Giving grows despite ‘fatigue’ fears, survey says

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

* In a new survey by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, 76 percent of 506 respondents said they raised as much or more in 2005 than in 2004, and most of the groups that said they raised less cited competition from other charities rather than donor fatigue caused by Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters, The New York Times reported April 30.

* While United Way has moved in the wake of internal scandals to clean up operations and track the impact of donations on local problems, workplace giving in 2004-05 totaled $1.77 billion, flat with the previous year and down from a peak of $1.96 billion in 2001-02, while United Way fundraising overall totaled $3.86 billion last year, up just under 1 percent from the previous year but down from a peak of $3.99 billion in 2001-02, The Wall Street Journal reported April 28.

* A growing number of churches and other charities are violating laws barring politicking, spurring a rise in IRS enforcement and calls for a greater crackdown, the Boston Globe reported April 29.

* The $2 billion blood business at the American Red Cross is struggling to meet federal blood-safety rules as it faces renewed scrutiny from regulators and stiff fines, The Wall Street Journal reported April 27.

* Public broadcasters have launched a joint promotional website to spur grass-roots messages to members of Congress in the face of a proposed $100 million cut in the already pared-down budget for public broadcasting proposed by the Bush administration, The New York Times reported April 24.

* While retirement now can last two or three decades for many older Americans, many retirees end up in volunteer positions that don’t fit their skills or are not what they expected, The Wall Street Journal reported April 24.

* The YWCA has voted to let men serve as leaders of its nearly 300 local affiliates for the first time in its 148-year history, the Associated Press reported April 29.

* Nonprofits and arts groups in Silicon Valley fear a loss of funding because of the acquisition of the San Jose-based Knight-Ridder newspaper chain, the Associated Press reported April 30.

* Under a former investment banker, TIAA-CREF is launching an online brokerage firm and replacing its antiquated computer system in an effort to compete in its main market, managing retirement funds for employees of universities, where its share of the market has fallen to 70 percent from nearly 100 percent 10 years ago, The Wall Street Journal reported April 24.

* With Wall Street profits surging, New York’s 27,000 local charities are promoting fundraising galas and events, Bloomberg News reported April 17.

* Canadian charities likely will get a boost in the federal budget with the Conservative government planning to end taxes on donations of listed stocks, The Canadian Press reported April 28.

* Affinity cards have grown rapidly since MBNA Canada introduced the first one in November 1997, and the company now says it has nearly 500 different cards and roughly 2.9 million cardholders, with the cards raising tens of millions of dollars each year for their respective organizations, CanWest News Service reported April 27.

* The Charity Commission in Britain on May 16 will launch “Charity Commission Direct,” a “one-stop shop” for charity inquiries submitted by email, mail, fax and phone, CharityTimes reported April 17.

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