LGBTQ South Florida

GoFundMe campaign raises $7 million for Orlando shooting victims

From left, Travis Morris, Paul Odom, Bobby Bongiorno and Eric Ferrari hold candles and observe a moment of silence along with thousands of others who attended a vigil for the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. The vigil was on the lawn of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Monday evening, June 13, 2016.
From left, Travis Morris, Paul Odom, Bobby Bongiorno and Eric Ferrari hold candles and observe a moment of silence along with thousands of others who attended a vigil for the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. The vigil was on the lawn of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Monday evening, June 13, 2016. emichot@miamiherald.com

A GoFundMe campaign for victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando on June 12 has raised $7 million, Equality Florida announced Wednesday afternoon.

“The outpouring of love and support from across the globe has been overwhelming,” Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith said. “We are grateful for the small-dollar gifts that comprise the bulk of this fund, and contributions from those who have used their positions of power to support the victims and families.”

Equality Florida, the state’s largest LGBT rights group, began the fund a few hours after the shooting. The original goal: $100,000. In a half-day, more than $750,000 was raised and the goal increased to $1 million. Ultimately, the goal has reached $7 million.

Here’s the complete news release:

An online fundraiser for the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting set up by Equality Florida has raised $7M in a campaign that continues to break records for online philanthropy.

Equality Florida launched the GoFundMe campaign hours following news of the horrific shooting with an initial goal of raising $100,000. The campaign became the quickest to reach $1M, the first to reach $2M, and stands at $6.9M raised from over 117,000 contributors from 120 countries. Combined with offline fundraising efforts, total contributions now exceed $7M.

“The outpouring of love and support from across the globe has been overwhelming,” said Equality Florida executive director Nadine Smith. “We are grateful for the small-dollar gifts that comprise the bulk of this fund, and contributions from those who have used their positions of power to support the victims and families.”

The vast majority of contributions are small-dollar gifts with less than 700 donations for $1,000 or more. The contributions showcase countless local restaurants, bars, and small businesses who have hosted their own fundraising efforts in support of the fund; as well as several advocacy organizations who have contributed, including Executive Pride, The Gill Foundation, Campaign for Southern Equality, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Several large corporate donors have also contributed to Equality Florida’s Pulse Victims Fund, including the Tampa Bay Rays, GoFundMe, Hamburger Mary's Restaurants, WePay, Tito’s Vodka, and MGM Resorts International.

Equality Florida’s Pulse Victims Fund also received support from several high-profile donors, including Jeffree Star, Philip DeFranco, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, California’s Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, Stuart Milk, and Lena Dunham.

Earlier today, GLAAD and Interscope Records released “Hands,” a musical tribute to the victims of Orlando, featuring 24 musical artists. The tribute will be made available at iTunes exclusively. Proceeds from the sale of the new tribute single in the United States will benefit the Pulse Victims Fund, the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida, and GLAAD. ListenHERE.

All contributions collected via Equality Florida’s Pulse Victims Fund GoFundMe campaign will go to victims’ families and survivors without exception. The distribution of the fund is being coordinated with the City of Orlando’s OneOrlando Fund to ensure speed, transparency, and to prevent fraud.

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