Organizers are appealing for more donations to help families suffering from the sniper attacks, saying some of the funds have grown slowly as the public focused on the suspense-filled hunt for the killers.

The Sniper Victims' Fund has received about $50,000 since it was launched two weeks ago. Jennifer MacLeid, a spokeswoman for the group coordinating the fund, said it would appeal in a news conference today for more contributions.

"Obviously, that's a fair amount. However . . . $50,000 divided among 13 families isn't a lot of money," said MacLeid, who works with the Victims' Rights Foundation.

A second major fund, set up by the United Way and SunTrust Bank, has received much less: $13,442, including a $10,000 gift from the bank.

Organizers noted that many people might have decided to contribute to funds set up by victims' families. But some worried that people were so fixated on the dramatic search for the snipers that they had forgotten about the victims.

"A lot of people donated to the reward fund because they were nervous about what was going on," said MacLeid, referring to the $500,000 swiftly raised by Montgomery County to help catch the killers. Her group's appeal, she said, is: "Thank goodness these people are caught. Please help us raise money for the families."

A local United Way official said she was hoping donations would start arriving soon from fraternities, church organizations and other groups that had discussed holding fundraisers. The current effort, she said, should not be compared to the extraordinary outpouring that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

"That was an anomaly for disaster fundraising," said the official, Tamara Schomber, crisis response manager for the local United Way.

The individual funds set up by the sniper victims' families have had varying degrees of success. One for nanny Sarah Ramos's son and husband has received around $7,000, while a fund for the family of another nanny, Lori Lewis Rivera, has obtained nearly $50,000.

Rebecca Brillhart, a Seventh-day Adventist pastor helping the relatives of slain taxi driver Premkumar A. Walekar, said donations had "started out slow" but were picking up. Walekar's widow has set up a trust to help achieve one of her husband's dreams -- putting their two children through college.

"That's part of what he came from India to the United States to pursue," said Brillhart, who declined to specify the amount raised.

Several more fundraisers are planned. The Gaithersburg-based chain Chicken Out Rotisserie will put out canisters for donations at its 31 restaurants, MacLeid said.

Two gospel singers, Winston and Bernadette Charles, will hold a concert at 4 p.m. tomorrow for the 13-year-old boy shot at Benjamin Tasker Middle School. Organizers are asking people to make contributions to the free event at Metropolitan Seventh-day Adventist Church on Riggs Road in Hyattsville.

And tonight, the restaurant Willie & Reed's on Fairmont Avenue in Bethesda will donate 20 percent of sales to a scholarship fund for Carlos Cruz, Ramos's son.

"He's a very bright student. I wanted him to get the education he deserves," said his second-grade teacher, Kerri Shaffer, who organized the event.

Staff writer Theola Labbe{acute} contributed to this report.