Nonprofitxpress roundup – Bill aims to boost giving

Here are the latest nonprofit headlines:

* A bill approved by the Senate would let taxpayers deduct charitable gifts even if they take the standard deduction, and would let people over 70 make tax-free distributions to charity from their IRA, the Wall Street Journal reported August 14.

* AmeriCorp’s parent agency, the Corporation for National and Community Service, gave 265 employees $411,655 in bonuses, causing an uproar as AmeriCorps struggles to fund volunteer positions, the Washington Post reported August 15.

* An initiative to permanently observe September 11 as a national day of volunteer service, charity and compassion was launched by a new nonprofit, One Day’s Pay, along with other nonprofits, business leaders and relatives of 9/11 victims.

* While nonprofit hiring slowed in recent years, it continues to grow, and has outpaced for-profit hiring over the last 25 years, the Washington Post reported August 17.

* The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation will give $50 million over six years to encourage academic scientists and researchers to study issues of national and international security, the New York Times reported August 19.

* The U.S. government accused several Islamic charities, based in Northern Virginia and sponsored by the Saudi Arabian government, of funding terrorism, the Washington Post reported August 20.

* The Muslim leader of the Benevolence International Foundation in Palos Hills, Ill., was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison for diverting money to support Islamic militants in Bosnia and Chechnya, the Associated Press reported August 18.

* Several board members of United Way of the National Capital Area knew 15 years ago about former chief Oral Suer’s questionable financial dealings, but concealed the information to protect the agency, the Washington Post reported August 17.

* British charities received a record 7.3 billion pounds in 2002, or $11.6 billion, and donations by direct debit grew to over 15 percent of total donations, the Guardian Unlimited reported August 20.

* The Educational Tour of Alaska for Grantmakers will bring seven national foundations to Alaska in late August for a five-day tour to promote funding opportunities in the state.

* University of Georgia Foundation trustees are reviewing university president Michael Adams’ use of foundation money and will hire a new foundation director who is independent of the university, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported August 19.

* Grantmakers in Health in Washington, D.C., is asking grantmakers to take the lead in helping to improve language assistance for non-English speakers seeking health care.

* The Foundation Center is distributing free copies throughout California of its new Spanish-language guide to proposal writing.

— Compiled by Jennifer Whytock

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