United Way changing focus

Here are the week’s top nonprofit headlines reported elsewhere:

* Led by United Way of America, local United Ways throughout the U.S. are tightening their focus, resulting in the cutoff of funds for dozens of groups not in sync with their priorities, The Boston Globe reported April 17.

* President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush contributed $77,285 to churches and charities last year, or nearly 10 percent of their adjusted gross income, while Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, donated $303,354, or nearly 18 percent of their adjusted gross income, the Associated Press reported April 15.

* Some of the biggest U.S. companies and their executives, including firms that regularly lobby lawmakers, have underwritten a children’s charity founded by Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, The New York Times reported April 21.

* Starting in 2008, the Kavli Foundation will sponsor three prizes worth $1 million each in the fields of astrophysics, neuroscience and nanoscience, The New York Times reported April 19.

* An investigator for the Ontario Securities Commission testified that K.Y. Ho, chairman of ATI Technologies, donated millions of dollars worth of company stock to three Toronto charities weeks before they lost half their value, a move the commission’s enforcement branch alleges was intended to maximize Ho’s tax benefit and avoid a $3.6 million decline in the value of his gifts before the company announced it would post a quarterly loss, CBC News reported April 18.

* SBI Communications has signed a contract worth $59.7 million to provide managed voice- and data-network services for the corporate headquarters of the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C., the San Antonio Business Journal reported April 17.

* North Carolina’s state auditor was expected to send letters to roughly 1,000 nonprofits that have failed to account for how they spent millions of dollars in state funds, the Associated Press reported April 18.

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