NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Traditional Charities Suffer as Contributions Shift to Terror-Relief Funds

October 8, 2001

Throughout the nation, charities and other nonprofit organizations are bracing for a period of lean responses to their fund-raising pleas. Individuals and organizations noted for their philanthropy are redirecting contributions to organizations recently established to aid the families of terror victims.

  • Nearly $1 billion has flooded into more than 100 terror-victim funds.
  • Even last year, the faltering economy reduced total charitable contributions to a lower-than-average increase of 6.6 percent -- to $203 billion.
  • This year, charitable growth is expected to slow even further.
  • Some fund-raising organizations are altering their pitches for contributions -- in some cases to tie their cause to the terrorist attacks, or to avoid alienating potential contributors with language which might offend in today's more sensitive political climate.

Experienced fund-raising consultants particularly caution organizations to avoid the appearance of linking their cause to the events of Sept. 11.

Source: Anne Marie Chaker and David Bank, "For Regular Charities, There's Little Relief After Terror Attacks," Wall Street Journal, October 8, 2001.

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