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Organizing a charitable event (Close this up)

LankyseanLankysean Registered User regular
edited April 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So me and a few of my friends are thinking about organizing a rather large and ambitious charitable event. The basic outline of which would involve a drive-a-thon, similar in nature to a walk-a-thon only in cars. The basic idea is to drive from San Francisco to New York City over the course a week or so, making stops along the way to pick up new drivers and get more donations. The basic catch is "Drive for Japan" in which people who own Japanese (or whatever really) cars would drive to help support the relief effort in Japan.

So, I got the basic outline of what I want to do, the drive is roughly 2,900 miles and if figure if we drive 7 hours a day we could make it in 7 days. I was planning on promoting this on Japanese car forums to drum up donations and drivers willing to help. One of my friends seems to think it would be a good idea to try and get a Japanese car manufacturer to sponsor the even in way of letting us stop at local dealerships along the route and use those as meeting points for more drivers and perhaps matching donations. Someone also had the idea of having someone from the Red Cross meet us in NYC to collect the donations when we arrive.

Now, where we need help is how would we even approach the car manufacturers? Would they even be receptive? Same for the Red Cross, should I contact them first and get them on board then contact the automobile manufacturers? How would we collect the donations? I was thinking setting up a paypal or something but that seems a little shady. Should I write up a waiver for the drivers so I don't get sued assuming they crash or damage their cars?

There are so many things to get organized and I've never do anything like this so any questions, comments or ideas would be super helpful.

Lankysean on

Posts

  • CarlosBCarlosB Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Not to be a downer, but I don't think any car manufacturers are going to get on board due to the possibility of negative press based on the exorbitant amount of gas that'll be used for this.

    Even if you've got a car that gets 45 mpg, it's going to cost about $240 per person for those starting in San Francisco, emitting nearly a ton of carbon dioxide along the way, which is about how much 60 cars would emit on an average day. If you've got a lot more cars driving this'll obviously be much greater.

    How about a gaming marathon? I know of at least a couple video games that were made in Japan.

  • LankyseanLankysean Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    CarlosB wrote: »
    Not to be a downer, but I don't think any car manufacturers are going to get on board due to the possibility of negative press based on the exorbitant amount of gas that'll be used for this.

    Even if you've got a car that gets 45 mpg, it's going to cost about $240 per person for those starting in San Francisco, emitting nearly a ton of carbon dioxide along the way, which is about how much 60 cars would emit on an average day. If you've got a lot more cars driving this'll obviously be much greater.

    How about a gaming marathon? I know of at least a couple video games that were made in Japan.

    Don't worry about being a downer, I want cold opinions that help me prepare for let downs. As for the gas, actually part of the stunt would be that I'm trying to get a bunch of hybrid car owners to show that you can drive from Cali to NY for less then it would cost to fly... assuming you didn't have to pay for anything other then gas I mean. I figure this little endeavor would show the Japanese style of efficiency, reliability and perseverance... both for the automobile industry and the people themselves.

  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Lankysean wrote: »
    As for the gas, actually part of the stunt would be that I'm trying to get a bunch of hybrid car owners to show that you can drive from Cali to NY for less then it would cost to fly... assuming you didn't have to pay for anything other then gas I mean.

    Honestly, it's a pretty close call. Even at 50mpg for something like the Prius you're talking about using 58 gallons of gas. With gas prices being so high right now, you're looking at over $200 in gas, and you can get a plane ticket from SF to NY for just around $200.

    Not to mention that for each car that's driving, that's $200 less that you're donating after paying for gas. The reason that walk-a-thon's are so popular (or one reason at least) is that they're inexpensive to arrange and free/easy to participate in, so most of the donations can actually go to the cause.

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Nice thought, but yeah, between the gas and the food and the lodging, that's a lot of money that could go to the cause. Plus you know, pollution.

    And honestly, do they need help? As I'm sure you know, any donations to a 'reputable' charity group won't necessarily go to Japan.

    If you wanted to stick with the car thing, maybe do something local like run a taxi service around town and ask for donations. Or call some Asian restaurants and see if you can be their delivery drivers, something? Just trying to think of alternatives to making an otherwise wasted trip.

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  • LankyseanLankysean Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    Nice thought, but yeah, between the gas and the food and the lodging, that's a lot of money that could go to the cause. Plus you know, pollution.

    And honestly, do they need help? As I'm sure you know, any donations to a 'reputable' charity group won't necessarily go to Japan.

    If you wanted to stick with the car thing, maybe do something local like run a taxi service around town and ask for donations. Or call some Asian restaurants and see if you can be their delivery drivers, something? Just trying to think of alternatives to making an otherwise wasted trip.

    Appreciate the advice, I'm still working to drum up drivers, so far I have 5 besides myself who are willing to do the entire trip with cash out of their own pocket... I'm assuming they just want to do a long road trip with other car enthusiasts, but we shall see what happens.

  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    How do you plan on getting these cars back to SF?
    If you're going to do a one way rental, that will be around 1100$ per car, not including gas or mileage.

    You're not going to get 50mpg in the Sierra Nevada, Rockies or the flat strip between Reno and Salt Lake with a lovely 75mph speed limit unless your car runs on imagination and dreams.

    You're going to realize that somewhere just after Salt Lake City going straight up a hill in some hybrid and having to floor it, that you're not saving any gas. Having made the drive (SF to South-East US) 4 or so times now, I can say that it costs more than you think.

    You're not going to find a hotel for less than 60$ a night for 1 person, a meal that costs less than 8$-9$ per person. If the drive takes you an entire week, you're going at an abysmal pace or taking a scenic route and treating it like a vacation, neither of which are going to "help Japan".


    I think you're confusing your desire to have an awesome road trip as some sort of charitable enterprise. The population in general already doesn't give a shit when people do this on a bicycle, why would they care when someone does it in a car?

    You do understand that long haul truckers make the drive literally every day at work?

    All I see is someone trying to take an incredibly expensive road trip and feel better about doing it. If you want to make the trip, go for it. It's awesome.

    When you get that out of your system and come back, take a good hard look at what you specifically want to do to help *Japan. Do that.


    *Big events always make people try and donate money and shit, especially when there's a media run about the event. It should be noted that the Japanese Tsunami and other various big ticket items (like Sept 11th) aren't even blips on the radar of awful shit that happens to people of some nations every single minute of every single day.

  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User
    edited April 2011
    dispatch is right on a lot of counts. This just seems like a really poorly planned idea that will not work out so well.

  • LankyseanLankysean Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    I think you're confusing your desire to have an awesome road trip as some sort of charitable enterprise. The population in general already doesn't give a shit when people do this on a bicycle, why would they care when someone does it in a car?

    All I see is someone trying to take an incredibly expensive road trip and feel better about doing it. If you want to make the trip, go for it. It's awesome.

    When you get that out of your system and come back, take a good hard look at what you specifically want to do to help *Japan. Do that.

    I've actually been part of a number of charity drives that tend to do pretty well, admittedly this would be the largest and most ambitious. I was recently part of one from Tennessee to Miami for breast cancer that raised about $11,000, and last year I did one from NYC to Toronto for Muscular dystrophy that raised $9,000. My thinking was, bigger road trip with more people would raise more money. It had nothing to do with a good road trip, which I could do anytime, and often do since I hardly work. And btw, I've been to Japan, my grandmother was born in Japan, and she knows people who have died there... so don't go questioning my motives.

    I'm not sure if you are much of a car enthusiast but the ones I know don't need a reason to drive their pride and job across the country. I've seen guys drive from all across the eastern seaboard just to show off their ride at a big car show in New Jersey every year. I've already gotten a few drivers who don't care about Japan but just want to come for the drive regardless of how much it'll cost them... When you take into account that these are the type of people that spend a boat load of money on customizing their cars, the $1000 they may to spend on the trip is nothing when some of these guys spend more on a new head units, turbos or rims every couple of years just to keep their ride "fresh".

  • UsagiUsagi WOMP WOMPRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I think asking for advice about questionable long-distance driving charity events on a gaming forum is going to net you the kind of response you've already received: that this is a Bad Idea. I would suggest trying any tuner or other car website forums if you're actually serious about this.

    You are radically underestimating the level of monetary and physical effort that is is going to require (see dispatch's very well thought out post). Tennessee to Miami is a 14 hour drive, NYC to Toronto is 8 hours, what you're talking about is 48 hours of driving (traffic and other hazards nonwithstanding). Have you ever taken part in a multi-day road trip? What are you going to do when someone has a breakdown? An accident? Gets a ticket? A cabin-fever rage induced fit? Gets sick? How are you going to pay for insurance to indemnify you from responsibility when these things happen?

    And btw, as a car enthusiast, I still think this is a terrible idea.

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  • LankyseanLankysean Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Usagi wrote: »
    I think asking for advice about questionable long-distance driving charity events on a gaming forum is going to net you the kind of response you've already received: that this is a Bad Idea. I would suggest trying any tuner or other car website forums if you're actually serious about this.

    You are radically underestimating the level of monetary and physical effort that is is going to require (see dispatch's very well thought out post). Tennessee to Miami is a 14 hour drive, NYC to Toronto is 8 hours, what you're talking about is 48 hours of driving (traffic and other hazards nonwithstanding). Have you ever taken part in a multi-day road trip? What are you going to do when someone has a breakdown? An accident? Gets a ticket? A cabin-fever rage induced fit? Gets sick? How are you going to pay for insurance to indemnify you from responsibility when these things happen?

    And btw, as a car enthusiast, I still think this is a terrible idea.

    Good call, I'll keep this up with my contacts on some of my JDM forums, they are a lot more receptive. I'm going to close this up since it's not really going anywhere. Thanks!

  • CasualCasual flap flap flap wiggle wiggle wiggle Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I think you can pretty much guarentee that if you just donated all the money it would cost to do this the charity would get a lot more money. Driving across a continent isn't cheap and to be honest, is nowhere near remarkable enough to make people put their hands in their pockets. This isn't hard or impressive, just tedious and time consuming, the only thing you will test is your bordom thresh-hold.

    I don't question your intentions but you should really heed the advice you've been given here as to why this is a bad idea. Going on a car forum to find people who will go "fuck yeah!" to this just because it involves a massive drive is pointelss. If you just wanted people to tell you your idea is great why ask for practical advice at all?

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  • DeebaserDeebaser Alpha Teemo Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Lankysean wrote: »
    One of my friends seems to think it would be a good idea to try and get a Japanese car manufacturer to sponsor the even in way of letting us stop at local dealerships along the route and use those as meeting points for more drivers and perhaps matching donations.

    There are too many moving parts for this to be feasible. Manufacturers don't own dealerships and you aren't going to stop at every dealership in the country, so they would have to contact each dealership directly, which would be a lot of heavy lifting on your behalf.

    Start contacting dealerships directly and see what sort of reaction you get.

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