As you have all heard, the Madoff scam has hurt many nonprofits, especially many social justice nonprofits. I read a recent article about how foundations may be the reason why this scam went undetected for so long (another reason why the 5% payout is hurting nonprofits). There was finally some happy news on the Madoff front. MoveOn.org sent an email to their membership base asking them to support organizations that have been hurt by the scandal. It is too rare that we see a nonprofit organization stepping up and fundraising for other organizations that have been hurt by unusual circumstances. I hope this kind of quick action becomes more common. From MoveOn:
Dear MoveOn member,
You've probably heard about how Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff scammed investors out of at least $50 billion.
But you may not have heard that his victims included the foundations that support some really important progressive organizations. Groups that fight for human rights, fair elections and racial justice are getting hit hard—just in time for the holidays. We've worked side-by-side with many of them.
If these groups can't replace the funding that came from investment accounts that Madoff stole, they may be forced to start cutting important projects or, in some cases, even lay off staff.
Can you pitch in $25 or $50 for each of the four organizations we're highlighting below? If a few thousand of us give together, it can make an enormous difference—and help repair some of the damage Madoff has done. Click here to contribute:
Your gift will be tax-deductible as if you had made the gift directly to the designated charities; we will forward 100% of your contribution to the organizations you select.
Many organizations have been hit by this crisis. We're highlighting the four that MoveOn has worked closely with over the last few years. Here's a bit about each of the groups:
The Brennan Center for Justice is a nonpartisan institute that focuses on fundamental issues of democracy and justice. Their work ranges from voting rights to redistricting reform to checking presidential power in the fight against terrorism. MoveOn has worked with the Brennan Center closely in the fight for fair elections. Chip in to help them out here.
Human Rights Watch is one of the world's leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. By focusing international attention where human rights are violated, they give voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes. Its rigorous, objective investigations and strategic, targeted advocacy build intense pressure for action and raise the cost of human rights abuse. MoveOn has worked with Human Rights Watch on campaigns to preserve the constitution and protect human rights in America and abroad. Chip in to help them out here.
Advancement Project is a policy, communications and legal action group committed to racial justice founded by a team of veteran civil rights lawyers in 1998. They have pursued critical litigation to protect voters and also support grassroots movements for universal opportunity and just democracy in the areas of education and immigrants' rights. MoveOn has worked with Advancement Project to stop vote suppression, especially among minority folks. Chip in to help them out here.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a nonprofit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. MoveOn has worked with CCR to hold President Bush accountable for his unconstitutional acts, from illegal wiretaps to Guantanamo. Chip in to help them out here.
2008 has been an extraordinary year. Together, MoveOn's 5 million members have done so much—and we have a new president and new hope to show for it. But we wouldn't be where we are as a country without a strong movement of interconnected progressive organizations. Let's come together one last time to keep that movement going strong.
Thanks for all you do.
–Eli, Carrie, Ilyse and the entire MoveOn.org Civic Action team