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Friday, September 12, 2014

How to Ruin a Good Idea

This week, Woodbine Entertainment is sponsoring WEG Cares, a week-long promotion where they are asking visitors to their website to vote for one of the listed charities with the winning charity receiving a $10,000 check at the end of the week as part of WEG's effort to raise the awareness of the community to these charities as well as showing its support.  Various charities are included such as Community Association for Riding for the Disabled, United Way of Toronto, and Youth Without Shelter,  Also listed among others charities are Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society (OSAS) and Racetrack Chaplaincy of Canada (RCC, a thoroughbred-based organization). 

So what could go wrong with this promotion?  Well, at this early time as a result of a online campaign, OSAS has 31% of the vote, well ahead of the other charities.  So if these results stand, OSAS stands to earn for their group, much needed funds for their organization.  So what is wrong with  this picture?

Almost everything.  Make no mistake, OSAS is a fantastic group, equal to SRF and New Vocations south of the border.  They help rescue unwanted standardbred and train the horses for new careers and hopefully adopt them out.  They do good work and certainly can use the $10,000 as all these groups can.  However, running a campaign to get others to vote for them will ruin a perfectly good opportunity for WEG, to be a good corporate citizen as well as promoting their stated goal as WEG indicates on the contest website;  

"WEG Cares is a celebration of the many valuable community organizations and causes that we support, and which contribute so much to the life, health and vibrancy of Toronto".

Quite honestly, OSAS should not be part of this competition, or if allowed to compete, should not be part of a get out the vote campaign (though admittedly others will be tempted to do so as well) because what are patrons going to think should a horse-related charity win out over a group that helps support people of need?  Probably something like "Sure, a horse charity won, it was arranged for them to win".  Otherwise, what may be an opportunity to ingratiate themselves with the community may be a wasted effort.

OSAS and others should stop actively campaigning for votes.  WEG should be supporting OSAS and the Racetrack Chaplaincy of Canada as a matter of fact, supporting the horses and people who keep racing going without running a contest like this.  As for the $10,000; those voting for OSAS or the RCC should be making donations on their own to thee groups.

I don't deny these groups are worthy, but there is a time and place to seek funds.  This is not one of them.

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