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Bush pushes funding for religious groups

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

* In the face of criticism of cuts he has proposed in social services and programs for the poor, President Bush announced at a White House conference that federal grants to religious charities had grown, and he urged corporations and foundations to give more money to faith-based groups, the Washington Post reported March 10.

* America Online, which recently announced a new bulk e-mail service requiring all groups to pay a fee to allow emails to bypass junk-mail filters and go directly to a user’s inbox, said nonprofits will not have to pay the fee, which ranges from Ľ cent to 1 cent per message, The Miami Herald reported March 3. The decision was announced less than a week after groups complained the plan would limit communication from small nonprofits.

* Seven board members of Catholic Charities of Boston, one of Massachusetts’ leading adoption agencies, resigned over the state bishops’ effort to ban gay adoptions, saying it threatens their mission and could result in lost donations, The Boston Globe reported March 2. If the bishops persist and do not receive an exemption from antidiscrimination laws, the charity could lose its adoption license.

* Eighty-six percent of nonprofit organizations and private firms are abiding by the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley law regulating corporate accounting and governance, Dow Jones reported March 9. Eight in 10 nonprofits and almost two in three private companies are adopting changes without external pressure.

* An increase in charity leaders’ pay has been a side effect of a federal jobs program that calls for federal agencies to reserve contracts for small nonprofit workshops that hire severely disabled workers, Newsday News Service reported March 7. Some nonprofits are hiring workers with mild disabilities rather than severe ones, and the program receives little oversight, the article says.

* A new Russian law will impose stricter controls over foreign and domestic non-governmental organizations, a move the Russian government says is an attempt to limit Western interference in its internal affairs, The Miami Herald reported March 7. The law goes into effect in April, but many organizations have already felt its impact.

* A new type of charity shop has emerged in the United Kingdom that sells new goods and is targeted at major markets, a trend that is angering private businesses, which say the stores have unfair advantages over smaller retailers and should lose their tax breaks, The Herald reported March 8.

— Compiled by Laura Newman

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