The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride: Riding for a cause
- Exhibited by
- May 19, 2022
- Medium of Communication
- Online, events
- Target Audience
- All donors
- Type of Charity
- Country of Origin
- Date of first appearance
It was a thrill to stumble onto this innovative organisation. The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR) combines fun with a good cause. On the fundraising side, DGR incentivises their fundraisers by offering some exquisite prizes for those who do best. And they’ve managed to set up some great corporate partnerships to help make that possible. This allows the organisation to focus on what it can do to help charities, such as providing over AU$34 million to Movember alone since 2016.
Summary / objectives
The DGR unites classic and vintage style motorcycle riders all over the world to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer research and men’s mental health. Since 2012, dapperly dressed motorcyclists around the world have jumped on their motorbikes and gone for rides to raise money for organisations such as Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia, Prostate Cancer UK, Prostate Cancer Canada, Prostate Cancer Foundation USA and Movember.
Creator / originator
The DGR was founded in Sydney, Australia, by Mark Hawwa. It was inspired by a photo of TV Show Mad Men’s Don Draper astride a classic bike and wearing his finest suit. Mark decided a themed ride would be a great way of connecting niche motorcycle enthusiasts and communities while raising funds to support the men in our lives.
To take part in the DGR, motorcycle enthusiasts register on the organisation’s website and then are tasked with fundraising ahead of their chosen ride. Partnering with some prestigious businesses, including motorcycle manufacturer Triumph, guitar company Epiphone and the classic helmet makers Hedon, DGR offers incredible prizes for the best fundraisers, with the highest fundraiser winning – wait for it – a Triumph Bonneville T120 motorbike, a Gibson Les Paul electric guitar, an exclusive helmet and a voucher for (petrol company) ELF products. And that’s just the top prize! That’s certainly an incentive to get fundraising.
The DGR events are worldwide and held on a specific date (May 22nd this year). In 2022, there are rides happening in over 100 countries. By tapping into a particular aesthetic inspired by an iconic television character, they have encouraged more and more people to get involved, with the event going from 3,000 riders in 2012 to 65,000 in 2021 via a pre-pandemic high of 116,000 in 2019 (across 678 cities and 104 countries).
Influence / impact
DGR funding has enabled Movember to support projects in: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the US. These include research into curing prostate cancer and setting up registries so clinicians can gather information on patients to provide better care.
The organisation also awards funding that enables mental health support for veterans and first responders who are particularly at risk of suicide and mental health issues. They also support community projects to help motorcyclists stay connected.
DGR are very transparent with where the money goes and have included an investment report on their website here.
In 2013, DGR raised AU$277,000, which is pretty good. However, the event has continued to grow and in both 2018 and 2019, the overall totals raised crept northwards of AU$6 million. Overall, DGR has invested over AU$34 million into research, treatment, and social initiatives since partnering with Movember in 2016.