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Red Cross chief quits

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

* The president of the American Red Cross quit in the face of criticism of its Katrina response, The New York Times reported Dec. 14.

* A survey by the Conference Board in New York City found that in 2004, for the first time, more than half of all charitable giving by U.S. companies consisted of merchandise, not cash, The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 10.

* The operating style of Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, has led to a rift in the organization between his supporters and those who worry fundraising has become too big a priority, The New York Times reported Dec. 8.

* N.Y Attorney General Eliot Spitzer says the former CEO of American International Group unfairly enriched himself and other AIG officials in transactions that violated the will of the company’s founder, and defrauded a foundation the founder created, The New York Times reported Dec. 15.

* Through their family foundation, James H. Simons, who runs hedge-fund firm Renaissance Technologies Corp., and his wife, Marilyn Simons, have committed $38 million in the past two years to find the cause of autism, The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 15.

* The Red Cross and Red Crescent movements adopted an additional emblem, a diamond-shaped red crystal on a white background, that lets Israel join the global relief network, Reuters reported Dec. 8.

* In looking for charities to support, donors should focus their contributions, giving a lot to a few charities that really matter to the donors, MarketWatch columnist Marshall Loeb said Dec. 12 in a guide to year-end giving.

* A new report by the Charities Aid Foundation and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations says Britons gave 8.2 billion pounds, or $14.56 billion, to charity in 2004, with just over 57 percent of the adult population giving to charity each month, and each donor giving on average giving 297.10 pounds, or $527.66 billion a year, Sky News reported Dec. 12.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed easing a proposed law that charities and pro-democracy groups have said would make it tougher for them to operate in Russia, Reuters reported Dec. 9.

* The Donor Forum published its first overall survey of corporate donors to nonprofits in Slovakia, and found the biggest corporate supporter was Siemens, which gave 329,000 Euros, or $393,800, The Slovak Spectator reported Dec. 12.

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