Thursday, April 13, 2017

AGDQ and PCF questionable practices

I have written previously about how the Games Done Quick marathons have become highly "sterilized", bureaucratic, "sponsor-friendly", commercial, and outright authoritarian, which has garnered criticism from many people.

However, some people present even more criticism about the whole thing, and not only about the events themselves, but more particularly about the Prevent Cancer Foundation, to which the AGDQ marathons raise money for.

During the marathons the presenters and speakers keep constantly reminding how "100% of the donations go to the Prevent Cancer Foundation." Many people criticize this statement as, at the very least, borderline misleading.

Notice how the statement does not say that 100% of the donations go to cancer prevention and research done by the PCF. It says that they go to the PCF. There is a difference.

Since the PCF is a non-profit organization, they have to publish in detail what they spend their money in. For example in the period between July 2014 and June 2015 their total revenue was slightly over $6 million (about 25% of which came from the AGDQ event.) From that money 62% was spent on education, research, and community outreach.

62 percent.

That means that about $2.3 million went somewhere else. Sure, running an organization this large requires expenses. But $2.3 million a year? Really? How many people who donate to AGDQ know that 38% of what the donate goes to something other than preventing cancer?

Also, how many people from outside the United States, who donate to the event, are aware that the PCF operates solely within the United States? Not a dime of that money goes to research, education or other activities outside the country.

But, here's the kicker: Part of that money goes to sponsor and organize the AGDQ events themselves. And this is where the heaviest criticism stems from.

You see, part of sponsoring and organizing AGDQ involves paying the event organizers and volunteers. Which is why the "100% of the donations go to the PCF" is deemed to be so misleading: Yes, the donations go through the PCF... but a sizeable portion of that money comes back to the AGDQ organizers and volunteers the next year. They are paid by that very money that's donated.

Sure, many donors may be just fine with that and wouldn't mind. However, the criticism comes from the misleading statement that's so often repeated that "100% goes to the PCF" that gives the false impression that nothing of that money goes to the AGDQ organizers (often including the very person saying that!) Some of that money does go to the AGDQ organizers and workers! It's misleading to imply that it doesn't.

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