9/11 payout reaches $38.1 billion

Here are the week’s top nonprofit stories:

* The total paid to victims and businesses in the wake of 9/11 is $38.1 billion, a new study shows, and government and charities have given $3.1 million on average to families of civilians killed then, and more than $4.2 million to families of people who died in uniform, the New York Times reported Nov. 9.

* The Jesse Helms Center Foundation in Wingate, N.C., has spent less on programs and more on administration and fundraising than nonprofit watchdog groups recommend, with records showing it spent 29 percent to 41 percent of its budget on programs over the last six years, rather than the 65 percent that is recommended, the Associated Press reported Nov. 8.  While defending its spending, the center has amended its tax returns for the past three years.

* For the eighth year, Mississippi leads the U.S. as the “most giving” state based on residents’ average adjusted income and itemized charitable contributions, the Associated Press reported Nov. 9. The average itemized filer in Mississippi gave more than four times the U.S. average, says the Catalogue for Philanthropy, which says Connecticut, the state with the highest adjusted gross income, ranked 44th in giving.

* A “new face of philanthropy” is emerging as groups such as African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and Native Americans begin participating more in organized charitable giving, a trend that is expected to continue as minorities increase as a percentage of the U.S. population, the Washington Post reported Nov. 7.

* Donating cars to charity before the end of the year, or selling cars and donating the cash directly, could maximize tax deductions because new tax laws limiting deductible amounts for cars donated to charity take effect January 1, Investor’s Business Daily reported Nov. 3.

* The 100 largest British companies gave nearly 1 percent of their pre-tax profits, equal to 872 million pounds, or about $1.6 billion, to charity, up 7 percent from last year, while the share of income provided to charities by businesses has fallen, the Guardian reported Nov. 8.

* Canadians gave $6.5 billion to charities in 2003, up 11 percent from a year earlier, says Statistics Canada, with the number of donors and the median donation also growing, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Nov. 4.

* Efforts by Congress to boost charitable giving, including a deduction for non-itemizers and a provision for rolling over IRAs, likely will be strengthened if the Bush administration chooses to push for the legislation’s passage, a Senate Finance Committee staffer said at a program sponsored by the American Law Institute-American Bar Association, Tax Analysts reported Nov. 5.

— Compiled by Ret Boney

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