After surpassing her original goal to help victims of the Club Q shooting, the creator of a popular online fundraiser is taking new steps to be more equitable and accountable.
Hours after a shooter opened fire inside Club Q, Faith Haug was among many Coloradans looking for ways to help, but on that Sunday, she found no online fundraisers, so instead, created her own.
“We had no idea it would become what it did,” Haug said.
Haug, who co-owns Good Judy Garage, a queer-owned auto shop that aims to be welcoming and affirming to members of the LGBTQ community and beyond, said the original goal was to raise $5,000. Now about two weeks later, people from all around the world have donated more than $860,000.
“It’s not surprising,” Haug said. “The community here is incredible, but it’s also really amazing that it’s gotten where it has.”
Now, Haug is joining forces with the National Compassion Fund, a nonprofit started by those impacted by the Aurora Theater Shooting and other mass casualty events.
Moving forward, a new steering committee that includes health professionals and survivors of other mass shootings will create protocols for giving out the money. They’ll then have a public town hall to discuss them and meet with the victims as well, Haug said.
“It really makes a streamlined and clear process, and it’s public,” she said. “Those things will be on the website. Anybody can read those documents.”
The grassroots effort comes as other fundraisers, such as the Colorado Healing Fund are under scrutiny over transparency or how they disperse funds. Haug maintains her mission is to give every penny raised to those in need.
“It’s literally money to their bank account or into their hands to use as they see fit, and really that’s what it’s about is making sure they get 100% of the funds that are donated and nobody is telling them how they have to use them,” Haug said.
According to Haug, the fund will remain open for some time to allow more people to donate. Victims will start receiving money after the steering committee creates the criteria and fundraising stops.
Updates on those decisions, including the criteria and the eventual public comment session, will be on the National Compassion Fund‘s website.