Wednesday, September 5

Ongoing fundraising saga for Flight 93 Memorial

This blog has given the fundraising folks at the Flight 93 National Memorial a hard time over the past year because they have raised less than half of the $30 million they need.

In January, we wrote about how they were blaming their consultants at Ketchum and fired them. In April, we profiled how the group had shifted to a direct mail approach. In August, we pointed out that there was more blame to go around.

Now today, I was stunned to hear this twist:

Apparently back in December of 2001, state Sen. Jane Orie had an idea to raise $10,000 by selling a thousand wristbands for $10 each. Within the first year the Hearts of Steel campaign had sold 100,000 wristbands and had raised $1,000,000!

In fact, federal rules forced the Hearts of Steel fund to close in 2003 and be placed in trust when it grew to $1 million.

Officials plan to announce Thursday that money from the campaign will be transferred to The Pittsburgh Foundation, a move that will free the fund from those regulations and allow money-raising to begin again for the construction of a Flight 93 memorial in Somerset County.
Holy cow. So, let me get this right... while the official group's fundraising has stalled as the fundraisers tried to figure out whether to take a major donor, corporate, or low dollar approach... the one idea that seems to have worked really well was stopped because of some technicalities almost 4 years ago - and is ONLY NOW being re-started??!?!

But why use The Pittsburgh Foundation? Why not transfer the bracelet money directly to the federal memorial account?

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