Concerns over the distribution of donations collected for victims of September 11-Truth!

There are Concerns Over The Distribution of Donations Collected for Victims of September 11Truth!

Summary of eRumor:
The message says that more than one billion dollars has been collected for the victims of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., but that only a fraction of it has gotten to the families.  It also says that fifteen percent of the donations will be kept by the charities collecting them and that some have not distributed any money at all.

The Truth:

(2/7/02)  The Wall Street Journal says that the Red Cross is offering financial help to well-to-do New York residents as a part of trying to make sure that all of the funds collected for 9/11 victims are used.  

MSNBC has compiled a look at how the various funds are doing:

SEPTEMBER 11th Fund (United Way of NYC and The New York Community Trust:  Raised $337 million, has distributed $63 million.
Twin Towers Fund (Mayor Giuliani’s fund):  Raised $113 million, has distributed $47 million.
Robin Hood Relief Fund (Concert of Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and others): Raised $48 million, has distributed $13 million.
Victim Compensation Fund of the U.S. Government: Money will go to the injured ad families of the deceased by early next year.  
SAFE HORIZON: More than $30 has been distributed to families.
ASPCA Disaster Relief Fund:  More than $1.3 million raised. More than 200 animals have been saved and 300 treated.
(11/12/01)  As of this date, according to the publication “The Chronicle of Philanthropy,” 1.1 billion dollars has been raised and $204 million has been distributed through 29 charities.  The Chronicle says some charities feel that distributing the funds effectively should wait until they know what the scope of the donations is going to be.  Others are involved in controversy over accountability and deciding on who should qualify for the funds and, if so, how much.

The eRumor says that a billion dollars is going to be divided by 6,000 victims, or about $167,000 per family.  In reality, the money is going to be spread more broadly.  The funds are not only for those who lost someone in death.  The Chronicle has surveyed some of the organizations and intended destinations of funds.  They include:

     …Support for immediate family members of firefighters, 
        police officers, and emergency workers who died.
     …Help for recovery workers with financial or counseling     
     …Help for families who are without income because of 
        unemployment that resulted from the attacks.
     …Help for those who were injured.
     …Help for funeral and memorial service travel expenses for
        those who lost family members.
     …Supplies for relief workers.
     …Help for charities that experienced losses.
     …Assistance for small businesses affected.
     …Help for poor people affected by the attacks.
     …Costs for treatment of respiratory ailments for those who
        do not have health insurance coverage.
     …Support of injured police officers.

Regarding the percentages being used by the charities for collecting and processing the funds, that is common. The key is for the charities to keep those administrative costs low and to be able to demonstrate to their donors that the purposes for which the funds were donated were accomplished.