A.G. Schneiderman To Track Hurricane Sandy-related Fundraising And Spending Of 75 Charities

To Promote Transparency, A.G. Requests Info From Nonprofits Raising Funds For Sandy Relief And Will Report It Online

Schneiderman To Ensure That Funds Raised For Hurricane Sandy Relief Are Used For That Purpose

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that his office has sent letters to 75 nonprofits requesting information on their fundraising and relief activities related to Hurricane Sandy. In an effort to promote transparency and donor confidence, and to ensure that funds raised for Sandy relief are properly used, the Attorney General's Charities Bureau will compile this information and report it online.

"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 Attorney General 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.

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.

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

Additional organizations are expected to be contacted by the Attorney General’s 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 email address, and any complaints regarding charitable activities relating to Hurricane Sandy should be sent to: sandyresponse@ag.ny.gov

Tips for donors supporting Hurricane Sandy relief, as well as financial reports of charities, are available on Attorney General Schneiderman’s Charities Bureau website at: www.charitiesnys.com

###

November 27, 2012

Name
Address
Address

Dear [ ]:

In the weeks since Hurricane Sandy battered the Atlantic seaboard and caused unprecedented devastation in New York, donors across America and the world have contributed millions of dollars to help victims rebuild their lives. I know that New Yorkers are grateful for the generous support they are receiving in this time of need.

Consistent with the Attorney General's responsibility to oversee charitable activities and fundraising in New York, we are requesting information about your organization's fundraising and relief efforts. In light of the enormous amount of money raised in such a short period of time, and with donations still to come, it is important that donors remain confident that their contributions are helping victims as quickly and effectively as possible. In particular, we want to ensure that donors understand how their money is being used, and whether funds given for Hurricane Sandy relief are in fact being used for that purpose.

To promote transparency and encourage further giving, we request that you provide responses to the questions in the attached document. We fully understand that you are currently responding to one of the largest natural disasters in United States history, and do not want to distract you from your efforts. We have therefore limited our questions to those you can promptly and easily answer and which will help inform the public at this stage of the relief efforts. In the coming weeks and months, we expect to reach out to you for additional information, including more detailed information about how donations have been expended and the steps taken to prevent fraud and/or misuse of resources.

Please email your responses to the questions in the attached document to sandyresponse@ag.ny.gov by December 11, 2012. If you are unable to provide responses by this date because of your ongoing relief efforts, please let me know. An electronic copy of the attached document may be obtained by sending an email to that same address. I can be reached at (212) 416-8402 if there are any questions.

We look forward to working with you in these challenging times.

Sincerely,

Jason R. Lilien
Charities Bureau Chief

# # #

New York State Office of the Attorney General
Charities Bureau

Hurricane Sandy Relief Information

Name of Organization:__________________________________________________

1. What is the approximate dollar amount of donations and pledges that your organization has received to date in response to Hurricane Sandy?

2. Will these funds be used solely for Hurricane Sandy relief? If not, approximately what portion will be used for Hurricane Sandy relief and what other purposes will funds be used for?

3. Approximately how much has your organization spent to date on Hurricane Sandy relief?

4. What services has your organization provided to those affected by Hurricane Sandy? What populations or geographical areas are being served by your organization in response to Hurricane Sandy? What services does it expect to provide in the future?

5. Has your organization provided funding to other organizations for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts? If so, which organizations have received those funds and what is the approximate dollar amount provided to them? How does your organization determine the need for funding?

6. Has your organization provided, or does it intend to provide, direct financial assistance to individuals, families or businesses for Hurricane Sandy relief? If so, what is the approximate dollar amount that your organization has provided to date and approximately how much direct financial assistance does it expect to provide in the future? How does your organization determine the need for assistance?

7. Does your organization have a plan in place on how to use any surplus funds not spent for Hurricane Sandy relief? If so, please describe that plan.

_____________________________________________________

Name and title of representative Date

Please email this document with your responses to sandyresponse@ag.ny.gov by December 11, 2012. You may obtain an electronic copy of this document by emailing a request to that same address.

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