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Estate-tax vote delayed until September

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

* Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has postponed until September a vote on repealing the estate tax, Tax Analysts reported July 28.

* The success of hedge funds has spawned a new crop of wealthy donors, The New York Times reported Aug. 3.

* Data from Morningstar and the Investment Company Institute show that assets of socially responsible mutual funds have grown 137 percent since the end of 2000, The Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 3.

* California’s attorney general is investigating the finances of the J. Paul Getty Trust, an endowment of more than $5 billion that has been the subject of recent news articles on its president’s lavish travel and spending habits, The New York Times reported Aug. 3.

* Nonprofits that work with children are performing more extensive background checks for volunteers and employees, including the use of technology that provides continuing updates on criminal convictions, The New York Times reported Aug. 4.

* Philanthropist Alberto Vilar pleaded not guilty to new charges of conspiracy and wire fraud in a $5 million scam against an investor in a case in which he and his business partners are accused of cheating the investor and spending the money on personal expenses and charitable contributions, the Associated Press reported July 28.

* Sir John Templeton, who sold his Templeton family of mutual funds to the Franklin Group in 1992 for $913 million and now is a full-time philanthropist, says people should devote more time to worthwhile pursuits and think “out of the traditional mold” for new research, including finding ways to prevent suffering, The New York Times reported July 31.

* Corporate and employee giving at Citibank (West) begins at the top, with the bank’s president, the San Francisco Business Times reported in its July 22 edition.

* An Australian group says nonprofit face growing pressure to fund rising costs of community-welfare needs, ABC reported July 31.

* A Saudi official says the number of charities grew 30 percent this year, Arab News reported Aug. 3.

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