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Charity roundup – Sept. 11 impact – IRS eases charity rule

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Continuing developments in charity’s response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks top the news this week.

 

Triggering sharp criticism of plans to use nearly half the $543 million it raised for support of attack victims to boost blood supplies or prepare for future attacks, the American Red Cross reversed itself and said it would spend all the money on victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, The Washington Post reported Nov. 15.

 

The Internal Revenue Service will let charities responding to the attacks hand out money and benefits without first showing that families are in financial need, The New York Times reported Nov. 17.

 

Facing declines in tourism and charitable donations, and expecting cuts in the city’s cultural budget, New York City’s 2,000 arts groups face the gravest economic period since the city’s fiscal crisis in the 1970s, the Times reported Nov. 18.

 

A study by Cone Inc. found that, in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, Americans expect companies to back social causes and are more likely to buy goods and services from those that do, the Associated Press reported Nov. 12.

 

The national chairwoman of the United Way of America says the charity is on pace to meet fundraising goals this year, despite the slumping economy and fears that donors may be tapped out after responding to the Sept.  11 attacks, the Chicago Tribune reported Nov. 14.

 

Angering gay rights groups, the Salvation Army has reversed itself and will not offer health benefits for domestic partners in 13 western states, the Associated Press reported Nov. 14.

 

A study by America’s Second Harvest, a national network of food banks, says that, five years after the government cut back its responsibility for the poor, more people get food from private charities than take part in the federal government’s food stamp program, The New York Times reported Nov. 14.

 

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is pledging $100 million to the Lucilie Salter Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University, the largest grant ever to a U.S. pediatric hospital, and also is pledging to match up to $200 million in donations from other sources, The San Jose Mercury News reported Nov. 15.

 

A study by Washington Grantmakers says area taxpayers donated an average of $2,004 to charities in 1999, 55 percent more than the national average, The Washington Post reported Nov. 10.

 

A new study says nearly one in three adults in the six-county region that includes Sacramento, Calif., is a volunteer, and the region’s 1,706 charitable nonprofits spend more than $3.5 billion a year, the Sacramento Business Journal reported Nov. 14.

 

Another study says charitable giving in Kansas City grew 71 percent in the laste 1990s, The Kansas City Star reported Nov. 14.

 

Sidney Kimmel, founder and chairman of Jones Apparel Group, has donated $150 million to Johns Hopkins University for cancer research and patient care – the biggest gift ever to the school.

 

Two consumer groups in California’s Bay Area say Pacific Bell is using its $95 million in philanthropy and 7 million volunteer hours for nonprofits to pressure community groups from testifying against it in public hearings over its application to enter the state’s $16 billion long-distance market, the East Bay Business Times reported Nov. 9.

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