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Nonprofitxpress roundup – States fight drug costs

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Compiled by Donnie Stanley

Here are the latest nonprofit headlines:

*In a battle against prescription drugmakers, nine states and the District of Columbia are creating a nonprofit group to control spending for prescription plans for state employees and Medicaid recipients, The New York Times reported Jan. 14.

*With the Bush administration pushing to ease rules on religious groups, Attorney General John Ashcroft says federal agencies should stop discriminating against religious groups and let them compete for funding, The New York Times reported Jan. 13.

*Cleveland philanthropist Peter B. Lewis, who received criticism last year for forcing beneficiaries to control spending, is giving $8 million to the American Civil Liberties Union with no strings attached, The New York Times reported Jan. 15.

*Despite the slumping economy and stock market, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has pledged $42 million in special grants to 40 arts and cultural groups in Chicago, including $28 million for operating expenses, The New York Times reported Jan. 13. By creating a reserve fund in 1999 to offset endowment declines after the stock market plunged in 2000, the foundation can use $30 million for grantmaking.

*In an effort to encourage more graduates to enter public service, Harvard University will give $14 million in “presidential scholarships” over the next three years to 200 to 300 graduate students interested in pursuing public service or research careers, The New York Times reported Jan.16. The school will offer the loans at below-market rates to all its 12,000 graduates in the U.S. and abroad.

*After raising $30 million to create collegeboard.com, the College Board is closing the educational resource portal, The New York Times reported Jan. 14. The board, which administers the Scholastic Assessment Tests, says the Web site received more visitor hits than did the Princeton Review, ACT and Peterson’s, but was unable to compete with other for-profit ventures.

*Old and new philanthropists alike are finding that foundation work takes more time and expense than expected, The New York Times reported Jan. 12. To reduce paperwork, many existing and would-be private foundations are turning to community foundations, which manage the private foundation’s funds and grantmaking for a fee.

*CNN Chairman Walter Isaacson is leaving the network to become chief executive of the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C., The New York Times reported Jan. 14.  Since joining the network in the summer of 2001, Isaacson has been criticized for changing the network’s focus to feature style over substance.

*Youth Service America will offer 125 grants to teachers, young people and faith-based groups during the 15th Annual National Youth Service Day April 11-13. The grants will be used for service projects involving literacy, the environment, health care, hunger and assisting the elderly.

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