News roundup – Hewlett giving a record

Here are week’s top nonprofit stories:

* The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in Menlo Park, Calif., has given over $254 million in grants in 2003, the most ever in its 37-year history, and $30 million more than in 2002.

* Foundations should be leaders in innovation, identify challenges and opportunities and be driven by a quest to shape the future, Carl J. Schramm, president of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, says in an opinion column Dec. 18 in The Christian Science Monitor.

* Americans give over twice as much of their income to charities than do Canadians, says a new report, CanWest News Service reported Dec. 12. Alberta has the highest average donation per person among all Canadian provinces, $1,294, compared to Rhode Island, which averaged $2,240, the lowest of any state.

* To clean up its reputation after past scandals, United Way of the National Capital Area has new auditing procedures, new management and staff, and a new pledge to limit administrative expenses to 10 percent of income, but it still needs to lure back skittish donors, the Washington Post says Dec. 17 in an editorial.

* A recent poll shows more than half of British charities do not have an annual or long-term plan for running their nonprofits, the Guardian Unlimited reported Dec. 16. Most nonprofits faced with major changes, such as new funding or staff, create a short-term solution, instead of adapting their entire structure to make sure they can function correctly long term, says a new report.

* The British government selected a group of charities to oversee a new Futurebuilders fund of 125 million pounds, or over $221 million, to help volunteer groups play a bigger role in public service and to promote investment in technology, staff training and capital projects for public service, the Guardian Unlimited reported Dec. 17.

— Compiled by Jennifer Whytock

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