There are a lot of good reasons why TD Beach to Beacon 10K is Maine’s biggest road race — the scenic course, the enthusiastic onlookers, the supportive volunteers and the continuing involvement of Joan Benoit Samuelson, race founder and running icon.

Beach to Beacon’s stated mission, though, is to promote and celebrate “health, fitness and giving back.” And while the event clearly fulfills the first two objectives, the recent news that the race organization gives a negligible percentage of revenue to charity should galvanize organizers into reviewing their financial model and determining whether it’s still working.

Beach to Beacon’s finances were the centerpiece of an Aug. 7 Maine Sunday Telegram analysis by staff writer Steve Craig. He found that while revenue from the race has more than tripled over the past 15 years (from $242,099 in 2000 to $926,967 in 2014), the amount given to charity — $30,000 — has stayed the same.

What’s more, Craig reported, that grant doesn’t come out of race revenue. Instead, it’s provided by the TD Bank Charitable Foundation, an arm of the race’s sponsor. The funds donated by the race organization itself, TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K Inc., come from voluntary fees paid by runners who choose to make a donation when they sign up for the race. In 2014, the race organization gave $5,462 to charity, or 0.59 percent of total revenue.

The same year that Beach to Beacon gave around $5,500 to charity, the nonprofit that organizes Masssachusetts’ New Balance Falmouth Road Race — a bigger event that, like Beach to Beacon, has a sold-out field and draws elite athletes — donated 18.4 percent of revenue to charitable groups. And the Maine Track Club, organizer of the likes of the Maine Marathon, gave 24 percent of its revenue to charity in 2014.

It’s true that Beach to Beacon enables charitable giving that’s not reflected in the race organization’s financial statements. Beach to Beacon chooses a different charitable recipient each year. Along with the donations from TD Bank Charitable Foundation and Beach to Beacon, the current beneficiary gets 25 race registration bibs as tools for the organization’s own fundraising and can buy up to 25 more. Past beneficiaries can purchase up to 25 bibs. The groups raised $116,750 in 2011 and $134,300 in 2012, with most coming from the bib-number program.

But this isn’t enough. While competitions like the Falmouth Road Race are showing that they can put on an elite-level event and embrace their charitable aspect at the same time, the Beach to Beacon 10K isn’t extending itself for its charity partners.

“It shouldn’t always be about the money. It’s goodwill,” race director Dave McGillivray told the Telegram’s Craig. This is an excuse, however, for a practice that’s out of line with Beach to Beacon’s own mission — and it shouldn’t be allowed to stand as a mode of operations if the organization wants to maintain its credibility.

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