Is your local race a fund-raiser for a charity or an event for an out of state corporation? This lawsuit might decide

Lawsuit claims that race organizer; make money from volunteers and volunteers should be paid. Entire US race and event “business” could change or disappear.

Most events that we love to participate in, attend or watch are owned by for-profit corporations. They make money for a business. Those events are dependent upon hundreds if not thousands of volunteers. Many state or imply a charity, whose name is in the title of the event is the reason for the event, and thus the volunteers are working for the charity.

This lawsuit says that is not quite so. In fact, this lawsuit says most of what I believed and probably a lot of what you believe about these events are not true.

The lawsuit on its face says that the volunteers at these events were misled and should have been paid. On its face, it’s hard to ask for money when you sign up as a volunteer. You agree to volunteer and you are a volunteer, and you don’t get paid.

However, that is not the bottom line here. Based on the article:

·         The entire operation is fraudulent.

·         The volunteers were recruited to provide community service when, in fact, they were not, they were working for a for-profit corporation, not a charity.

·         Charities pay to have their name attached to the event.

·         The more a charity pays, the more the charity is recognized by the event.

·         Teams that raise money for these events Charites, the base money goes to the event, and only the money raised over the minimum goes to the charity.

·         The event then uses the charities name to recruit volunteers for the event.

Is the plaintiff going to win the lawsuit? I have no idea, but allegations of fraud change litigation, throw out the normal defenses and generally create a different courtroom drama. It is never good to be defending someone who looks bad.

However, the major impact may have already occurred. Will people volunteer to sign up for these events as volunteers? Will charities continue to associate with these events and will those charities be linked with the fraud or for the good they do?

Without the thousands of volunteers, these events won’t happen. Entry fees will either skyrocket or go away. Charities may no longer be associated with any of these events because they are simply bad news.

However, I think this lawsuit may have a chance; the plaintiff is an associate professor at the Saint Louis University School of Law.

The damage is already done. Those races and events that have been upfront from the beginning are not going to be affected except by a few volunteers who are not paying attention or confused. However, the big events which rely on thousands of volunteers are either going to change, evolve or go away.

See Lawsuit alleges CGI exploited race volunteers and This Marathon Lawsuit May Shake Up the Running World

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado


VOC Get Outside Yourself
COSC logoThis spring the Colorado Outdoor Stewardship Coalition completed the third Volunteer Impact Report. As with the previous reports from 2010 and 2011, we attempted to aggregate volunteer data from land management agencies across the state. Although we continue to face challenges with how volunteer data is tracked and counted across the state, we saw a slight increase in volunteer totals in 2012 — coming close to 1.3 million hours donated by our communities to care for Colorado’s outdoors! You can download the report here.

Work continues this year for the Coalition to finalize and release the Gap and Capacity Report. We have been working with a research team to gather data about three topics related to outdoor stewardship:

1. gaps faced by natural resources agencies between what they are required and expected to do and what they have the resources to do

2. capacity – human and financial – available internally and in our communities to meet this gap

3. perceptions of land managers, volunteers, community leaders and the community at large about priorities and how communities can be involved in caring for our natural resources.

The first of these three topics has been completed. Thank you to all of the public land management agencies who participated in the survey and following interviews. Efforts are underway to complete the second topic through a survey and series of focus groups with community-based stewardship organizations and recreational user groups.

Finally, if you’re interested in joining the Coalition, please contact Dean Winstanley at 303-715-1010 x119 or dean. Current members include federal, state and local land management agencies and nonprofit stewardship organizations around Colorado.



Photo courtesy Margaret Bloomer

It’s true! We’re already thinking about next year even though we are only part way through this season. Applications are due by September 20th for larger (multi-day and/or over 50 people) projects. Applications for smaller projects (one-day and/or less than 50 people) can be accepted any time, but to get it on our 2014 season calendar, we need the application by October 31st

. Earlier applications will get priority!


Use the following criteria to determine if your project idea is a good fit with VOC. More information can be found at the link above.

– The project will provide a rewarding and safe volunteer experience.

– There is a critical need for the project such as high use, environmental degradation, threats to resources or community need. It has been identified as a priority for your agency.

– The work can be accomplished in the designated time frame.

– It is a good opportunity for community involvement.

– All required environmental studies, such as NEPA, will be completed before project planning begins.

– Your agency staff is able to meet with VOC project planners to ensure success.

ALSO — Next year is VOC’s 30th anniversary! It will be an opportunity to showcase work that we have done over the years. If you have an anniversary-themed idea for a project or location that has historical significance for VOC, please let us know in your application!

The VOC project selection committee works to select a diverse slate of projects that fit land agency priorities, volunteers’ expectations, and community needs.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by the Project Selection Committee and scheduled to be scouted. The earlier in the fall we can do this, the better.

Any questions? Call Dean Winstanley at 303-715-1010 x119 or email at: dean


The Outdoor Stewardship Institute (OSI) is a stewardship training and support program operated by VOC. OSI offers high quality outdoor stewardship training to volunteers, land management agencies, and other stewardship organizations in Colorado and around the country. We offer regularly scheduled training courses on field technical and crew leadership skills, volunteer management, project management, trail design, and more, as well as customized training to meet specific needs. Contact Matt Martinez at 303-715-1010 x112 or matt for more information.

About Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC)Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to motivating and enabling people to become active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources. Founded in 1984, VOC is a nationally recognized leader in outdoor stewardship volunteerism, having helped more than 92,000 people of all ages get involved in and become inspired to care for Colorado’s outdoors.Learn more at
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
Connect with VOC on:
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Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
600 South Marion Parkway, Denver, CO 80209
(303) 715-1010 voc

Denver Final Ride of the USA ProChallenge needs Volunteers. It is a great experience! Sign up today

Have you been watching the USA Pro Cycling Challenge? It is amazing and it is right here in Colorado! BikeDenver will be at the Finish in Denver and we would love to have you join us. We are seeking volunteers from 2pm – 5pm to help with our Bike Parking. It is a great way to be part of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge on its final day in Colorado!

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If you do not have a BikeDenver t-shirt one will be provided to you to wear while volunteering on Sunday.

For more information on Stage 7 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge click here

To sign up to volunteer click here

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Description: Stage-7-Start-Finish