Car Shows Work Hand in Hand with Charities

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I recently saw a public service announcement (PSA) about an initiative that recognizes individuals for their exemplary charitable and humanitarian efforts. What impressed me were the images that encouraged the general public to donate at their discretion to one or more specific programs.

Taking a cue from the PSA, I thought why not go to bat for concours d’elegance car shows – most of which are nonprofit entities – and write a year-end post that applauds their philanthropic efforts. It would create awareness during the “off-season” and encourage enthusiasts to contribute to the causes that concours organizers and volunteers work so hard to support. 

Concours d'Elegance shows set the pace

There are plenty of car shows that raise lots of money for lots of significant causes. Highlighted below are 13 events from nearly 40 shows featured at the concours.NEWS website.

Primary criteria for inclusion are that the show:

  • clearly benefits a charitable cause or organization
  • features a select number of invited vehicles
  • presents multiple marques
  • has a national following
  • vehicles are judged by recognized authorities
  • admission is open to the general public
My intent was to list a larger quantity of shows in this post, but I discovered that many of the websites lacked a simple means by which a visitor could make an online donation. The Elegance at Hershey website stood out from the rest by placing a distinctive “Donate” button in the header on every page of its website.

The concours events NOT included below — although well-meaning in their philanthropy — have websites that do not encourage donations. I would like to think these instances are due to oversight, especially since the primary stated mission of most of the tax-exempt shows is fundraising. Simply placing a charity’s logo or link to its website is not pro-active fundraising.

Only one show, besides Hershey, presented a prominent call-to-action link on its home page: the Gasparilla Concours d’Elegance, a newcomer with its inaugural event scheduled for April.

What began as a salute to an entire group of significant concours d’elegance events fizzled a bit. Nevertheless, here’s the list of shows that visibly seek your online contribution. Upon notice that one of the other events modifies its website to include a call-to-action, I’ll gladly add them to this post.

Full Disclosure:  My objective through online activity is to perpetuate interest in the old car hobby and help concours events succeed with their charitable objectives.  My primary website and social media pages have operated under the ConcoursDates.com banner since 2012, which is now being rebranded as Concours “dot” News.  There are no ads or sponsors and I am not associated with the management or direct promotion of any car show, with the exception of small club events.

Danville Concours d’Elegance

The Danville Concours, in California, is a prolific fundraiser, having raised nearly $5.5 million since 2004 to “Stop Parkinson’s in its Tracks”. What’s notable is that the car display takes place on the streets of Old Town Danville and there’s no admission fee! Donations are voluntary. Proceeds benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and The Parkinson’s Institute.

Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

The Amelia Island Concours makes charitable donations primarily in the Jacksonville area to: Community Hospice and Palliative Care, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville, The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, and Shop with Cops. Contributions to the event go directly to The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Foundation, which then distributes to the individual beneficiaries.

While the majority of the featured events have applied for and received 501(c)(3) nonprofit status by the IRS, the Amelia Island website is one of only two I’ve noticed that mention the availability of tax documents upon request. (Milwaukee Concours is the other.) By law, a tax-exempt organization is required to provide the three most recently filed annual information returns (IRS Form 990) and their application for tax-exemption to anyone who asks.

Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance

“Empowering youth through automotive education and community outreach” is the mission of Driving Young America, a community fund supported by the Hilton Head Island Concours.

Gasparilla Concours d’Elegance

The Gasparilla Concours website leaves no doubt as to their charitable intention.  The home page features a prominent splash about the custom wheelchair program at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa.  The donate button links to PayPal, which offers 501(c)(3) organizations a discounted processing fee.

Elegance at Hershey

The Elegance at Hershey also uses PayPal processing. Here’s what the link looks like. Their charities are AACA Museum, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the AACA Library & Research Center.

Greenwich Concours d’Elegance

The Greenwich Concours has exclusively benefited Americares — providing humanitarian assistance worldwide — since the concours began over 20 years ago. This well organized donation page is hosted on the Americares platform and provides for a listing in the show program and assurances about the proficiency of the charity.

Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance

The Milwaukee Concours, formerly known as The Milwaukee Masterpiece, is ultra transparent about their tax exempt status. Under the “About” tab on the event website menu are links to official corporate documents, including IRS Form 990.

Concours committee members take great pride in making the annual donations to the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and Meta House.

Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance

Located on the shady grounds of Pacific University, the Forest Grove Concours will celebrate its 47th annual show  in 2019. The show benefits Rotary Club Scholarships and Community Service Programs.

Cincinnati Concours d’Elegance

Formerly conducted by the Arthritis Foundation, the Cincinnati Concours is now a foundation of its own, donating proceeds to support Juvenile Arthritis programs and services.

Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Canada’s premier collector car show.  The Cobble Beach Concours benefits Sunnybrook Foundation and the Owen Sound Regional Hospital Foundation.

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

The Pebble Beach Concours is unique in many ways, so it comes as no surprise that its donation interface is like none other. The image below shows page one of a 3-page PDF that includes a history of the event and a list of nearly 100 organizations in the Monterey Peninsula area that received funding in 2017. It’s also one of the few events that mentions donating via stock transfers.

Benedict Castle Concours d’Elegance

Southern California Teen Challenge is the sole charity benefiting from the Benedict Castle Concours.

Greenbrier Concours d’Elegance

The AACA Library & Research Center and the Mountaineer Autism Project are the designated charities of the Greenbrier Concours d’Elegance.

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