Having now done the ride one can see that it is an expensive thing to put on. The TV ads, manning the call centre, the trucks, tents etc. At the end of the day on 16 million raised the hospital has $10 million it did not have without the ride. That is a significant amount. Abviously it would be nice if there was not a profit portion of it but the raise is still significant, and whilt 30% is at the high end it is within the range of normal for administrative costs of a charity event.
I am no expert but my guess is you could not raise a net of $10 million for a weekend ride without all of those expenses.
Thought i would chime in and clarify a few things: We have a Board approved budget for all of the event expenses. 100% of every donation goes directly to The Princes Margaret Hospital Foundation. From there, the Foundation invests in research, care and education programs and pays for the cost of the event. Our event management group has an amazing track record and is incredibly efficient in raising money in the fight against cancer. Our team is the best and most effective organization in the business of producing large scale fundraising events for cancer.
Events of this nature require a carefully planned and managed budget; it takes a full year of planning and execution to pull off. There are indeed costs associated with moving thousands of riders to Niagara Falls for two days with an overnight camp. From porta potties to police to recruitment and fundraising support, to meals and camping accommodations, and ensuring our participants safety and security - this event has some essential costs that are right in line for an event of this magnitude. Our #1 priority is safety. There are no cutting corners when hiring police, recruiting volunteers and putting a medical team together. This does add extra costs, but due to the nature of bike riding on open roads, we want to minimize risk to riders.
In each year of the Ride, the revenue vs. expenses exceeded 65% which puts the event in the top tier of Canada Revenue Agency evaluation criteria for fundraising events. Over $11 million net (2010 Ride) new dollars to the world leading cancer research programs at Princess Margaret makes an effective and large impact and leads to saving livesthats the bottom line. Our scientists and doctors rely on new fundraising programs for their cutting edge programs. Raising $11 million to support one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world is money that is dearly needed. It is only through innovative fundraising programs like the Ride than we can maintain the quality of research programs currently underway at The Princess Margaret. Should you wish to discuss this further I can be reached at 416-946-2072. Sincerely,
Chief Cycling OfficerThe Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation
iant_soundtech - Well said.
Well said, Ian. I've participated in a few other events (not quite so big as RTCC) that were not as well organized as this one, and the monies gathered did not get to the research that they were intended for.
Cancer totally sucks especially when you have a family member right in the middle of the battle. i also know that there are many excellent programs that help patients and families deal with the 'support systems' and psychological challenges involved in dealing with cancer.
That said, the Ride to Conquer Cancer focuses more on the research. And there are success stories. If it wasn't for clinical trials then the death rates for many types of cancers would be much higher. Did you know that people diagnosed with osteosarcoma (Terry fox cancer) have an 80%+ chance of survival these days and are way less likely to lose a limb to try and contain the disease. Also, with Herceptin (treats a specific type of breast cancer), the survival rates of women with that type of breast cancer have improved dramatically. And personally, my wife was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia 15 years ago. If it wasnt for the discovery and subsequent clinic trial and approval of ATRA in the 1980's, she wouldnt be here today!
To turn a disease from highly fatal to highly curable is extremely difficult, especially when the disease is a type of cancer. However, we can gain some insight into how this can be done by looking back over the 50-year history of taming acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL). APL is the M3 type of acute myeloid leukaemia characterized by an accumulation of abnormal promyelocytes in bone marrow, a severe bleeding tendency and the presence of the chromosomal translocation or variants. APL was considered the most fatal type of acute leukaemia five decades ago and the treatment of APL was a nightmare for physicians. Great efforts have been made by scientists worldwide to conquer this disease. The first use of chemotherapy (CT) was unsuccessful due to lack of supportive care and cytotoxic-agent-related exacerbated coagulopathy. The first breakthrough came from the use of anthracyclines which improved the complete remission (CR) rate, though the 5-year overall survival could only be attained in a small proportion of patients. A rational and intriguing hypothesis, to induce differentiation of APL cells rather than killing them, was raised in the 1970s. Laudably, the use of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) in treating APL resulted in terminal differentiation of APL cells and a 9095% CR rate of patients, turning differentiation therapy in cancer treatment from hypothesis to practice. The combination of ATRA with CT further improved the 5-year overall survival.
Firstly, let me clarify.
I chose RTCC because it is so well organized, a major portion of the funds go to where they're intended and of it supports PMH, the hospital that tried so hard to save my Aunt Diane, who succomed to hepatocellular carcinoma last June. In fact, her funeral was on Day one of the ride last year.
I have participated in events/races in the past (for other diseases) where the monies raised did not go to where I was told they were supposed to go. I was disappointed with that. I was not looking for a charity event that gave 100% to the charity, but more than 10-20%.
I was not trying to insult or hurt anyone. I appologize if I did so.
MysteryBee - If I could have saved your Dad, I would have. I feel your loss. My Dad has an aggressive brain tumor right now, so I understand.
I think I'm going to start boycotting this thread, it's gotten to point where I'm getting really angry. If you don't like how an organization is run, then don't participate or support the event, or try to change what you don't like about it. Complaining about it wastes energy and time. I figure if you're here complaining about how this and that is done or not done, then you're not out there training, being with your family, fundraising, or honouring the memory of a loved one.
and keeps getting back on her bike.
I have never had cancer (and I hope that I never do), but after my accident, I had people phoning, emailing me to see how I was doing, what kind of therapy I was going to need, how they could support me more, and on it goes...I even found out pretty recently that someone from the office actually phoned my hospital room after I had surgery to see how I was doing, but I'd already been released (Thanks to whoever you are). I have never had such support in any event that I have ever participated in - I think those who are criticizing the work that is being done with the monies raised should be ashamed of themselves. The nerve!
I'm going for a ride right now to cool my head.
I really think a lot of people here don't understand the realities that come with fundraising in this day and age. Fundraising has dramatically changed from what it used to be, I'm not sure if the economic downturn had anything to do with it, or just an evolving society, but it's a completely different climate.Look at the financial statements, the flagship lottery isn't brining in the same amount of money it has in years passed, the traditional approaches to fundraising are old and tired. There are so many organizations out there all vying for that same dollar, the PMH needs to differentiate itself in order to get it. Let's face it, people are less likely to give money to a charity that they can't identify and emphasize with, you need a gimmick to attract interest. When I say I'm doing a 200k bike ride, it catches peoples interest. It's different, it's unique and it sells.It'd be great if they could do an event with no admin or overhead, but lets face it, you have to spend money to make money. If you look at the financial statements, Ride's operating and admin costs have declined from 34.6% to just over 33% over the past two rides, that's a fantastic improvement for a ride of this size, considering that enrollment and interest have both increased.And to address the comments regarding where the money goes i.e. research, patient experience, etc... PMH is a research hospital, one of the top in the world, research is what they do best, and they're best in class at it. It's no surprise that the focus of the fundraising efforts are to support research, and we should all be ok with this. It is disclosed to us before we sign up for the ride, we know where the money is going, they don't hide it. If you want to support a charity like the Cancer Assistance Program who focuses on the patient experience, or your local treatment centre you're more than welcome to do so, but people come from far and wide to support this ride to fund leading edge research because todays breakthroughs become tomorrows healthcare.I was kind of disappointed to hear that some will choose not to participate after looking at the financials. Just remember events like this are the future, as a financial analyst, I'd love to see the the statements for the 1st Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer event to see how that compares to the ride. But these are the events that will get the support, get the donations and can help fund the leading edge breakthroughs we've come to expect from the PMH. Just remember, you can write your cheque to the PMH directly, but I know my supporters and donators most likely wouldn't have contributed to the PMH if I wasn't riding. They all give to cancer related charities regardless, but because I'm doing this extraordinary thing, their money is going to PMH, and that's $2500 they wouldn't have gotten had I not been involved in the ride. So the model works.
Interesting to note from the 2009 financials that the percentage of money going to the PMH from the Ride (65%) was about the same as Weekend to End Breast Cancer (67%).
But both events netted a far high percentage than the Brazilian Ball (34%) and the hospital lotteries (an awful 27% to PMSH).
Also, arguably, the Ride and Weekend both encourage more physical activity and raise awareness of these diseases in a way that a gala and lottery do not.
As for CauseForce, I'm guessing that it is more cost-efficient to use this company than to do the work in-house, which would require hiring more staff who are capable of organizing and marketing the event. It would be silly for PMH to hire staff just for the two events (RTCC and WTEBC) and make more sense to contract this work out.
That said, it would be great if organizers could post more detailed breakdowns of the costs of putting on the Ride. I'm especially interested in the policing costs related to puttting a traffic cop at every intersection, which I think was overkill in a lot of places along the route.
I'd also like to see the agreement between CauseForce and PMH. I'm curious aboutwho the RTCC trademark belongs to.
I noticed that while the number of riders increased in 2011 by about 12 per cent, the revenues did not increase in step. I'd expect there are diminishing returns with an increasing number of riders, as well as donor fatigue among the friends and family of repeat riders.
As always, more disclosure is better and builds confidence in your donors. The website looks great but I found it short on these kinds of details. All the financials should be posted there.
Also, note to Andy:
Giving directly to PMH doesn't make a difference in how much of the money goes to the hospital, except by the incredibly small reduction in the variable cost of having one fewer rider -- you -- participate in the race.
From my read of the financial, all the revenues go into the same basket at PMH and then costs are paid out -- including the costs of the Ride.
That's why your donation is fully tax deductable.
My doctor at PMH is one of the top research docs fro Multiple Myeloma in the country! Her care has given me another shot at living how I want to live (med free etc after my stem cell transplant a year ago). So for this I am grateful and will do the ride every year I am able, just to mark this anniversary... even if I encounter donor "fatigue" I will self pledge 2500 because in the grand scheme of live this is a drop in the bucket, also it is tax deductable anyway.
A very important topic and I'm glad there is some healthy discussion going on. I work at the Princess Margaret Foundation and one of my specific roles is to oversee the Ride. If anyone wants to call and chat with me further, my office line is 416.946.2072 (Steve Merker)
Here's a few comments in reply to some of the postings:
- mmgirl: yes we do have some world leaders in Multiple Myeloma and it's great to hear you're well and doing the Ride year after year!
- jules 18: yes PMHF owns the RTCC trademark...it's our event.
- Sushiboy21: yes we collect every penny (donations, registration fees, sponsor fees, etc.) and from there, we pay for police and porta potties and food and etc...
And a couple more general comments. This event certainly has created a mini 'fitness revolution'. In a pre-event survey to a 100 riders i did a couple years back, on average, people lose weight, lose inches and start leading healthier lifestyles. For example, the afternoon / evening DJ on Q107 started doing the Ride three years ago and not only has he lost weight but he quit smoking as well. Bike riding is now his 'regular' activity and he attributes that to the RTCC.
The other overlooked benefit from this event is the 'emotional camaraderie' of the entire group. This is tangible at Camp and the finish line. Getting 4500+ people together, all for the same reason, is quite amazing. There are many stories shared, new friendships made, tears shed, and smiles of joy. This event is not only a conduit for some incrdibile fundraising, but a movement of people who want to give back and make a difference.
I've lost 54 lbs, my insulin has been cut in half, my diabetes is well controlled, my A1C is normal and I'm wearing clothes that I haven't worn in at least 5 years. It's too bad that PMH doesn't help animals with cancer - our dog may have it (we won't find out until next week), but PMH can't do everything!
smerker wrote:A very important topic and I'm glad there is some healthy discussion going on. I work at the Princess Margaret Foundation and one of my specific roles is to oversee the Ride. If anyone wants to call and chat with me further, my office line is 416.946.2072 (Steve Merker) -----------------------------I was hoping an offer like this would be forthcoming, because I think it important that rider/fund raisers clearly understand what the money raised is used for. I plan to call Steve and I hope others will too. Perhaps together we might be able to make this very important topic become more transparent.
I was hoping an offer like this would be forthcoming, because I think it important that rider/fund raisers clearly understand what the money raised is used for. I plan to call Steve and I hope others will too. Perhaps together we might be able to make this very important topic become more transparent.