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Nonprofitxpress roundup – Confusion hurt 9/11 charity, study says

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Here are the latest nonprofit headlines:

*Congressional investigators say recipients of aid contributed after the Sept. 11 attacks were confused by a lack of coordination among charities and forced to content with intimidating bureaucracy, the Associated Press reported Sept. 4.

*The chief of the United Way of the National Capital Area quit under fire the same day a task force he formed recommended the affiliate eliminate a third of its staff, cut its budget by 41 percent and hire a new auditor, The New York Times reported Sept. 6.

*Scott Harshbarger, a former Massachusetts attorney general who has commuted to Washington, D.C., since becoming the head of Common Cause in 1999, has resigned to join a consulting firm, The Boston Globe reported Sept. 5.

*Five years after taking the helm of the Markle Foundation, Zoe Baird has the support of her board but faces criticism in the philanthropic world for failing to meet goals she set and being indecisive, The New York Times reported Sept. 6.

*Response by U.S. charities to the Sept. 11 attacks was quick and generous and set the stage for recovery in New York and throughout the U.S. to the attacks, according to foundation and nonprofit leaders interviewed for a new report released by The Foundation Center.

*Lower portfolio values and changes in tax laws could spur Americans – half of whom don’t have a will, according to a new survey – to review and possibly change their will, The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 4. Shrinking portfolios could prompt parents to give money to their children instead of to charity or – because of reduced retirement portfolios they planned to transfer — to attach more assets to their charitable gifts, a financial planner told the Journal. It also said donors – hedging their bets for a bull or bear market — could stipulate money goes to charity only if their estate exceeded a certain amount.

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