Charitable crowdfunding gets plenty of attention whenever there’s a newsworthy disaster (take the recent Boston Marathon bombings, for instance), but plenty of homegrown efforts are constantly providing help to individuals in need across the country—like Bob Newman, a media industry vet whose friends and colleagues are now rallying to raise money for his recovery following a severe head injury.
Newman, a graphic designer, has a long history in the magazine world. He’s been the design director of New York, Details and Fortune (among others), creative director at Real Simple and Reader's Digest, and currently runs an independent design firm that has worked with titles like Southern Living, O, TV Guide, AARP magazine, and Adweek, where he consulted on our very own iPad launch last fall.
In March, while visiting his mother in Florida, Newman suffered a seizure and collapsed, suffering severe head trauma and a brain hemorrhage in the process. Newman fell into a coma and was put on a respirator. Following several days in critical condition, he stabilized enough to be transferred to the Weill Cornell Presbyterian Hospital in New York and is now at an NYU rehab facility.
By then, his friends had already started a Friends of Bob Newman group on Facebook, but wanted to do something more—especially as Newman’s medical bills piled up, many not covered by insurance. Newman, a freelancer, doesn’t have a regular salary, and after Reader’s Digest filed for bankruptcy (again) earlier this year, the company suspended the severance pay owed to Newman after he left his post as creative director.
So Newman’s friends launched a monetary fund to contribute to Newman’s recovery via crowdfunding platform DonationTo. Their initial goal was to raise $50,000 and thanks to the help of Newman’s friends and magazine colleagues—the contributor list reads like a who’s-who of the media industry, including Time Inc. editor in chief Martha Nelson, former editor in chief John Huey, designer Joe Zeff, Bloomberg Businessweek creative director Richard Turley, and longtime Time magazine art director Arthur Hochstein—the fund has already raised nearly $34,000.
Click here for more information and to donate to the Friends of Bob Newman fund.