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State Monitoring Hurricane Sandy Fundraising Efforts

Attorney General requests info from nonprofits, will report online.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, New York State is keeping an eye on the many fundraising efforts launched in the name of helping victims of the superstorm.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said his office has sent letters to 75 nonprofits requesting information on their fundraising and relief activities related to Hurricane Sandy.

He said the Attorney General's Charities Bureau will compile this information and report it online in an effort to promote transparency and donor confidence, and to ensure that funds raised for Sandy relief are properly used,

"Our office commends all of the charities, and their volunteers and donors, who have come to the assistance of New Yorkers after Hurricane Sandy," said Schneiderman. "In light of the importance of the recovery efforts, and the enormous amount of money raised in such a short period of time, it is critical that donors know where their money is going, and that funds are spent responsibly. In the name of transparency and accountability, we must ensure that funds raised for Hurricane Sandy relief are used for that purpose."

The letter sent to charities, the full text of which is below, asks for certain basic information, including: 

  • The amount raised and spent to date for Hurricane Sandy relief;
  • Whether donations will be used solely for Hurricane Sandy relief;
  • The services provided to date to those affected by Hurricane Sandy;
  • Whether the charity is providing funding to other organizations, or making direct financial grants to individuals, families or businesses;
  • What the charity plans to do with any surplus funds.

Naomi Adler, president and CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam, said she supports effort of the Attorney General's Office.

"I am a firm believer in transparent fundraising and reporting, especially when a major event triggers “new” funds for a newly identified group of people or organizations," said Adler. "Our local Westchester Disaster Relief fund is not listed ... but all of the details about our fundraising efforts, for disasters or for our regular community service work, once they are approved and accepted by our board, are available through our website at www.uwwp.org."

Adler, however, said she hopes that charities will not be forced to generate volumes more paperwork than they are already required to produce.

"As the Attorney General is already tasked by law to ensure that charities here are engaging in legitimate work as well as accounting for everything they raise, it makes sense for his office to oversee these new efforts, however it is my hope that the questions asked will not be unduly burdensome." Adler said. "Charities in New York State are heavily regulated – much more than private businesses - so we already spend a great deal of time accounting for our work and the funds raised. It is always important for the public to know that they can trust those who are raising funds on behalf of others and I applaud him for the extra effort in this regard so that more people donate at this important time. However it is also important to remember that there are thousands of charities that do business in New York State and only a few of them violate the public trust and misuse funds." 

Information obtained from the responses will be made available on the Attorney General's website. In addition to promoting transparency, this information will also assist relief organizations in coordinating their delivery of services, Schneiderman said.

The 75 organizations that were sent a letter from the Attorney General’s office are:

  1. AARP Foundation
  2. Acupuncturists Without Borders
  3. Afya Foundation
  4. All Hands Volunteers
  5. American Humane Association
  6. American Red Cross
  7. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  8. AmeriCares Foundation, Inc.
  9. Best Friends Animal Society
  10. B’nai B’rith International
  11. Breezy Point Hurricane Sandy Relief
  12. Brooklyn Recovery Fund
  13. Brother's Brother Foundation
  14. Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York
  15. Catholic Charities Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens, Inc.
  16. Center for Disaster Philanthropy
  17. Children's Hunger Fund
  18. Church World Service
  19. City Harvest
  20. Citymeals-on-Wheels
  21. Convoy of Hope
  22. Direct Relief International
  23. Disaster Chaplaincy Services
  24. Emergency Children's Help Organization
  25. Empire State Relief Fund
  26. Episcopal Relief & Development
  27. Feed the Children
  28. Food Bank for New York City
  29. Gleaning For The World
  30. Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, Inc.
  31. Graybeards
  32. Habitat for Humanity International
  33. Heart to Heart International
  34. Hispanic Federation
  35. Hope for the Warriors
  36. Hurricane Sandy Relief Foundation
  37. ICNA Relief
  38. International Rescue Committee
  39. Islamic Relief USA
  40. Jewish Disaster Response Corps
  41. Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc.
  42. Liberty Street Relief Fund
  43. MAP International
  44. Matthew 25 Ministries
  45. Modest Needs Foundation
  46. Movement for Peace
  47. National Firefighters Endowment
  48. National Urban League
  49. New York Cares
  50. New York Communities for Change
  51. Occupy Sandy
  52. Operation Blessing International
  53. Rebuilding Together
  54. Rebuilding Together NYC
  55. Red Hook Initiative
  56. Robert R. McCormick Foundation
  57. Robin Hood Foundation
  58. Samaritan's Purse
  59. Save the Children Federation Inc. 
  60. ShelterBox USA
  61. Staten Island Strong
  62. Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation
  63. Team Rubicon
  64. The Humane Society of the United States
  65. The Jewish Federations of North America, Inc.
  66. The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City
  67. The New York City Coalition Against Hunger
  68. The Salvation Army
  69. UJA-Federation of New York
  70. United Methodist Committee on Relief
  71. United Way of Long Island
  72. United Way of New York City
  73. Waves For Water
  74. We Care NYC
  75. World Vision International

Schneiderman said additional organizations are expected to be contacted by his office.

The Office of the Attorney General is responsible for overseeing charitable activities and fundraising in New York. The Office’s Charities Bureau has established a dedicated Hurricane Sandy e-mail address, and any complaints regarding charitable activities relating to Hurricane Sandy should be sent to: sandyresponse@ag.ny.gov

Doris cosme January 20, 2013 at 01:53 PM
Yes where in Coney Island are the funds haven't received anything yet but promises and they seem to give you the run around!!!

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