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Boston Marathon Bombing - How to Help

April 18, 2013

Planning to make a donation to support the victims of the Boston marathon bombing? Before you do, watch this short interview with our President & CEO, Ken Berger, which includes important  advice for how to make sure your money gets to the victims. Below the video we offer information on charities collecting donations as well as some additional tips.


 

Charities that have been Rated by Charity Navigator

  • Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund
    • The four time 4-star Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund has created the Boston Marathon Relief Fund "to aid the recovery from this homeland terrorist attack, collecting donations that will directly assist victims of the Boston bombings." Their website notes that "assistance will start with the most critically injured and expand as we receive donations for this fund."
    • To contribute to this effort, they're instructing donors to visit the America's Fund website (a program of the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund).

Funds Unrated by Charity Navigator

We list these unrated appeals to support the Boston Marathon Bombing victims, with the information we have been able to obtain about each, to help inform potential donors. However, we caution that gifts to these funds carry more risk than gifts to a well-established, fully vetted charity. 

  • TUGG
  • The One Fund
    • This fundraising effort was established on April 16th by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino “to help the people most affected by the tragic events that occurred in Boston on April 15, 2013.”
    • Kenneth Feinberg, who has overseen funds for victims of 9/11, the BP oil spill and mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., and at Virginia Tech, will oversee The One Fund
    • The group has applied for nonprofit status, but does not yet have it.  Thenotice about the fund’s creation does properly note that “although the Fund cannot guarantee that the IRS will make a determination that the organization qualifies as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity, if approval is received within the expected time frame, the determination will be retroactive to the date of the Fund’s formation.” Readers of this blog know that the IRS hands out nonprofit status like it is giving away candy so it is highly likely that the fund’s nonprofit status will be approved.
    • We’ve seen similar efforts after other disasters, including Superstorm Sandy in which the Governor of NJ and his wife started a fund. At the time, it too did not have nonprofit status (it does now). It has been the subject of some criticism – which Governor Christie has responded to.
    • We generally recommend that donors not support brand new charities in a time of crisis, but we recognize that many donors will want to support this fund (as evident by the fact that it raised >$4 million within the first 24 hours of its existence). Hopefully, the caliber of the leaders who have created the fund, in combination with the media scrutiny it is sure to receive, will help ensure that the fund does as it promises it will do.

Here are some things to keep in mind in your efforts to support a Boston Marathon Bombing related fund:

 
 
   
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