A joint report released July 1 by the state regarding money raised and distributed following 12/14 showed organizations reporting unspent funds were among the largest fundraisers. Each of the top 10 fundraisers reported having some unspent funds.
Of the approximately $23 million cumulatively raised by these ten fundraisers, approximately $10 million, or approximately 45 percent, remains unspent. Most of the largest fundraisers report that they intend to use their funds for a variety of purposes, such as mental health counseling and youth programs.
*The largest fund, The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, Inc., has $4,307,304 (36 percent) remaining of the $12,002,705 raised, as of the survey response date of October 7, 2013.
The organization responded that these “funds are expected to last to address long term community needs. Using Distribution Committees and needs assessments it is anticipated spending is 10-15 years.” This is consistent with representations made to donors that their donations were unrestricted.
*My Sandy Hook Family Fund raised $1,604,497 and has disbursed over 99 percent of those funds in direct distributions to the 26 families who lost loved ones in the tragedy.
*The Newtown Memorial Fund raised $1,521,853 and reported that it has $1,014,226 (67 percent) of that amount remaining.
These funds are intended to create a perpetual fund for unmet future needs. The Fund stated that “[we will] continue to provide funding assistance for medical and mental health expenses for those affected by the Sandy Hook tragedy as administered by OVS [State Office of Victim Services]: we will make additional scholarship grants for future collegebound students as administered by [Newtown Scholarship Association], and; we will financially contribute toward a meaningful physical town memorial.”
*The Sandy Hook School Foundation raised $986,000 and reported $967,788 (98 percent) of that amount remaining.
The organization reports that it is “in the process of partnering with the school district, school administration and school PTA leadership to identify areas of need.” The organization plans to use the funds over a 13-year period to coincide with the graduation of the last of the Sandy Hook students from Newtown High School. Remaining funds will, according to the Foundation, “be used for support of cultural arts events, mental health counseling, SHS staff support, SHS family events, enhanced teacher appreciation and support.”
*The Fairfield County Community Foundation raised $899,514 in response to Sandy Hook and reported $866,590 (96 percent) of that amount remaining.
The funds will be used in perpetuity to address broader mental health needs and to support education, public safety and at risk youth in Fairfield County with preference given to Newtown. The Foundation reports that some of these funds are endowed.
The United Way of Western Connecticut was excluded from this question as they acted as a pass through to the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, Inc.
*The Town of Newtown — Sandy Hook Special Revenue Fund raised $799,649 and reported $502,571 (63 percent) of that amount remaining.
The organization stated that the Sandy Hook Special Revenue Fund is dedicated to “projects with a public purpose” and that have not yet begun.
The Sandy Hook Memorial Sidewalk account constitutes a portion of the Special Revenue Fund. The funds donated for the Memorial Sidewalk, $14,973 as of November 12, 2013, are retained in the Special Revenue Fund pending commencement of the project.
*Newtown Rotary Club Foundation raised $794,285 and reported $371,287 (47 percent) of that amount remaining.
The Foundation set up the Newtown Rotary Sandy Hook School Fund, which is dedicated “to the victims of the Sandy Hook School tragedy, their families and those in the Newtown community who have been affected, to help support both their short term and long term needs.” In response to the survey question addressing unspent funds, the organization responded, “Our funding of needs is an ongoing process” that is based “solely on demand.”