Even charities have to keep up with technology. That's why Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA) has joined the internet -- to find new ways to reach donors and customers for its merchandise.
The site -- http://www.bcefa.org -- features items for sale including Tony Awards t-shirts, red ribbon enamel pins, hats, beach towels, mousepads, and a Broadway denim jacket with a design of the theatre district.
Also on the photo-filled site is Broadway Bears" (not to be confused with Broadway Bares, the benefit strip show, also on-line). "Bears" offers for sale 80 bears designed to spoof characters in Broadway shows.
Areas on the site include "Dancers Responding To AIDS," "Links," a "Scrapbook," and pages devoted to such BC/EFA fundraising events as the Easter Bonnet Competition and the Flea Market.
Patrons can buy goods on-line, though they won't be able to buy tickets to BC/EFA events -- at least not yet. "Because these events sell out so quickly," said Marino, "we don't want to promise what we can't deliver. We need to start up slowly." BC/EFA maintains a forum on America Online.
According to Marino, the most important thing for the organization is to "get ourselves out there in every way possible. [The website] should alleviate calls to our office about who we are, what we do, and our events. We'll have an archive of past events with photos. Plus information on upcoming events and options to donate money on-line as well.
Since Oct. 1987, BC/EFA has distributed millions in the fight against AIDS, and helped raise far more through "mobilizing the expertise of the entertainment industry."
--By David Lefkowitz