9/11 Charities Hope to Open Hearts and Wallets

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July 20, 2011; Source: The Wall Street Journal | Tuesday’s Children is holding a gala with a $250,000 goal. My Good Deed is leading a nationwide effort to make September 11 a federally designated day of service. These and other 9/11 charities are hoping the 10th anniversary will rally people around their mission, expand their contributor base, and set in motion long-term outreach and remembrance efforts.

More than 1,800 groups received contributions to 9/11 victims and their families after the tragedy. These groups may face significant challenges as the event fades into memory. The challenging economy doesn’t help. This 10th anniversary is critical to their future plans and dreams.

In addition to the gala, Tuesday’s Children are releasing a book and looking into a text fundraising campaign. Leaders of My Good Deed have been successful at generating corporate sponsorship dollars and advertising to fund a media campaign that includes celebrities pledging to volunteer on September 11. The group hopes these efforts will start a nationwide 9/11 volunteer day that will grow in the next decade.

Fundraising for the WTC Visitors Center has been difficult. Their neighbor, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum has raised millions of dollars. Donors have been tapped out, and there has been overlap between giving to both organizations. Most of the revenue generated for the Visitors Center comes from a $15 visitors admission fee. The center is publishing a book and expanding the number of tours in September.

The 10th anniversary will mark a solemn moment to spotlight the efforts and outreach of many 9/11 charities. Leaders are hoping that people will reflect back on that tragic day and respond by opening both their hearts and wallets.—Nancy Knoche