Entry Fee: $40.
What you get: running jacket, winter hat, participation medallion.
Portion of entry fee to charity: $ 0.
You may have noticed the explosion of Virtual Runs on Facebook lately, but not all of them are what they seem. Some of them are local races supporting local causes that have turned virtual because of the pandemic. I have many of them here on sportingAcause.com.
But a huge wave of what I call manufactured events have washed ashore with names like Smashed Santa Races, Wine Run Turkey Trot, Run for the Dogs, Face Mask Run and the one described above- America’s Turkey Trot.
These “fundraiser” virtual races provide a lesson in Buyer Beware.
America’s Turkey Trot, for example, has partnered with Feeding America, a nation-wide hunger charity, but the word “partner” is open to interpretation.
Although America’s Turkey Trot boasts Feeding America as a partner, no money from your entry fee will go to the charity. Instead, when you register (and pay), you will be encouraged to write your own check to support the work of Feeding America. Not quite what you thought, right?
Is this illegal? – no.
Is it unethical? – um…
Is it transparent? Absolutely not!
To be fair, probably some will write an additional check to Feeding America, and that’s a good thing.
But the takeaway here is that if a virtual “fundraiser” event does not tell you exactly how much of your money is benefiting whom, then sign up for a local event instead, one that maybe supports a food bank in your town, one that tells you how much of your entry fee goes to help your neighbors.
Now that’s transparency!