Nonprofitxpress roundup – Charities reduce Iraq presence

* The International Red Cross and Oxfam are reducing staff in Iraq because of safety issues, and other charities likely will follow, the BBC reported Aug. 26.

* Saudi Arabia approved legislation for an oversight body to regulate fundraising and giving by licensed charities in the country, Middle East Newsline reported Aug.23.

* Citing failed conversion attempts in other states, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey will cease efforts to convert from a nonprofit to a for-profit company, Crain’s New York Business reported Aug. 27.

* The Sarbanes-Oxley Act on corporate governance at for-profit companies could affect nonprofits because underwriters and ratings agencies may impose some of the act’s standards on nonprofits, and because the IRS has proposed expanding nonprofit financial reporting requirements, Crain’s New York Business reported Aug. 27.

* Republicans are pushing a bill to let more Americans take charitable tax deductions, and may tack on a controversial measure to bar foundations from counting overhead as part of the 5 percent they must give each year, McClatchy Newspapers reported Aug. 25.

* Many arts groups are cutting back on performances or filing for bankruptcy, leaving season ticket-holders in the lurch, The Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 27.

* Microsoft and other corporations often give large gifts-in-kind and cash donations to universities, but many students and professors fear the corporate influence on academia, causing some universities to refuse gifts, the Washington Post reported Aug. 25.

* Scots are more generous than others in Britain, a survey found, with only 2 percent of Scots never giving to charity, The Guardian reported Aug.27.

* The Salvation Army in New Zealand is openly addressing 36 claims of corporal and sexual abuse at its children homes during the 1950s, 60s and 70s, ONE News reported Aug. 26.

— Compiled by Jennifer Whytock.

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