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Salvation Army sued

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Here are week’s top nonprofit stories:

* The New York chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Salvation Army for allegedly ending its policy of equal employment without regard to religious affiliation, the Associated Press reported Feb. 24. The ACLU alleges the Salvation Army now requires employees to identify their religious affiliation and support the group’s mission of “preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

* The Federal Election Commission ruled advocacy groups could spend unlimited contributions for television commercials and other media to attack or promote candidates and issues, though stricter rules would apply, The New York Times reported Feb. 19. Advocacy groups such as MoveOn.org and America Coming Together can legally sidestep fundraising restrictions that were created under the new campaign finance law.

* Provena Covenant Medical Center, a prominent Catholic nonprofit hospital in Urbana, Ill., lost its tax-exempt status for local real estate, The Wall Street Journal reported Feb. 19.  Tax officials questioned the way Provena Covenant treated poor patients, and nonprofit hospitals now worry that their tax-exempt status also might be challenged.

* The collapse of PipeVine, which helped companies and workplace fundraisers like United Way collect and distribute employee donations, cost charities nearly $18 million, a new report says, more than three times the amount predicted when the group failed last June, The New York Times reported Feb. 19.

* Twenty-eight foundations are teaming to promote economic development in nine northeastern Ohio counties, pledging $22 million to the new Fund for Our Economic Future the group will control, The New York Times reported Feb. 18.

* Nonprofit, foundation and community leaders in Arizona are working together to address Latino issues and give financial and other support to the Latino community, the Arizona Republic reported Feb. 19.

* Minnesota’s attorney general is investigating several nonprofits for oversight issues, including loans to directors and employees, the Associated Press reported Feb. 15. The state bars nonprofit loans to directors and employees.

* For the first time, British charities got more of their funding from the government, 37 percent, than from the public, 36.6 percent, the Guardian Unlimited reported Feb. 17. Corporative giving represented 4 percent of nonprofit funding in 2002, with British businesses giving 0.2 percent of their profits to charity, the Guardian Unlimited reported Feb. 19.

* Nonprofit jobs in Scotland are growing at a rate of up to 4,000 new jobs a year, with the country’s 107,000 nonprofit employees representing 4.6 percent of all Scottish workers, BBC News reported Feb. 23.

* A new British group, Diversity in Fundraising, aims to inform nonprofits about tapping the large wealth of minority donors in the U.K., the Guardian Unlimited reported Feb. 16.

* A new report says Australia’s nonprofit sector has many regulatory problems and little oversight and governance, and is vulnerable to scandal, The Age reported Feb. 19.

— Compiled by Jennifer Whytock

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