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Charity roundup – Church woes – Red Cross criticism

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Here are the latest nonprofit headlines:

*Saying its insurance won’t cover an estimated $100 million in settlements of lawsuits against priests accused of sexually abusing children, the Boston diocese of the Roman Catholic Church plans to sell property, borrow money and ask wealthy donors for contributions but not to use money from its $300 million fund drive, the biggest ever by a U.S. diocese, The New York Times reported March 13.

*Financier and philanthropist George Soros, who has given more than $4 billion to charities since 1994, says private philanthropy alone can’t solve the world’s poverty, education and health problems, and $80 billion to $120 billion in government foreign aid – twice the current level – is needed by 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported March 14.

*The American Red Cross has used only 60 percent of the $933.2 million in the Liberty Fund for victims of Sept. 11, and is being criticized for its relief efforts, The Dallas Morning News reported March 11.  The nonprofit group wants to hold $300 million for future disasters.

*President Bush is asking members of his cabinet to develop ways for their agencies to support his volunteer plan, Reuters reported March 12.

*A survey by the Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy at the University of Southern California found nonprofit groups in the Bay Area received nearly half of all foundation grants given in the state, even though the region is home to only one-third of the state’s foundations, the San Francisco Chronicle reported March 8.

*UCLA, in the midst of the biggest capital campaign ever by a public university, has increased its goal to $2.4 billion from $1.6 billion — which it raised six months ahead of schedule — and extended the campaign until 2005.

*The Inspector General of Washington, D.C., will audit community development groups that have failed to revitalize D.C. neighborhoods, despite receiving $100 million in public loans and grants over the past 10 years, The Washington Post reported March 9.

*Daniel and Jan Lewis of Miami gave $10 million to The Cleveland Orchestra, the largest donation to the group by an individual or couple, the Naples Daily News reported March 11.  Of the total, $8 million will be used as the lead gift for the orchestra’s five-year plan to increase its endowment. 

*Howard University aims to raise $250 million in its first capital campaign ever, with the funds to be used for scholarships, teacher research and for new buildings, The Washington Post reported March 14.  The university has received $50 million, including $2.5 million from AOL Time Warner and $2 million from the Ford Motor Corporation.

*The Philadelphia Health Care Trust, in a deal with the University of Pennsylvania, will establish a $100 million endowment to support patient-care, research and educational programs for Penn Medicine, the governing body of the health system of the university, The Business Journal reported March 13. 

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