Dozens of charities formed in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks fell well short of their stated missions, spent virtually all their money on fund raising or putting on events, or engaged in questionable dealings that appeared to benefit their founders, according to an Associated Press investigation.
Most of the 325 groups identified by the news service, which have raised a collective $1.5-billion, fully accounted for their spending and closed after fulfilling their founding goals. But the news service found many examples of groups it said have “failed miserably,” some of which are still soliciting donations.
Among them are an Arizona charity that raised $713,000 for a memorial quilt that was never sewn; a New York religious group that lost its tax exemption after accounting for only 17 percent of $4-million it collected for victims and first responders; and a Connecticut charity that raised money to create and sell a memorial flag listing victims’ names, proceeds from which have mostly benefited the charity founder’s for-profit firm.
See more coverage of the 9/11 anniversary in the nonprofit world in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.