9/11 Charities Step Up Outreach Campaigns as Tenth Anniversary Nears

With the tenth anniversary of 9/11 less than two months away, a number of nonprofit organizations established in the wake of the terrorist attacks are stepping up their outreach and fundraising efforts, the Wall Street Journal reports.

According to a 2004 report from the Foundation Center, over 1,800 charities — more than half of them based in New York City — received donations in the months following the attacks. And while data on the number of 9/11-related charities still actively raising funds is scarce, many of those still around have struggled to overcome 9/11 donor fatigue in recent years. Jennifer Adams, chief executive of the Tribute WTC Visitor Center, which sits across the street from the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum, told the Journal she has heard more than a few potential donors say, in reference to 9/11, "Aren't we over that, aren't we done with that?" Still, her organization has seen an uptick in gifts, including donations from supporters new to the organization.

After a couple of down years for charitable giving overall, other organizations are taking advantage of the improved fundraising climate and the looming anniversary of the attacks to draw attention to their missions. One of them, Tuesday's Children, a New York-based charity that provides support services to families of 9/11 victims, is planning a gala to raise $250,000 and, in August, will release The Legacy Letters, with proceeds from the sale of the book benefitting the organization. It also is thinking about launching a national mobile giving campaign.

Elsewhere, My Good Deed, a service organization based in Irvine, California, is set to launch a national outreach campaign to promote September 11 as a federally designated day of service. The organization already has raised about $3 million from corporations and an additional $10 million in advertising and public-service announcements, far surpassing its totals from previous years. "There was a 9/11 fatigue in years past that I don't sense now," Jay Winuk, the organization's co-founder, told the Journal. "It's hard to predict what will be in years twelve, thirteen and such, but...one of the things that distinguishes us is that we are so forward-looking."

Melanie Grayce West. "9/11 Charities Look to Seize Rare Moment." Wall Street Journal 07/20/2011.