An Important Note to Donors

The following notice appears on the back of the standard printed pledge forms distributed by the Ride Office.

The AIDS Rides(r) make no guarantee about what percentage of donations will go back to AIDS services. This depends entirely on how many individuals ride, and on how much money they raise. The more raised, the greater the percentage returned to services.

How much money has gone back to AIDS services?

Nearly $54 million* from all Rides--a record. The American AIDS Rides(r) have delivered more money more quickly back to AIDS charities than any single known AIDS fundraising event operation in history. And this is what AIDS charities need. Money. As quickly as they can get it. Since the first Ride in California in 1994, thirty-one campaigns have been completed.** Nationally, $90 million* has been raised through 1998, and approximately 57%* of every donor dollar or a total of nearly $54* million has gone back to AIDS services. In 1998, California AIDS Ride(r) 5 raised $9.5 million and returned approximately 60% of donor dollars back to AIDS services. Please note that the specific percentage for your city may be different-please call your local Ride office for further information.

Where does the rest of the money go?

For California AIDS Ride(r) 5, approximately 24% of every dollar went into event awareness marketing and administrative expenses, and the other 16% went toward rider safety and support-meals, showers, safety signage, tents, and everything it takes to move your friends and loved ones, and thousands of other people, safely from town to town each day. Safety is priority one with the AIDS Ride(r).

What is the standard for return on donations?

Different organizations say different things, and it always depends on the nature of the fundraising appeal. Standards are different for a special event like the AIDS Ride(r) than they are for a solicitation you might get in the mail. As a person who gives to charity, you should do all you can to understand the complexities of charitable fundraising. Don't accept any one number as a norm. For instance, an event that returns 70% of your dollar back to charity may look better than one that sends 60% back. But what if the event that returns 70% raises $100,000, while the event that returns 60% raises $8 million? The 60% event returns a lot more money to the cause. One of the leading professional fundraising trade organizations, the National Society of Fundraising Executives, states that a minimum of 50% of every dollar from events should go back to charity. California AIDS Ride's(r) historic average of 60% falls well above that guideline.

The AIDS Ride(r) is extremely different from most fundraising events. In addition to fundraising, it is an awareness-raising and empowering event. For many people, the Ride is a life-changing experience. Providing the setting for that kind of experience requires very complicated logistics and mobilization operations. The AIDS Ride(r) is truly a new model in a class by itself, and one for which no real standards exist. This makes it even more remarkable that the Rides do fall within the accepted cost standards for other, less complicated events.

Do the organizers try to get things donated?

Constantly. We have full-time staff working on nothing but bringing in corporate donations to help defray costs. Companies like Tanqueray, who donate nearly $1 million annually in cash to defray costs, continue to come on board to help us send even more dollars back to AIDS services.

An important note...

The AIDS Ride(r) has many intangible benefits you can be proud of--like the advertising that helps increase awareness about AIDS, like the way the Ride gives hope to HIV positive riders, like the way the AIDS riders get people talking about AIDS as they go out and seek donations, like the children that line the streets to cheer on the riders and get a first-hand experience of heroism, or like the way the Ride teaches people that we can work together to solve our problems. These are the things that make the Ride so unexplainably magical. These are important reasons to give as well. And these are things you can count on the AIDS Ride(r) delivering.

*Based on projected revenue though 1998
**Includes five 1998 AIDS Rides.

As presenting sponsor since the first AIDS Ride five years ago, Tanqueray has been a proud and honored partner in this historic effort. We're grateful for the support of the many thousands of brave, committed individuals who give life to the AIDS Rides and whose efforts make possible crucial HIV/AIDS services around the country. Your contribution in support of one of these incredible people will ensure that these services continue to be available to those who need them most. From all of us at Tanqueray, thank you for your donation!

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