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?