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Charities face fund-raising shortfalls after Marathon bombing

The Walk for Hunger is one of several fund-raising events held in the spring. Some groups say they have lost donors because of fund-raising on behalf of the Marathon bombings.
The Walk for Hunger is one of several fund-raising events held in the spring. Some groups say they have lost donors because of fund-raising on behalf of the Marathon bombings. Credit: Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

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When word came that the Walk for Hunger, a powerhouse fund-raising event held Sunday for Project Bread, had fallen well short of its goal, the nonprofit community took quick notice. With its own charity walk coming up this weekend, the National Alliance on Mental Illness sent out an urgent e-mail to supporters.

“Please Don’t Let This Happen To Us!” it urged.

The unusually blunt appeal reflects the challenges nonprofits face after last month’s Boston Marathon bombings, from concerns over participating in large public events to the overwhelming charitable response to the victims of the attack. Support for The One Fund, the primary relief effort that has raised nearly $30 million in donations and pledges, has “sucked all the oxygen from the fund-raising air,” said Peter Lowy, publisher of massnonprofit.org.

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