Tuesday, December 23, 2008

ACLU Hit Hard by Madoff Scandal Fallout

The following is the text of a letter sent out by Alma Montclair, the ACLU's Director of Administration and Finance. The ACLU joins the list of a number of other fine non-profit organizations victimized by the collapse of certain charitable foundations in the wake of the Madoff ponzi scheme scandal, which bilked an untold number of clients out of approximately $50 billion dollars. The groups affected -- Physicians for Human Rights was another such crucial crusading organization -- desperately need your help.
Dear ACLU Supporter,

At the ACLU, we know that challenges to civil liberties can arrive from any quarter -- at any moment. And, we understand that, as America’s leading civil liberties organization, we’ve got to be fully prepared to respond.

As Director of Administration and Finance, it’s my job to make sure that that preparation includes prudently managing our organization’s resources. So, as you and other ACLU supporters expect, we’ve been carefully monitoring and responding to the severe financial crisis enveloping America and its impact on our ability to defend fundamental freedoms.

In the last couple of weeks, however, we’ve been hit hard in a way that no one could forecast. You have, no doubt, heard about the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme in which investors have been horribly defrauded of up to $50 billion. What you may not know is that two foundations that have been incredibly generous and longstanding supporters of our national security and reproductive freedom work have been victimized by the Madoff scandal -- forced to close their doors and terminate their grants.

That means that $850,000 in support we were counting on from these foundations in 2009 simply won’t exist. We’re dealing with that reality and remain committed to continuing our critical work in these areas. But, as you can imagine, the year-end donations of you and other ACLU supporters are now more important than ever.

Please help the ACLU meet critical civil liberties needs in early 2009. Please make a year-end donation now.

I have been lucky enough to work for the ACLU for the past 23 years. Every day, I see firsthand just how far your donations go and just how critical your support is to people who depend on the ACLU to help protect their rights. We’re there when no one else is willing or able to be -- and that’s because you’re there for us.

We know that times are tough for everyone, and, for that reason, we are even more appreciative of your support. With all we’re going through, we need you to be there for us now more than ever.

I can promise you this: Every dollar you send will be used carefully and effectively to support vitally important work defending people’s fundamental freedoms.

Thanks so much for all you’re doing.


Alma Montclair
Director of Administration and Finance

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