a lot
Palotta teamworks = charity fraud!!!Rusty McNasty
May 6, 2002 5:30 AM
Yeah, right. Give your money to a fundraiser that only sends less than 20% of the money raised to the charity, while the owner gets rich? Dan Palotta is nothing more than a fraud. He's made millions off these events, then he sues groups when they realize that he's raking them over! If you want to help AIDS charities, enter a 'lifecycles' event. Don't let Palotta steal the money that should be going into the charity!!!!!!!
Palotta teamworks = charity fraud!!!nyc_biker
May 6, 2002 7:26 PM
Yeah I heared about that. that's why i'm thinking of stopping the fund raiser. I got just $100 so far. seem like i was missled but the powers that be. I already registered and am out $85 bucks. Bought a road bike for 6 bills. Maybe i'll be a messanger in nyc to pay for my losses. lesson learned, shudda consulted the forums first. ohh well??
May 7, 2002 6:59 AM
Well, not so fast. Believe me, I can't abide Dan Pallotta, but I think that the Pallotta Teamworks situation is far more complicated than to just cry "fraud."

Essentially, it is a new model that some folks really believed in. It worked very, very well at first: allow a for-profit corp. to run charity cycling events bigger and better than anyone every has. "Everybody wins" and for the first decade, the beneficiaries were receiving 75% or so of funds, they were happy, Pallotta was happy, and more people than ever were participating in cycling for AIDS.

When Pallotta Teamworks branched out into other charity events (Avon 3-day Breast Cancer Walks, suicide walk, etc.) and began to cross-market, AIDS activists were upset about message dilution. The events also got fancier and fancier. As the company got overextended, they also passed losses onto the charity beneficiaries.

That last part is what ticked me off... that when Pallotta Teamworks overran its budget, it passed the overruns onto the beneficiaries, while keeping its full profit (management fees). What?! Corporate risk without the risk. Hey that must be nice.

I didn't REALLY become livid at Pallotta until they sued the organizers of California Lifecycle to block the competing AIDS ride. That seemed low, even for Dan Pallotta.

Anyway, lots of great people do the AIDS vaccine rides, and the money raised there does benefit good work. The rides are touted as the experience of a lifetime, because they are, in fact, big dollar events. If you want to do one, go for it!

Now I'll get off my soapbox.
According to court documentsAlexx
May 8, 2002 3:50 AM
submitted in the lawsuit (Palotta teamworks vs. Lifecycle), Palotta only returns 21% of the money raised to the charity it is supposed to be helping. Even the 75% mentioned abouve is pretty poor for a charity event, but 21% is downright unethical. Some states would consider this to meet the legal definition for charity fraud, and Palotta avoids those states.
I could not imagine being able to personally justify collecting money for an event, knowing that fully 4/5 of the money will be used soley for giving myself a good time. How many people would give you $100 knowing that $79 of it were being used for nothing more than entertainement (and, also for increasing the size of Dan Palotta's personal fortune).
I do support the continuation of AIDS vaccine research, as well as community support for AIDS victims, and have entered many charity walks and rides in the past. I am a gay male, one who has lost several friends and acquaintances to this disease over the years. Unfortunately, the Palotta events get most of the press, due to the visibility that Mr. Palotta's advertizing has given them.
No, I'm sorry, I won't enter an event like this, and I won't give money to it, either. Mr. Palotta reminds me more of a TV evangilist in the way he uses the good intentions of decent people to fill his own wallet.
If you really want to help fight AIDS (or other diseases), contact your LOCAL aids group. My local aids charity uses only 9% of funds collected to support overhead, and they probably give more money to research than Palotta does. If you still feel the need to do a long ride, do your own, and send the money to the local agency. Maybe, if enough people protest Palotta's greed, we could get a competing event started?
Won't do it againNJRoad
May 9, 2002 12:10 PM
I did the Boston/NY ride 3 years ago and I won't do it again. It was an extremely well organized ride but it becomes evident quickly that this is a for profit event. I agree with Alexx, find an event or create your own that operates on a smaller scale and donate any proceeds locally. It may not be easy as a fully-supported ride but I am sure that it will be more fulfilling.
I did the 2001 Pallotta Alaska AIDS ride.Len J
May 9, 2002 12:47 PM
Which ended up raising about $4.6million and sending 22% to the charity. This compared to $5.8 million and 70% the prior year.

Whay the %?

1.) Pallotta expected 2,500 to 3,000 riders and only had 1,350. In 2001 they expanded the number of exotic locale rides from 1 to 3 and incorrectly expected 3 times the number of participants, they also increased the minimum. Since the premise of the ride is that once you cover your cost with a minimum number of riders every additional rider donations goes 100% to the charity, fewer riders tranlated into a lower percentage.

2.) Pallotta's expenses increased 2000 to 2001. First of all in 2000 they had horrendeous weather, for which they were not prepared. For 2001 they spent additional money that was never used to prepare for the weather. In addition, Pallotta marketed extensively in 2001 to attempt to increase the number of riders (due to having 3 events) This increased the costs without increasing the riders proportinatly. They took a risk & failed.

So revenue was down/rider and expenses were up. However for the 3 rides almost $5 million dollars did go to AIDS research that would not have been raised otherwise. Could they have done a better job, absolutly, my take on it was that after the success of 2000, they overreached, something that many businesses do, sometimes the only way you learn is by overreaching and "Failing". I for one don't consider $5 million to AIDS research a failure, it's a matter of proportion.

As far as 75% being a poor return to charity, you are correct for a locally run event. However, when you are taking several thousand people to a remote location like Alaska where you have to provide everything from water to tents to food your base fixed costs are going to be higher.

I raised $6,000 plus spent $2,000 of my own money to get my daughter and I there (she crewed). In my oponion it was one of the highlights of my life.

I probably will do another event like this. I was impressed with the organization and support both during the ride & prior to the ride during fundraising. I suspect, based on the changes that they made this year, that they have learned from 2001.