US Charities after September 11- a Moving Overview
29 October 2001 at 12:10 pm
The Internet has shown us many times that the world is a very small place. Rick Christ is a like-minded Internet colleague in the US who has been publishing his own e-fund newsletter for some time about NFP organisations using the Internet. For him September 11 has changed everything.
Rick Christ’s informative discussions disappeared from cyberspace only to appear recently with a moving explanation. In part, this is what he wrote.
He says, “Let me apologise for my delay in writing. It’s been six weeks since
the last issue of e-fund. I had an issue ready to go before the attacks, and
suddenly it didn’t seem relevant enough.…. Also, I had trouble writing about anything, especially anything related to the attacks. Watching the horror live on TV, knowing that I’d watched thousands of people die in front of me, especially hundreds of my fellow firefighters, made it difficult for me to focus. Fortunately, another non-profit organisation helped me to start on my own recovery.”
He continues: “Sunday I attended the national firefighters memorial service sponsored by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. President Bush was there (it was the only “other” thing he did on Sunday), and I had a chance to be with thousands of my colleagues and begin a proper mourning period. Now I want to add to the process of analysing how non-profits have responded to the attacks online.”
Rick Christ goes on to give an extensive run down of how US charities and the wider community have coped, performed and embraced the Internet after September 11.
Rick has even included an “I was wrong”. He reports that he has been saying for over a year that online fundraising was something that had to wait until people established relationships with non-profits online. He cautioned his clients against spending precious online resources on fundraising.
“Sure, put up a donation page,” he told them, but don’t spend
lots of time asking for money. Instead, offer content on your site. DO the
work of your non-profit online: advocacy, education, communication, referral,
empowerment… and gather a following that you can reach out to via e-mail
to ask for further involvement, including fundraising, later.”
Rick says OK. I was wrong. By about $250 Million!!!
In an e-mail to Pro Bono Australia he wrote that all Americans appreciate the outpouring of sympathy and encouragement from overseas.
He says, “One photo I saw on Firehouse.com that made me cry was of your Melbourne firefighters, in uniform, in front of their firehouse, with an American flag and a message of condolences for their brothers and sisters in New York. We are indeed united by so much, and separated by so little (a few thousand miles of water).”
If you would like a complete version of Rick Christ’s informative and moving e-fund newsletter send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.