Elsewhere online
May 12, 2015

Opinion: Charity Challenges Test More Than Endurance

A New York Times financial columnist assesses the pros and cons of physical challenges undertaken for charity, focusing on a former Intel executive's attempt to bike across the country to raise money and awareness for an ultrasound test that can help prevent strokes.

Sean Maloney, a 58-year-old stroke survivor, set out last month to ride 5,000 miles on a circuitous route from San Francisco to New York. With corporate backing, he has raised $300,000 of a $1 million target for the American Heart Association, but his progress was slowed when he was badly injured in a crash in Southern California.

Citing charity experts, Paul Sullivan, who writes the Times's Wealth Matters column, looks at whether such endurance challenges, and the participatory events many nonprofits hold, raise enough money to justify their cost in both time and money, and also at the intangible benefits they can bring as part of a broader fundraising strategy, boosting awareness of a cause or an organization's brand.