Sunday, April 29

Flight 93 Memorial shifts fundraising strategy (again)

Back in January, we wrote about the fundraising challenges being faced by the Flight 93 Federal Advisory Commission. Newsday finally ran a story on Friday reporting on the fact that the group has only raised $11 million toward its $30 million goal.

Organizers now say they are shifting their strategy to close the gap and will instead focus on a direct mail program instead of relying on a larger individual donor program.

The group mailed over 1.9 million letters signed by former Gov. Tom Ridge, the honorary co-chairman of the memorial.

John Reynolds, chairman of the Flight 93 Federal Advisory Commission told Daniel Lovering at The Associated Press Writer the mailing has yielded tens of thousands of responses.

"We've been getting a series of $250 donations," he said. "That's been a bit of a surprise to us."
While others in the industry said they agreed this may be a good strategic shift, there still seems to be blame to pass around for lackluster fundraising to date.
Daniel Borochoff, president of the American Institute of Philanthropy in Chicago, said the Flight 93 memorial project was "certainly operating reasonably," but may face difficulties as enthusiasm wanes for such memorials.

"The question is, why weren't they more aggressive closer to 9/11?" he said. "It would have been easier had they tried to do it earlier."

Officials involved with the project say it took longer than expected because it was akin to starting a new nonprofit organization, and that it takes time to build momentum.

Seems like a smart strategic shift to me.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if this means Kintera was fired? Didn't they have the capital campaign work for the first couple years?

Anonymous said...

While starting earlier would have helped fund raising, there are other aspects.

The original memorial that exists now is a REAL memorial that has met the needs of many people. In 2006, 170,000 people attended. Many left momentos. As part of the new memorial, that will be bulldozed.

The HUGE misstep of having the memorial in the form of a Red Crescent with a Minaret (tower of voices) was completely nutty and has turned off many people.

The new memorial has no soul, it honors pacifism not heroism.