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Victims from past mass shootings question fund set up to help people impacted by Club Q shooting

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO)-- Generous people all across the U.S. have donated money to the Colorado Healing Fund, hoping their money will be given to the families of the victims of the Club Q shooting.

Sunday morning, Victims of the Aurora Theater shooting, the Boulder King Soopers Shooting, and the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando called a press conference to urge people not to donate to the Colorado Healing Fund.

"The Healing Fund collects your donations for victims and their families, but then they take a percentage for themselves," said Amy Cook, a survivor of the Aurora theater mass shooting.

Many nonprofits do that, taking money for overhead costs. The Colorado Healing Fund takes the money it collects and shuffles it out to other nonprofits to disburse.

The victims of other mass shootings are upset with that model.

"Families in Colorado and across America compared notes and realized that we were all re-victimized by a similar Colorado Healing Fund UnitedWay model of shuffling donations off to nonprofits, then taking fees and victims receiving only a portion of the millions collected, " Jessica Watts said. Watts lost a family member in the Aurora theater shooting in 2012.

KRDO reached out to the Colorado Healing Fund for clarification on its model, and the percentage it takes from donations. Executive Director Jordan Finegan issued the following statement.

We understand the conerns and questions that arise out of a tragedy and the need the community has for information. We are committed to continuing to provide information in a timely manner, while also fulfilling our core function of working with victim assistance teams to help support victims of this tragedy with their immediate needs. The Board of Trustees is planning to authorize the release of additional funds this week to cover more immediate needs of those impacted. Last week it authorized $245,000.00 in disbursement. Our primary focus during a response is the families, but we are also supporting the needs of the additional people and community that were immediately impacted by this tragedy.

The Colorado Healing Fund is one of many organizations responding to this tragedy. We were created to fill gaps, and a large part of our work is identifying resources through other programs for victims, so we can stretch donations as far as possible and support as many people as possible in a meaningful way. We are working to coordinate so that every dollar raised can have the greatest impact for the people who have experienced this tragedy. 

Jordan Finegan, Executive Director of the Colorado Healing Fund

According to the general protocol listed on the Colorado Healing Fund website, the nonprofit takes a 5 percent cut for administration fees. But, Since August, it has gone up to 10 percent. The new fee is presented on the Colorado Gives website but not in their protocol response report on their main website.

Page 4 of Colorado Healing Funds Protocol Report.

Finegan said the Colorado Healing Fund is working on updating its protocol response report. She added that $245,000 has been authorized to disburse to people impacted by the Club Q shooting thus far, and more are expected to be sent out soon.

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Barbara Fox

Barbara is a reporter based out of Pueblo for KRDO


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