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New nonprofit to revive plans to rebuild New Orleans

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

* With a $3.5 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, a new organization, the Community Fund Support Organization, has been named to revive the rebuilding of New Orleans, The New York Times reported April 20. The 6-month plan’s budget is estimated at $7.9 million and will be managed by the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

* Direct and indirect federal funding of charitable organizations and programs may decline over the next five years, according to a new report by the Nonprofit Sector Research Fund of the Aspen Institute, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported April 21. Based on President Bush’s $2.8 trillion budget proposal for 2007 and other official estimates through 2011, federal grants may drop by 11 percent, the Washington think-tank’s report says.

* A group of 56 clergy members has filed two complaints with the Internal Revenue Service, alleging that two large Ohio churches violated their tax-exempt status by illegally pushing for the religious right during the 2004 election, The Washington Post reported April 25.

* Microsoft has launched a campaign in Japan, offering free technology to help nonprofits communicate more easily with donors and the public, The New York Times reported April 21.

* With increased funds from charities over the past five years, drug and biotech companies have launched over 60 projects to help find cures for a wide range of neglected diseases primarily affecting poor countries, and nine or 10 new drugs could get licensed by 2010, The Washington Post reported April 25.

* Craig Williams, a Vietnam War veteran who has helped pressure the Pentagon into dropping plans to incinerate chemical weapons at four of the eight storage facilities in the United States, is one of several winners of the Goldman Environment Prize, The Wall Street Journal reported April 24. Williams, who says incineration plans are harmful to surrounding communities, has led a grass-roots campaign to persuade the government to use cleaner disposal methods.

* Although older people more commonly donate to charity and volunteer their time, they are less likely to consider charitable organizations to be “honest and ethical in the way they use their donations,” according to a survey by Harris Interactive, The Wall Street Journal reported April 24.

* The Chinese government passed legal amendments to regulate charity fundraising, give more workers the status of medical personnel, and provide more financial support for women in need, The China Post reported April 26.

* The Charities And Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 has increased The Charity Regulator’s power to ensure that Scottish charities, an estimated 25,000 organizations, maintain detailed accounts of how they raise and spend their donations, the BBC reported April 24.

— Compiled by Laura Newman

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