Woburn, MA and Tacoma, WA September 20, 2001 American ingenuity knows no bounds, and nowhere is that more evident than in the efforts of businesses to help, and allow others to help, people and businesses affected by last week's terror.
Internet cash donations have already totaled several million, and one company, AssetStream, is allowing individuals the free use of its online tool to support disaster relief efforts by donating something else stocks. Interested stockholders can donate to their charity of choice via the company's Web site. The company will waive all fees through December 1, 2001 to allow donations of stock to make an immediate difference in the wake of this national tragedy. It is also working with participating brokers to waive brokerage fees, as well.
"We at AssetStream are saddened by this terrible tragedy and, like all Americans, want to help in any way we can. We hope that this free service will allow people to give generously so that others may recover from the aftermath of our nation's recent terrorist attacks," said Edward Johnson, founder and CEO of AssetStream.
Bradley Small, senior financial advisor at Merrill Lynch noted, "Even though the stock market is off for the year, many individuals still have appreciated assets that can be given to benefit the charities who are raising money for the disaster relief effort." Stock donations of even a few shares can quickly add up to substantial amounts, a critical factor to keep in mind at a time when every little bit helps.
The amount of money that needs to be raised quickly is enormous, and check and credit card gifts are not sufficient to achieve that goal. According to Tom Rogerson, a principal with State Street Global Advisors, a division of State Street Bank, "People can typically give 30 to 50 percent more by donating stock for the same after-tax cost of giving cash. In this time of crisis, stock donations are a powerful way to make a significant contribution."
Save the Children, one of AssetStream's most recent clients, is scheduled to begin soliciting online stock contributions on October 8. According to Steve Bornemeier, director of planned giving, "Save the Children strongly encourages giving appreciated securities as a wise practice of 'smart philanthropy.'
Effective immediately, individuals can donate appreciated stock to the non-profit of their choice through the GiveWell Foundation and directly to participating charities via www.AssetStream.com. All they need is the name of their brokerage firm, account number and the name of the stock.
Non-profits and community foundations interested in receiving free online stock processing for disaster relief funds can contact AssetStream at 781-938-0008, x204, or email [email protected].
In another case of high-tech giving, Tacoma-based Internet utility industry firm InsynQ has donated information technology services to FireDonations.com in response to that firm's losses incurred through last week's terrorist attack on America.
InsynQ will donate a complete Network On Demand suite of services including Microsoft Office 2000 and Microsoft Exchange mail services Donor Management Software in support of FireDonations.com, which has been overwhelmed by Fire Fund donations and desperately needed a scalable solution that all of its employees can use.
According to Steve Careaga, executive director of FireDonations.com, "The overwhelming response from public as well as major corporations from all over the world has been a challenge for our small organization to deal with. InsynQ has given our staff and volunteers the ability to work home. To date FireDonations.com has raised over 4 million for the `New York Firefighters 9-11 Relief Fund.' The money will go to the families of the brave firefighters and rescue workers from New York that lost their lives in Tuesday's tragic terrorist attack on America. With InsynQ, we can network all of them into a single workgroup and share information in real time."
InsynQ is ready to support those who have been impacted by the terrorist attacks to our nation last week and has also issued a release announcing free subscriptions to companies who have been displaced. In InsynQ's latest release, CEO John Gorst CEO said, "All of us at InsynQ, Inc. share with the country the sense of extreme loss and shock created by the terrorist events that have transpired. It was a defining moment in U.S. history. As the time of healing begins, InsynQ joins all Americans in extending our sympathies to the victims and their families, and in supporting all efforts to make this country whole again. As our part in the solution to this act of terror, we stand by our clients and will continue to assist in building the future of America. We must all focus on the task at hand in the face of such events, and work together as a team to succeed."