Donations for Las Vegas shooting victims are plentiful but disjointed

Updated October 11, 2017 - 11:43 pm

Donors from all over the world have contributed more than $15 million so far for victims of the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting.

But the sum is spread over several accounts yet to be consolidated. And it’s still unclear how much of the money raised will go directly to the intended recipients.

According to multiple sources familiar with the process, two groups are each working to create nonprofit entities.

Several casino properties are working together to create a place to collect money, but not all of those donations would go to victims and families. Donations would also be used to bolster community needs, such as mental health services and blood banks, though details are still being worked out, sources say.

The sources asked not to be identified because all the details have not yet been worked out.

Another group is working to create a nonprofit that would donate 100 percent of the money collected directly to victims and families, sources say.

Big money

Right now a lot of money is in a lot of different places.

Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak and Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo set up a GoFundMe crowdfunding account for victims and their families early on Oct. 2, which currently holds the majority of donations.

That account reached about $10.6 million Wednesday.

All of that money is intended for victims and their families. But the GoFundMe platform and credit card processors charge a fee for using their services.

“It (GoFundMe) was accessible, and it was something we decided at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning a week ago,” Sisolak said. “We never would have imagined it would have been this successful, and we are very appreciative of that.”

Sisolak said he didn’t consider the 7.9 percent in fees (plus an additional 30 cents per donation) that the platform generally takes from donations raised, nor that GoFundMe donations are not tax deductible. The 7.9 percent includes a 2.9 percent payment processing fee. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

“It was an immediate thing we did” to try to help, Sisolak said.

GoFundMe spokeswoman Katherine Cichy said “standard fees remain in place for online donations,” but “standard fees” do not apply to offline donations, in the form of cash or checks. Cichy did not return repeated requests for comment asking for the share of online and offline donations, along with the ways to make offline donations to the fund.

GoFundMe is associated with the Direct Impact Fund, an independent, registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, but details of how much is in that fund and the relationship with GoFundMe are unclear. Neither Cichy nor Chris Young, head of GoFundMe’s legal department, returned a request for comment.

A review of the 1,000 largest GoFundMe donations that have come in so far show that seven totaling about $4 million have been made offline. There are 84,967 donations total and counting. Assuming that 7.9 percent plus an additional 30 cents per donation is deducted from the rest of the money, that means slightly more than $10 million is left for victims and their families, while GoFundMe and credit card processors eat up more than $500,000.

GoFundMe has donated $150,000 to the fund as well, Cichy said.

Sisolak also approached Nevada State Bank to host an account for donations, according to Sandi Milton, senior vice president of marketing communications at the bank. That account currently holds more than $77,000.

To be determined

Launched in 2010, GoFundMe is headquartered in San Diego. The company was valued at $600 million in 2015 when it struck a venture capital deal, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It is common for crowdfunding platforms to charge fees, said Henderson-based crowdfunding expert Ruth Hedges.

Hedges, founder and executive producer of the Global Crowdfunding Convention, said crowdfunding platforms tend to charge between 5 percent and 9 percent.Wes Rand, Severiano del Castillo Galvan/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

GoFundMe’s fees have caused some to be hesitant to donate to the fund.

Kenneth Feinberg, a victim-compensation expert who is working with Clark County to administer and distribute money to victims and their families, said “anybody associated with this (fundraising) program in any way should be doing it pro bono in the pubic interest,” including credit-card payment processors.

Other entities are also raising money but haven’t decided where to put the money.

Zappos has raised more than $300,000 so far, with a plan to match up to $1 million. Steven Bautista, who oversees the Zappos for Good program, said the company is raising as much as it can and will do its due diligence to figure out where to put the money.

Steve Schwartz, public affairs manager at Tableau Software, said the company has raised more than $100,000 so far, but he would prefer to donate to something with nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax status.

Tableau is holding its annual data analytics conference at Mandalay Bay this week and is raising money for victims and their families at a physical retail space at the conference from attendees and other private sources.

“For a lot of individuals, where they’re giving ends up coming down to a couple of things,” Schwartz said. “One is the tax- deductibility. The other half is that a lot of folks at the conference have employee matching programs, and a 501(c)(3) opens the opportunity for their companies to match.”

Consolidation and distribution

On Oct. 5, Lombardo and Sisolak partnered with the nonprofit National Center for Victims of Crime to take over the responsibilities of managing and distributing the GoFundMe account.

“I think it’s important to remove both me and him (Sisolak) from that (the GoFundMe campaign), because I don’t want anybody saying the money is being misused,” Lombardo said.

Jeff Dion, deputy executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime, said, “All the money that’s in that GoFundMe account … is ultimately going to be pooled into our account with money from other sources, and all of that will create one, big lump sum that will be divided up 100 percent among the victims.”

Separately, several casino operators have raised and/or allocated money but haven’t yet decided where to contribute. Sources familiar with the process say not all casino properties want 100 percent of the donations going directly to victims and their families. That requires a separate fund not solely committed to distributing donations directly to victims.

Station Casinos spokeswoman Lori Nelson said the company has committed $1 million “to assist those impacted” by the shooting, but the company has “yet to finalize how the funds will be administered.”

Caesars Entertainment Corp. said it has collected $2 million in donations “to assist those impacted by this terrible event and to help our community heal.” Jennifer Forkish, vice president of corporate communications at Caesars, said the company is “working to quickly identify where we will be directing the funds,” adding that “a number of excellent charitable opportunities have presented themselves.”

Boyd Gaming Corp. pledged $1 million on Oct. 3, but spokesman David Strow said “we have not distributed those funds as of yet.”

Strow said “our preference is to coordinate our efforts with our partners in the Nevada Resort Association.”

Las Vegas Sands Corp. and the Adelson Family Foundation established a $4 million relief fund. A spokesman could not be reached for comment.

Lombardo said casino properties are “creating other funds because of the 501(c)(3) aspect.”

But the National Center for Victims of Crime is a 501(c)(3), and it created the National Compassion Fund Las Vegas on Oct. 3 to collect donations. The Compassion Fund does not have any of its own fees associated with donations, though there is still a credit card processing fee.

Dion was unable to say how much money the fund has collected so far, but Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin said the fund has collected more than $850,000.

Nevada Resort Association President Virginia Valentine did not return a request for comment about whether and how casinos are pooling their resources, whether all donations will go to victims and their families and whether casinos are creating other funds to address the tax-deductibility aspect.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Contact Nicole Raz at or 702-380-4512. Follow @JournalistNikki on Twitter.

VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System hosts Veterans Day Car Show and BBQ
The 4th Annual Veterans Day Car Show and BBQ is held in celebration of Veterans Day at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System Medical Center in North Las Vegas, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Wildfires in Southern California
Wildfires hit Ventura County, Calif., on Nov. 9, 2018. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dedication of Nevada's Battle Born memorial
The state of Nevada on Friday dedicated its Battle Born memorial honoring 895 state residents who have died in America’s wars.
Las Vegas police and Sunrise Children's Hospital hope to prevent infant deaths
The Metropolitan Police Department and Sunrise Children's Hospital held a press conference to get the message out on preventable infant deaths attributed to "co-sleeping" and other unsafe sleeping habits. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
No serious injuries after car hits tree in south Las Vegas
One person reported minor injuries but wasn’t hospitalized after a Wednesday morning crash in the south valley.
Nellis Air Force Base keeps airmen fed
Nellis Air Force Bass airmen have delicious and healthy food items, and a variety of dining facilities to choose from. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Suspicious package found at central Las Vegas post office
Las Vegas police determined that a suspicious package found Monday morning at a central valley post office was not a threat.
Suspicious package found at central Las Vegas post office
Police evacuated the area around the Garside Station post office early Monday morning near Oakey and Decatur boulevards.
With husband's passing, family in limbo for workers' comp claim
Meredith Tracy's husand, Russell Tracy, died more than a year ago on his first day working for a new company when he fell 22 feet into a manhole that was not properly safeguarded. His employer was fined $82,000 in penalties for unsafe practices, but the company has denied her workers' compensation claim, leaving her with no compensation since the death. Rachel Aston Las Vegas Review-Journal @rookie__rae
With husband's passing, family in limbo for workers' comp claim
Meredith Tracy's husand, Russell Tracy, died more than a year ago on his first day working for a new company when he fell 22 feet into a manhole that was not properly safeguarded. His employer was fined $82,000 in penalties for unsafe practices, but the company has denied her workers' compensation claim, leaving her with no compensation since the death. Rachel Aston Las Vegas Review-Journal @rookie__rae
Las Vegas family shares flu warning
Carlo and Brenda Occhipinti lost their son, Carlo Jr., or “Junior,” to the flu last year.
Author Randall Cannon shares an anecdote about Stadust Raceway
Author Randall Cannon shares an anecdote about Dan Blocker, who played Hoss Cartwright on the TV show "Bonanza," and the actor's passion for auto racing at Stardust International Raceway in Las Vegas during the 1960s. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal.)
Project Neon 85 percent complete
On Wednesday morning Oct. 31, Interstate 15 northbound lane restrictions were removed opening up Exit 41 to Charleston Blvd. On Thursday Nov. 1, Interstate 15 southbound lane restrictions were removed. The new southbound off-ramp to Sahara Ave. and Highland Dr. also opened Thursday, November 1. With Project Neon 85% finished the flow of traffic on Interstate 15 has substantially diminished. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Girl killed after jumping from bridge onto 215 Beltway in Henderson
Eastbound lanes of the 215 Beltway are shut down by the Nevada Highway Patrol after a female juvenile jumped from the 215 overpass at Stephanie and was struck by a FedEx tractor trailer. Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal @Vegas88s
Kristallnacht story
An interview with 94-year-old Holocaust survivor Alexander Kuechel who survived seven concentration camps and didn’t leave Germany until after World War II was over. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1 dead in central Las Vegas crash
An early Wednesday morning crash left at least one person dead and another injured. The crash was reported just around 3 a.m. at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Swenson Street. At least two vehicles were involved in the crash, one of which caught fire. Debris was scattered across the intersection as police combed the area as they investigated the scene. Flamingo is blocked in both directions between Swenson and Cambridge Street. Northbound Swenson is blocked at the intersection.
Richard Knoeppel named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year
Richard Knoeppel, an architecture design instructor at the Advanced technologies Academy, named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year on Monday, Oct. 29, 2018. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mojave Poppy Bees
(Zach Portman/University of Minnesota Department of Entomology) Male Mojave poppy bees exhibit territorial fighting behavior. The Center for Biological Diversity wants the bee, found only in Clark County, to be added to the endangered species list.
Clark County Schools announce random searches
Clark County School District middle and high school students will be subject to random searches for weapons under a new initiative to combat the wave of guns found on campus. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss React to Dennis Hof's Death
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss speak about their friend and prominent brothel owner Dennis Hof's death at Dennis Hof's Love Ranch. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof has died
Nevada brothel owner and Republican candidate for Nevada State Assembly District 36, Dennis Hof has died. He was 72. Nye County Sherriff's office confirmed. Hof owned Love Ranch brothel, located in Crystal, Nevada.
Las Vegas police investigate suspicious package at shopping center
Las Vegas police evacuated a southeast valley shopping center at Flamingo and Sandhill roads early Tuesday morning while they investigated reports of a suspicious package. (Max Michor/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Las Vegas Metro hosts the K-9 Trials
The Las Vegas Metro K-9 Trials returns to the Orleans Arena to benefit the Friends For Las Vegas Police K-9 group.
Kingman residents love their little town
Residents of Kingman, Ariz. talk about how they ended up living in the Route 66 town, and what they love about their quiet community. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Service at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Twelve unclaimed veterans are honored at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City in Oct. 9, 2018. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas house prices reach highest level in 11 years
Las Vegas house prices are rising But so is the amount of available homes on the market Still, properties priced below $300,000 are selling fast And September was the first time since June 2007 that the median house price reached the $300,000 mark Las Vegas home prices have been rising at one of the fastest rates in the country over the past year Recent data show the market is now less affordable than the national average
National Night Out
About 100 Summerlin residents gathered at Park Centre Dr. in Summerlin on Tuesday for National Night Out. Lt. Joshua Bitsko with Las Vegas Metro, played with 3-year-old David who was dressed as a police officer. Face painting, fire truck tours and more kept kids busy as parents roamed behind them. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rural homeless issue comes to a head in Pahrump
On Sept. 12, Pahrump sheriff deputies told residents of a homeless encampment on private property that they had 15 minutes to vacate and grab their belongings. That decision might face some legal consequences. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remembrance blood drive on October 1
A blood drive was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center on the one year anniversary of the Oct. 1 shooting. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remembrance Lights memorial unveiled at St. Rose hospital
A dedication ceremony was held at St. Rose to unveil a memorial and to read the names of those who died on October 1, a year ago. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Poet’s Walk Henderson introduces storytelling
Residents enjoy a storytelling activity.
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County educators debate alternative grading systems
Spring Valley High School principal Tam Larnerd, Spring Valley High School IB coordinator Tony Gebbia and retired high school teacher Joyce O'Day discuss alternative grading systems. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Grandparents on the fire that killed three family members
Charles and Doris Smith talk about the night an apartment fire took the lives of three of their family members. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
New York artist Bobby Jacobs donated a sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden
Bobby Jacobs, an artist from upstate New York, has spent much of the past year creating a sculpture of two separate angel wings. He donated the sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Weather will cool slightly through the end of the week
The weather will cool slightly through the end of the week., but highs are still expected to be slightly above normal for this year. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mayor announces new public-private partnership
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the creation of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a public-private partnership that will allocate money to the city’s neediest.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
3-year-old boy shot in North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas Police Officer Aaron Patty talks about an accidental shooting that left a 3-year-old boy “fighting for his life” on Nov. 10, 2018.
Senior Citizen Carjacking Attack -- 3 Suspects Sought
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police detectives are seeking the public's assistance in identifying the three attackers who carjacked and beat a 78-year-old man near Fremont and east Charleston on Tuesday. (LVMPD)
Henderson Police Department Chief Latesha Watson Talks Change
11-year-old girl shot, killed in North Las Vegas
An 11-year-old girl is dead after she was struck by gunfire Thursday night during a shooting in North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas police on deadly shooting
North Las Vegas police spokesman Eric Leavitt briefs the media about a shooting that left an 11-year-old girl dead on Nov. 1, 2018. (Katelyn Newberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Stephan Bonnar DUI Arrest
Stephan Bonnar arrested for DUI in Nevada.
Family members of murder victims talk about their loss
Family members of murder victims talk about their loss. Susan Nash, 52, was killed in a shooting along with her daughter and one of her three sons on Sunday night. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Sayegh Cold Case Turns 40
Cary Sayegh was abducted from the playground of the Albert Einstein Hebrew Day School in Las Vegas in 1978. His body has never been found. (File Photo)
Review held in death of man after encounter with Las Vegas police
The mother of Tashii Brown, who died after an encounter with Las Vegas police on the Strip, not satisfied after public review of evidence. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vehicle of Interest in January Homicide
Las Vegas police released footage Friday of a “vehicle of interest” from a deadly shooting in January. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Hostage escapes clutches of robber before shooting
Metropolitan Police Department footage shows a man wearing a motorcycle helmet, identified by police as 27-year-old Mario B. Trejo, with one arm wrapped around a woman’s neck and held a handgun to her head.
Sunset Park Vigil
A small group of people gathered in Sunset Park to remember the three children recently killed in the area.
Henderson police bodycam footage of officer-involved shooting
Henderson police released body-worn camera footage of an officer-involved shooting in a grocery store parking lot at 2667 Windmill Parkway on Aug. 12, 2018. (Henderson Police Department)
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like