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Nonprofitxpress roundup – Arts face deep cuts

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Compiled by Donnie Stanley

Here are the latest nonprofit headlines:

*A growing number of states are proposing big cuts in funding for the arts, The New York Times reported Feb. 20. Arizona legislators, for example, want to eliminate the state’s arts agency, its $5.1 million annual budget and a $7 million endowment fund for arts programs, while Missouri and New Jersey also are mulling deep cuts for the arts.

*After a decade-long decline in public service in the U.S., the sluggish economy has prompted more lawyers to do free legal work, The New York Times reported Feb. 19. Big firms in the biggest U.S. cities donate 10,000 to 30,000 hours each in pro bono work a year, while about 50,000 lawyers at the 100 highest-grossing firms spent an average of eight minutes a day in 1999 on pro bono cases.

*The Carnegie Corporation of New York says 162 small and medium-size arts groups in the city will get grants from an anonymous $10 million gift, apparently from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, The New York Times reported Feb. 15.

*Because a New York University education professor criticized Bloomberg and the financial information service he founded, Bloomberg L.P., NYU says, the company is halting support for the school’s business journalism program, The New York Times reported Feb. 21.

*Connecticut’s attorney general has sued Yale-New Haven Hospital, saying it hoarded $37 million in donations earmarked to provide free hospital beds for the poor, The New York Times reported Feb. 21.

*Taking different paths in the way they manage their money, the two foundations created by the founders of Hewlett-Packard have posted widely diverging investment returns, Fortune reported Feb. 18. Assets of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, which held onto HP stock, plunged $13 billion from mid-2000 to 2002, while the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which diversified out of HP stock as early as 1987, suffered only minor losses and now has surpassed Packard in size, the magazine said.

*The director of Britain’s Charities Aid Foundation says charities must prepare for tougher times by making hard financial decisions and embracing technological advancements to make giving easier for donors, the Guardian Unlimited reported Feb. 19.

*The publisher of the News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill., is converting his newspaper company into a nonprofit to ensure long-term local ownership, Editor and Publisher reported Feb. 11. The conversion will result in a new private foundation that will support another foundation benefiting local charities.

*A proposed settlement in a class-action suit could give Microsoft a big boost in competing in the schools with Apple Computer, former leader in the education computer market, The New York Times reported Feb. 17. The deal calls for Microsoft, which gained ground in the schools through lower-priced personal computers running its Windows software, to donate hundreds of million of dollars of company software being donated to California schools.

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