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  • Tyler Jett
  • Mon January 13 2020
  • Posted Jan 20

Officials with the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa announced a goal Tuesday of giving $1 million to charity annually by 2025 after receiving criticism of RAGBRAI’s charitable giving practices in past years.

They said the ride will also step up support for host towns, increasing funding and donations by at least $240,000.

Marketing Director Anne Lawrie said RAGBRAI previously used “inaccurate documentation” in its participant guide. Its contributions to nonprofits amounted to $40,000 last year.

Lawrie said RAGBRAI officials, with new Ride Director Dieter Drake, will provide more details about the charitable giving plan during their route announcement party on Jan. 25 at the Community Choice Credit Ballroom in the Iowa Event Center in Des Moines.

“We want to be able to deliver,” she said. “Right now, as we assess where RAGBRAI’s at and where it’s moving, we want to be confident, again, based on past documentation, that we are delivering on that plan. We feel confident we can do that and set the pieces in motion to deliver in five years.”

RAGBRAI also announced Tuesday the funding increase for towns that participate in the ride. Each of the eight overnight towns, which previously received $8,500, will get $15,000 this year. The ride also will provide at least $15,000 to charities selected by each overnight town.

Meeting towns, the locations midway through the daily routes where support vehicles meet team members, will get $10,000 apiece this year. Those towns had not received any money in prior years.

For overnight towns, RAGBRAI will cover the cost of the stages for entertainment, as well as help the communities land sponsors.

To improve transparency for the event, RAGBRAI said it will form a committee with city, county and state officials who will help ensure the ride’s charitable giving. The ride will also release an annual economic impact study, using metrics determined by the Iowa Destination Marketing Alliance.


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