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Charitable donations rise

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Here are the week’s top nonprofit stories.

* A study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy shows donations to the largest U.S. charities rose 2.3 percent last year, after decreasing the previous year, but have not rebounded to the double-digit increases seen in the 1990’s, the New York Times reported Oct. 24.

* The Bush administration has proposed excluding smaller banks from the Community Reinvestment Act, which requires banks to lend to poor people, raising the threshold from $250 million in assets to $1 billion, a change that would result in 1,100 smaller banks being exempt from the lending requirements, the New York Times reported Oct. 20.

* The Council on Foundations, which represents more than 2,000 grantmakers and charities, is asking the U.S. Treasury Department to revise its post-Sept.11 guidelines to prohibit funding of terrorist activities, saying the guidelines could discourage nonprofits from providing critical services, the Houston Chronicle reported Oct. 22.

* The IRS is investigating the NAACP for criticizing President Bush, noting that tax-exempt groups are legally prohibited from supporting or opposing political candidates, the New York Times reported Oct. 29.  Julian Bond, NAACP chairman, said his remarks focused on policy issues and charged the IRS with trying to muzzle the group.

* Nonprofits expect a rush of car donations before new rules take effect Jan. 1 limiting the amount a donor can deduct for giving personal property to charity, a change nonprofits fear ultimately will discourage contributors from such donations, the Chicago Tribune reported Oct. 25.

* Clare Thain, president and CEO of United Way California Capital Region, who was hired to lead the organization in the wake of alleged internal problems, has resigned and will be replaced by Stephen Heath, executive director of the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area, the Sacramento Business Journal reported Oct. 21.

* The New York office and three chapters of the Disabled American Veterans, a nonprofit that helps veterans file insurance claims and attend medical appointments, are being investigated for tax fraud and embezzlement, the New York Times reported Oct. 24.

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