Tools for Coronavirus Planning

NOTE: We updated our policies for reserves and post race payments on March 27 and April 15. We are likely to continue to update the policy as conditions change.

RunSignup will be releasing two tools this week to help races if they are affected by Coronavirus and are forced to postpone, change to a virtual race or to cancel.

The first tool is a customizable Pop-up, Content, and Email Notification if a race needs to be postponed or cancelled. This tool will hopefully be available starting tomorrow (Wednesday March 11).

Here is an example – note that all content and options are completely customizable – you can even have no choices, with just an “OK” button that acknowledges the event has been delayed.

Race directors will be able to modify the different options they want to show participants. Participants will select an option, and race directors will be able to see reports on which options were chosen. No real transfers will take place with this. If you want more advanced participant management options, those are available via the usual links that you can create in your own custom section.

We will also provide you an automated email to notify participants of the postponement that will contain the same language you choose to use for the web-page.

The purpose is to have clear communications to reduce the risk of participants doing chargebacks and getting their money back from your race. This blog explains how your event is responsible for paying back customers if your event is postponed or cancelled.

Automated Chargeback Reserve

Secondly, we want to be proactive to mitigate the financial impact of customers processing chargebacks on their credit cards. We will be doing an automatic buildup of your refund/chargeback reserve of 20% of registration dollars collected into your refund/chargeback reserve merchant bank account. The 20% calculation is made only on the registration or nonprofit ticket fees, not on donations or membership fees. This is to enable funding of those chargebacks from your credit card merchant account.

We will be accumulating the 20% slowly at least initially by paying out 50% of all fees collected since your last payment (including registration, membership, store, donations, etc.) until the 20% of total registration fees is reached. As an example, say you have already been paid $8,000 of your registration fees, which would imply an initial reserve of $1,600 needs to be built up. During the past week you had $1,000 of new fees collected – we will pay you 50% of that ($500) and put the other 50% into the reserve.

Note that if your race has separate charity partner accounts, the donations will be directed as normal to those charity partners and since that is all donations, there is no holdback.

We are implementing the 20% reserve based on previous experience with cancelled races that did not offer refunds where we have seen 40-50% chargeback rates. Also we figure that most races have at least 20% of their expense budget due after the race so you will have the money you need in time.

We may alter both the 20% and the 50% numbers based on real-time market feedback over the coming weeks. We will publicly communicate this when there is a change both up or down. Hopefully in the coming months this will all go away and we can return to normal operations.

You can always increase your reserve if you intend to postpone or cancel your race and offer refunds.

If you wish to have a different plan, it will require three things that you can coordinate with our finance team –

  • Your Coronavirus Plan.
  • 3 Months of previous bank statements.
  • ACH privileges to pull the money due in your merchant bank account from your business bank account.

Once a race is completed we will release the funds including the holdback in the refund/chargeback reserve one week after a race completes.

The financial reserve payment adjustments will begin this week.

2 thoughts on “Tools for Coronavirus Planning

    • Yes, one of the good things about our model is that each race has their own money. We are paying races a week after their race ends unless we see impacts of chargebacks.

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