New director of faith-based initiative office named

* President Bush named Jay F. Hein to run the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, the Washington Post reported Aug. 4. He is former executive director of civil society programs at the Hudson Institute, a conservative Washington D.C.-based think tank.

* With a $1.5 billion gift from Joan Kroc, wife of McDonald’s Corp. founder Ray Croc, the Salvation Army plans 30 to 40 community centers across the U.S., though the money and move have prompted soul-searching at the organization over its purpose and public perception, The New York Times reported Aug. 4.

* Muslim charities say that in response to the Lebanon crisis, they are receiving donations of items like food and diapers that are difficult to sort and ship rather than much-needed monetary donations because people fear being targeted by the government for supporting terrorist organizations, the Washington Post reported Aug. 9.

* The Cleveland Clinic hospital in Weston, Fla., is getting flak for taking a $500,000 gift to create a research chair from a vendor that receives most of the hospital’s patients referred for radiation therapy, seen by some experts as a possible conflict of interest, The Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 8.

* Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino has approved a plan to place the creation and administration of a city-wide wireless internet network in the hands of a nonprofit group that Menino says will help spur economic growth and job creation, reported Aug. 7.

* Seed gifts and partnerships with established organizations are enabling philanthropists of the most modest means to leave their mark, demonstrating that benefactors don’t have to be Bill Gates or Warren Buffett to support important causes, The Christian Science Monitor reported Aug. 7.

* Former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder is having trouble getting donations for his planned $200 million National Museum of African American History & Culture because, some say, it is too sensitive a topic for many corporate investors to touch, Business Week reported in its Aug. 14 issue.

* More philanthropists than ever are setting time limits for their foundations to give away their money, with the advantage of being able to watch where their money goes before they die, The Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 4.

* Charities in the Netherlands received a total of 518 million Euros, or $662 million, last year, with 16 of the 20 largest charities in the Netherlands reporting an increase in donations between 2004 and 2005, reported Aug. 8.

— Compiled by Leslie Williams

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