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Bush targets charity

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Here are week’s top nonprofit stories:

* President Bush’s 2005 budget proposal would let Americans who do not itemize their taxes take a charitable deduction up to $250, and let people over 65 make charitable donations directly from IRA accounts without paying income tax, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported Feb. 2. The plan also would require donors to get appraisals before donating cars; require companies to get appraisals for non-cash, non-stock donations over $5,000; and limit tax deductions for intellectual property to fair market value or cost to donor.

* Several thousand nonprofits made loans to their officers and directors, a practice that is illegal for foundations but not for other charities, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported in its Feb.5 issue. Many nonprofit experts believe charities should adopt a new rule in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that bans for-profit companies from making loans to officers and directors.

* For the first time, a public-service advertisement on HIV/AIDS appeared during a Super Bowl presentation, the Seattle Times reported Jan. 29. Though NFL officials turned down several other issues-oriented advertisements, they allowed this spot to air because it focused on education and awareness, and did not advocate any specific policy.

* Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., raised over $257 million during its five-year fundraising campaign, surpassing its $250 million goal. Over 81 percent of its alumnae made donations.

* The number of hours that Britons volunteered at charities fell 30 percent to 1.6 billion hours in 2000 from 2.3 billion in 1995, the Independent reported Feb. 2.  Some experts say a surge in employment pulled people away from volunteer work, while others say that more women who tended to volunteer more often, especially older women, now are in the workforce.

* British nonprofits spend an average of 30 percent less on staff training than do for-profit groups, Community Care reported Jan. 29. Staff turnover at nonprofits averages 22 percent a year, compared to 15 percent at for-profits.

* A judge said the cash-strapped Barnes Foundation must present more compelling information before the court rules on allowing the group to break the will of its founder by moving its art gallery to a more accessible region of greater Philadelphia to generate more revenue, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Jan. 30.

— Compiled by Jennifer Whytock

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