PRESS RELEASE: Equality Florida Raises Over $9.5M For Pulse

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Posted on September 26, 2016 - 11:51am by hannah.

Equality Florida Raises Over $9.5M For Pulse Victims

Releases New Video from Survivors and Orlando Leaders

GoFundMe Pledges $100,000 matching grant to new “Honor Them With Action” campaign

ORLANDO, FL - Equality Florida announced a total of more than $9.5M has been raised for the victims of the horrific Pulse Nightclub shooting largely through a record-setting GoFundMe campaign that drew more than 120,000 donors from over 120 countries.

GoFundMe and Equality Florida teamed up to release a powerful video featuring survivors of the massacre thanking donors from around the world for the tremendous outpouring of support in the wake of the attack. The video also marks the launch of a new “Honor Them With Action" GoFundMe campaign to ensure Equality Florida’s important work continues for years to come.

To view the video, click HERE

“Equality Florida made two promises in the aftermath of Pulse. The first was to do everything we could to take care of the survivors and the families left behind by this heinous act of hate. Today we’ve kept that first promise,” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida. “Now our attention must focus entirely on fulfilling the second promise - to honor our dead with action. Thoughts, prayers and symbols are not enough.  We will ensure the lasting memorial is the real change of uprooting anti-LGBT hatred, discrimination and violence in our culture.”

Inspired by the work of Equality Florida in the aftermath of Pulse, GoFundMe announced they will match up to $100,000 in contributions to the new Equality Florida campaign.

“We are incredibly moved by the global outpouring of support for the Equality Florida campaign, and our thoughts remain with the victims and their families,” said GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon. “Tens of thousands of individuals from all over the world came together to show that love wins. We want to thank the GoFundMe community for making their voices heard and standing together in the wake of this senseless attack.”

TIMELINE:

On June 12, 2016, within hours of hearing the tragic news, Equality Florida set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the victims’ families and survivors. Donations from supporters around the world began to pour in, and the organization’s initial goal of raising $100,000 was shattered. In less than 48 hours, it was the first GoFundMe campaign to hit $2M and was still climbing fast.

By June 13, 2016, Equality Florida began working with the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) a nonprofit organization formed to help victims of mass shootings to ensure transparency, safeguards against fraud, and speed in getting resources to the victims.

1. 100% of the funds collected would go directly to the survivors and the families of those killed, whether they were physically injured or emotionally traumatized by the attack. No overhead or fees would be kept by Equality Florida. Even the interest earned on the funds in the bank would be donated, as well as absorbing the over $150,000 in staff time and management of this massive campaign.

2. Disbursement of funds would be expedited while safeguarding against fraud and the process would have the highest level of transparency.

3. The unique issues that faced LGBT victims, including those who were not U.S. citizens, would be respected in the process.

On June 22nd, OneOrlando, the fund set up by the city, reversed an earlier decision to direct funds to nonprofit organizations and agreed to provide all contributions directly to victims. That decision paved the way for a partnership between Equality Florida Pulse Victims Fund, the NCVC National Compassion Fund, OneOrlando, and The GLBT Center, ensuring all funds collected for victims would be administered via a unified process that would expedite fund disbursement, ensure transparency, and prevent fraudulent claims.

On August 4, two town halls were held to give the community and victims’ families a chance to provide feedback on the distribution of funds. During the evening town hall, survivors of other mass shootings thanked Equality Florida for ensuring that all money raised through the Pulse Victims Fund goes directly to the victims' families and survivors in a way they say hasn’t happened before.

On September 26, Equality Florida prepared all donations collected to be combined with OneOrlando to prepare for distribution beginning September 27th. Equality Florida announced the launch of a new campaign called Honor Them With Action to keep the second promise made in the aftermath of Pulse, to uproot the anti-LGBT hatred that inevitably leads to discrimination and violence.
 

About Equality Florida

Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. www.eqfl.org
 

About GoFundMe

Launched in 2010, GoFundMe is the world's largest social fundraising platform, with over $2 billion raised so far. With a community of more than 25 million donors, GoFundMe is changing the way the world gives.
 

To stay involved in Equality Florida’s ongoing efforts to make Florida a safer, more inclusive place to live for all, visit the Honor Them With Action GoFundMe campaign: www.gofundme.com/forthe49.

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