April 6, 2020
Key Issue for One Fund Boston: How to Distribute New Funds

January 6, 2014 — One Fund Boston, a nonprofit fundraising entity created the day after last April’s Boston Marathon bombing, has collected $12 million since initially distributing $61 million to victims last June, prompting the organization to figure out how to parcel out the additional funds most equitably.

One Fund Boston aims to disperse the new funds to “those most affected,” Mike Sheehan, the fund’s treasurer was quoted in a story in The Boston Globe. “But the definition of that, with more education, might change a bit.”

He said a new process will be developed to determine how to distribute the new funds, with some funds potentially being held in reserve to help victims with future costs they incur relating to their injuries, the paper reported.

While lauded for collecting significant sums in a short period, One Fund Boston received some criticism regarding who rejected and how much it gave to individual victims.

According to The Globe, double amputees each received $2.2 million, and those who stayed overnight in a hospital were eligible for $125,000 or more if they stayed multiple nights. However, others, including those who injured along with other who were not physically injured but suffered trauma nonetheless, felt they were shortchanged, the paper reported.

Kenneth Feinberg, who administered the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and the BP oil spill fund, served as administrator of The One Fund on a pro bono basis and devised the formula for compensating victims.

The unprecedented contribution of funds to One Fund Boston–both in terms of amount and speed—temporarily dampened the amount of funds some area nonprofits were able to raise from events previously scheduled for the end of April and early May. Since then, the fundraising environment appears to have regained its health.

Gov. Deval Patrick and then-Boston Mayor Menino announced the formation of The One Fund Boston on April 16, the day after the bombing. To date, more than 195,000 people from more than 50 nations worldwide have contributed to One Fund Boston.

According to One Fund Boston, a total $60,952,000 raised through June 26 was distributed to 232 eligible claimants at that month, as follows:
  • 6 claimants received $2,195,000 for loss of life or for sustaining double amputations of limbs or permanent brain damage.
  • 14 claimants each received $1,195,000 for sustaining amputation of a limb.
  • 69 claimants each received between $125,000 and $948,300 if they had been hospitalized.
  • 143 claimants received $8,000 for physical injuries treated on an emergency outpatient basis and released without an overnight hospital stay.

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