Tuesday, December 23, 2008

ACLU hit by the Madoff ponzi scheme

Showing how the Madoff scandal has some far-reaching implications, I just got an email from the ACLU. They're short $850,000 they were counting on from foundations that got hit by the Ponzi scheme.

From the Desk of Alma Montclair
Director of Administration and Finance
American Civil Liberties Union
DearACLU 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

P.S. Thanks to our special year-end matching gift campaign, your
support will go even further at this critical time. Please make a gift

© ACLU, 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor New York, NY 10004

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