Band Together fire relief effort raises $17 million for wildfire victims
The Band Together Bay Area concert held Thursday at AT&T Park has so far raised $17 million - $2 million of which was pledged on the night of the concert - for North Bay residents affected by October's devastating wildfires.
The proceeds from the concert, as well as related fundraising, go to the Tipping Point Community Relief Fund, a nonprofit aimed at fighting poverty and assisting low income communities in the Bay Area. The $17 million from the concert brings Tipping Point's total funds raised for North Bay fire victims to $23 million.
“These funds are specifically targeted for low-income and vulnerable communities up there,” said Marisa Giller, a spokeswoman for Tipping Point.
Giller said 100 percent of the funds raised go directly to the victims of the fire who need it the most. “It has to be related to fire relief, and it has to be targeted to low income communities,” she said.
The concert, which featured Metallica, Dead & Company, Dave Matthews, Oakland rapper G-Eazy, Oakland singer-songwriter Raphael Saddiq and Berkeley punk band Rancid, drew 40,000 spectators. At the concert, for which the performers donated their time, both fire victims and first responders were recognized for their loss and courage.
Before the music started, some $15 million had been raised in ticket sales and sponsorships, Giller said. During the concert, organizers displayed on concert jumbotrons and live broadcasting screens various means of making donations. Viewers were asked to donate by texting the word “together” to the number 20222 or by visiting bandtogetherbayarea.org. The concert was streamed live on Metallica's YouTube and Facebook pages, where people were given the opportunity to donate.
Giller said these various methods raised $2 million on Thursday night and that people can continue to donate funds. The fund also expects to collect additional money from merchandise sales and revenue from people who watch the show online.
Giller said Tipping Point has already begun to distribute portions of the $23 million to North Bay organizations who are providing financial, housing and food assistance to fire victims. To date, more than $2 million has been distributed to organizations like the North Bay Fire Relief Fund, Community Foundation Sonoma County, Napa Valley Community Foundation, Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa and Jewish Family and Children's Services.
The North Bay Fire Relief Fund, which was established by local organizations and individuals including Redwood Credit Union, The Press Democrat and state Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, has received $750,000 from the Tipping Point relief fund.
Matt Martin, Redwood Credit Union's community and government relations vice president, said the North Bay Fire Relief Fund has thus far raised $19.9 million, of which $13 million has been dispersed to local organizations such as Community Action Partnership, California Human Development, the United Way of the Wine Country, North Coast Opportunities, UndocuFund Sonoma County and the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership.
Martin said the North Bay Fire Relief Fund recently decided to provide support to Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa to help fire victims who lost their homes find long-term housing. He said the fund is developing a criteria and process for nonprofits to apply for funds to support fire victims with financial assistance and or supportive services.
“At this time, we expect to post guidelines and an application soon at the very latest by the end of November,” he said.
As with Tipping Point, all of the funds donated to the North Bay Fire Relief Fund go directly to fire victims, Martin said. Any administrative costs incurred by the nonprofits providing assistance will be paid for by the Redwood Credit Union, Martin said.
“There is administration associated with these dollars and we are paying for that separately,” Martin said. You can reach Staff Writer Martin Espinoza at 707-521-5213 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @renofish.