What Percentage does Make-A-Wish get from Hot Harley Nights?

It is a question I have been wanting to ask for awhile. And since Entenman has decided to use it as a campaign ‘plug’ I thought the question was a good one.

Over the past couple of years people who used to be involved with Make-a-Wish and Hot Harley nights have expressed frustration with J & L Harley-Davidson (Jim Entenman’s Family Business) with how proceeds from Hot Harley Nights are distributed.

LET’S MAKE IT CLEAR! Nobody has accused Jim or J & L with illegal activity OR fraud, that is NOT what this is about.

The concern has always been what is the percentage given to Make-a-Wish from the total proceeds. Obviously organizers with charity events keep a certain percentage for organizing the event and product/vendor costs. Those ratios can vary based on what the event is. Some fundraisers can take up to 60% or more of the proceeds for administrative reasons.

Then there are all the vendors that may benefit from such an event. Like merchandise or beverage providers.

Friends who have attended the event over the past decade have told me they are surprised MORE isn’t given to Make-a-Wish, especially with all the events going on, the amount of beer purchased at these events and merchandise sold, not just at the events but at the store.

I would be curious what percentage of proceeds (after costs are covered) is actually given to Make-a-Wish? Is Hot Harley Nights just a money making venture for J & L in the name of charity? Or is it fair and equitable for both of them?


#1 "Very Stable Genius" on 04.01.18 at 12:47 am

I am shocked that he has pushed the orange/J&L/Harley thing as much as he has done in this campaign.

I mean, do people really want a “biker” as our mayor? I don’t have a problem with a “biker” as our mayor, but what do most people think? I would think it closes more doors than it opens. Is the average Staggers’ voter a “biker” or sympathetic to them? Does” the “Taupe Housing Society of Conformity” want a “biker” as their mayor too? Or am I making too much of all of this?

I get a kick out of some of the gimmicks going on in this mayoral race too. Jamison drives a plow, Entenman and his biker motif, and ThuneHaken’s sinister black cloak, while Jo and Kenny are without gimmicks….. Maybe that should tell us something, huh?…

And I think Gunn’s t-shirt image is genuine too. In fact, he looks like someone who could drive a plow, own a hog, and probably own a black cloak or jacket too….. Maybe its the Gunn voter, then, that Greg, Jim, and Paul are going after, knowingly or not….(?)

#2 Michael Wyland on 04.01.18 at 7:33 am

Hosting special events is the single most expensive way to raise money for charity. As you note, the costs of the event can be very high. In addition, special events often require a lot of volunteers. Their time and effort is worth something, especially when what economists refer to as “opportunity cost” is factored in – “What is the next best use this resource could be used for to benefit our charity?” Finally, a nonprofit’s staff costs are often overlooked when calculating special event costs. It might be said that it’s their job, but think about opportunity cost and ask the question again.

There is always the argument that a special event fundraiser is also a “friendraiser” and opportunity for the community to learn about the charity. While that may be true, the success of the event always needs to be evaluated based on the *impact* of its efforts. How much *net* revenue was raised for the charity? What did the community *do* as a result of the awareness the event provided for the nonprofit and its cause?

These thoughts apply to all charitable nonprofit organizations and all special events.

#3 l3wis on 04.01.18 at 9:14 am

MW, thanks for the perspective. Like I said, I’m just asking the question since JE brought it up as a campaign plug. I have also heard the other side of the coin that M-a-W is pleased with the contribution. I’m just curious how it works.

#4 "Very Stable Genius" on 04.01.18 at 1:54 pm

Wasn’t “Wild Bill” involved in M-a-W too?…. So that’s further proof that everything is on the up and up….. Now, back to that bridge I want to ……..

#5 LJL on 04.01.18 at 9:12 pm

As a former Hot Harley volunteer, I was fed up with the way the entire event was ran. Especially the actions and attitude of the Beals distributing employees.

#6 i12doit on 04.01.18 at 9:21 pm

Good Luck finding that out. It’s more complicated than someone going to a person’s house and asking to paint their address on the curb in case of an emergency so it would be easier to recognize in an emergency. Then, saying a percentage is going to charity. Like, a youth softball league or something. You pay the dude 20 bucks and he donates 5 dollars to the youth league. You could even donate to get a cigarette lighter and a coat hanger for a dollar, but you may only get a match and a nail in return. Make a wish is a Great Charity and people who make events for such, should let us know how much actually goes to the kids. We may even spend more if they don’t get what we feel is enough.

#7 Thomas on 04.02.18 at 12:07 am

How about the all-too-cozy relationship that Entenman and J&L has with the SFPD? Who pays for all the overtime that the SFPD has to have to ensure that there are enough officers on duty during the motorcade? Or, is this a quid pro quo for some type of deal that the SFPD gets on the Harley motorcycles? If Entenman becomes the mayor, what happens to these cozy deals?

#8 Michael Wyland on 04.02.18 at 8:50 am

The Hot Harley Nights Facebook page features a photo of a 2017 presentation check made out to Make-A-Wish SD for about $162,000, noting an additional $213,000 in in-kind donations. The $162,000 comprises about 10% of annual contributions to Make-A-Wish.

NOTE: Hot Harley Nights is *not* organized or conducted by Make-A-Wish SD and is not listed as a fundraising event on their IRS Form 990 (nonprofit informational) returns. The event is conducted by J&L Harley-Davidson with proceeds to benefit Make-A-Wish SD. The net revenue donated by J&L is included in the contributions total reported by Make-A-Wish SD on their 990.

#9 J on 04.02.18 at 9:05 am

@VSG, Jolene “take the door off city hall, pick up dog poop in a Daylight Donuts bag” Loestcher is without gimmicks?

#10 "Very Stable Genius" on 04.02.18 at 12:42 pm


You make a good point, but her “gimmicks” are minor league compared to others and more substantive too; a lot more people know about the plow, the bike, and the cloak.

Say, speaking of the “cloak,” I noticed, that in his most recent commercial, he is wearing a red tie the way Trump would, but it is still a narrow one like the “Stray Cats” or “The Cars,” however….. Maybe, that’s a gimmick too, as he slowly morphs before the public into one that Mom would be proud to take to church.

#11 "Very Stable Genius" on 04.02.18 at 1:27 pm

But in-kind contributions are contributions that are spent on the behalf of one and at the cost of an other or the contributor. But to whom are these expenditures spent to? They could be dummy corporations, or at least severely profit motivated ones, and who owns them?

#12 anominous on 04.03.18 at 1:44 am

Lot of retired SFPD cops have jobs at J&L.