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Why Performance-Boating Charity Starts—And Mostly Stays—At Home

These days, you’d be hard-press to find a locally organized poker run, or any kind of grassroots go-fast boating event, in which fundraising for charity isn’t a key component. And that’s a good thing, not just for the benefitting charities but for the general public’s perception of high-performance boating, which—fairly or unfairly—hasn’t always enjoyed the best reputation.


For several good reasons, grassroots poker run organizers tend to fundraise for local causes. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

Nowhere in the go-fast boating world does the expression “win-win” better apply.

But have you ever wondered how the organizers of these events choose their benefitting charities? There’s definitely more to it than simply attaching to a big-name nonprofit or going with the cause celebre of the day.

First and foremost, organizers want the money raised to go where it can do the most good. Nonprofit charities with big infrastructure costs are easy to rule out. The basic question is pretty simple: What percentage of each dollar raised actually goes to those served by a given charity?

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