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Charities’ funding guidelines revised

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

* The U.S. Treasury Department issued revised voluntary guidelines to charities in an attempt to combat inadvertent terrorist financing, The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 30. The new guidelines, which update those issued in December 2005, instruct charities to search the Internet to determine whether charity-fund recipients have been accused of terrorist-related activities.

* The California attorney general has appointed an independent monitor to oversee reforms at the J. Paul Getty Trust, ending a 14-month investigation into spending by Trust’s former president, Barry Munitz, The New York Times reported Oct. 3. While no criminal action will be taken, the inquiry revealed that Munitz and the trust’s board violated their legal duties by misspending trust money on travel and personal errands.

* The Ford Foundation announced its president, Susan Berresford, whose tenure involved work in poverty reduction, human rights, education and the arts, will retire in January 2008, The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 30. The board will form a search committee in January to identify a replacement for Berresford, whose tenure also generated some criticism by groups accusing the foundation of being anti-Israeli.

* The San Francisco Opera received a pledge of $35 million, one of the largest gifts ever to an opera company, from longtime supporter Jeannik Mequet Littlefield, The New York Times reported Oct. 4. The gift, which did not come with any demands, will help balance the company’s recent financial difficulties and will help build up its endowment, officials say.

* Much of the $5.6 billion in aid donated to Africa every year is wasted because it arrives too late and targets short-term measures that ignore root causes, CARE International UK says in a new report, “Living on the Edge of Emergency – An Agenda for Change,” The Associated Press reported Oct. 2. To increase effectiveness, aid should be more regular and predictable, should target prevention and recovery and should provide training, CARE officials say.

* A federal judge ruled that a Wisconsin state-run program, which allows employees to donate to charities deemed eligible by a state committee, cannot exclude faith-based charities on grounds that those groups use religious discrimination in their hiring practices, the Associated Press reported Oct. 3.

* The Former chairman and CEO of the American International Group, the world’s largest insurance company, donated $50 million to establish the Maurice R. Greenberg Yale-China Initiative, which will help fund Chinese educational programs, Yale Daily News reported Sept. 29.

* Unbeknownst to her family and friends, the late Roberta Langtry, an elementary school teacher in Toronto, was a multimillionaire who directed $4.3 million of her estate to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, a charity that turns environmentally-sensitive land into nature reserves, The Globe and Mail reported Sept. 29. The donation is believed to be the largest individual donation to an environmental cause in Canada.

— Compiled by Laura Newman

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