Many Nonprofits Established After 9/11 Have Ceased Operations

Of the more than three hundred organizations that received fast-track approval from the Internal Revenue Service to provide emergency relief after 9/11, more than one-third cannot be located and are assumed to have ceased operations, while another thirty-eight are known to have closed their doors, the NonProfit Times reports.

The study conducted by NPT found that only twenty-three of the organizations that were located were still operational, although some had altered or expanded their missions, while eighteen identified by the IRS as having been fast-tracked were either already in operation on 9/11 or their work was not necessarily related to the aftermath of the terror attacks. Another ninety-nine organizations could not be reached by telephone or e-mail, and only one of them responded to a follow-up letter, while twenty-eight such letters were returned by the U.S. Postal Service as undeliverable.

Among the charities established after 9/11 that are still operational, World Cares Center, Inc. continues to run the community centers that emerged from its response to the terrorist attacks, while Tuesday's Children still supports the loved ones of those who lost their lives on 9/11. Organizations that have fulfilled their original mission and ceased to operate include the September 11th Fund, created by the New York Community Trust and the United Way of New York City to address the immediate and long-term needs of businesses and individuals affected by the attacks. The fund collected and distributed $534 million, mostly in the form of grants, and dissolved in December 2004.

Despite concerns that some of the fast-tracked groups would be little more than shells designed to hide fraudulent activity, no significant fraud was uncovered. "While the organizations may have been formed with the best of intentions, it seems apparent that some were very small and never had much in the way of resources, nor were they terribly effective at raising funds," said Geoffrey W. Peters, pro-bono general counsel for American Charities for Reasonable Fundraising Regulation in Vienna, Virginia. "Apparently...they simply could not compete in the marketplace for charitable dollars."

Mark Hrywna. "Few 9/11 Groups Still in Operation." NonProfit Times 09/01/2006.