Tsunami relief floods in

Here are the week’s top nonprofit stories:

* British charities have raised 25 million pounds for tsunami relief efforts, or about $47 million, while the government has pledged twice that, BBC News reported Dec. 30; Americans have donated $18 million to the American Red Cross, New Kerala reported Dec. 30; Canadians have donated $70 million in relief, or about $57 million U.S., the Globe and Mail reported Jan. 5; Doctors without Borders says it has enough funds for its tsunami relief efforts, ABS-CBN News reported Jan. 6, while UNICEF is asking for $144.5 million, the group said Jan. 6; other charities, such as soup kitchens and shelters, fear a drop in giving similar to that seen following Sept. 11, the Associated Press reported Jan. 5.

* Google is looking for an executive director for its charitable foundation to be launched this year; the company will provide 1 percent of its equity and profits for distribution, but has not determined which causes it will support, CNET Networks reported Jan. 4.

* Nonprofits, including charities and religious groups, provide more generous benefits to their employees than other industry groups, says a new survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, New York, followed by government and education services employers, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported Jan. 6.

* Charitable booster foundations, tax-exempt organizations funded by college sports fans who write off their donations, are supplementing the salaries of coaches at universities across the country, including the University of Florida, which will pay its football coach $14 million over the next seven years, the Miami Herald reported Jan. 4, a trend that is making coaches the highest paid public employees in some states.

* The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded $42.6 million to the Institute for One World Health, the first U.S. nonprofit pharmaceutical company, to work with the University of California, Berkeley and Amyris Biotechnologies to drive down the cost of a particular malaria cure, making treatment more affordable in developing countries, Science Daily reported Dec. 30.

* Directors and officers of some three dozen charities in New York state must repay a total of $1.3 million they borrowed from their organizations, the result of an investigation by the state’s attorney general’s office, which says state law prohibits such loans, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported Dec. 29.

* The number of charities in the U.S. has doubled to 800,000 since 1990, growth that some say has crowded the field, causing duplication of services and draining of funds from the most effective groups, while others say the rise is a healthy development that brings services to otherwise unserved needs, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported Jan. 6.

* Independent Sector issued a statement applauding the Senate Finance Committee proposal to allow January 2005 donations to tsunami relief efforts to be deducted from 2004 taxes, while the Council on Foundations has asked Treasury Secretary Snow to declare tsunami devastation a “qualified disaster,” thereby allowing U.S. companies to use funds from their foundations to assist affected employees.

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