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News roundup – Hard-asset gifts up

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Here are week’s top nonprofit stories:

* New changes in tax laws are making hard-asset donations, such as art, real estate and antiques, more lucrative for donors than cash or stock donations, The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 16. Many charities are responding by offering free pick-ups of items and help with tax paperwork, and companies are springing up to help charities collect and sell the gifts.

* Some telemarketing firms are switching to charitable fundraising since charities do not have to comply with the national do-not-call registry, but charities that use telemarketers usually receive only a small amount of the money raised, USA Today reported Dec. 11. Many telemarketers are losing money because over 50 million Americans who signed the registry can no longer be solicited by for profit groups by phone.

* Georgetown University has passed the $1 billion goal for its eight-year fundraising campaign, the Washington Post reported Dec. 15. Only about 30 colleges in the U.S. have launched or completed campaigns of $1 billion or more recently, including the University of Southern California, which raised $2.85 billion, the most of any school.

* The Scottish government created a new position of charity regulator to monitor and supervise the work of charities and take action in cases of misconduct or mismanagement, the BBC News reported Dec. 15.

* Only a small portion of U.S. donors give anonymously, and they do it for a variety of reasons, such as preventing solicitation from other nonprofits, concealing donations from family members, secretly supporting controversial causes, or following certain religious teachings that advocate quiet giving, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Dec. 14.

* Many charities, schools and cities that benefited or hoped to benefit from Michael Jackson’s philanthropy and endorsements are reconsidering their connection to him in light of the new child-molestation allegations he faces, USAToday reported Nov. 30.

— Compiled by Jennifer Whytock

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