Americans can give more, scholar says

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

* A Princeton scholar says Americans can give much more than they do to help address the most urgent social needs, The New York Times reported Dec. 17.

* Nonprofits are promoting and helping to organize ecotourism, and in the process raising both awareness and money for their causes, The New York Times reported Dec. 17.

* Oprah Winfrey’s production company is developing a reality TV show, “The Big Give,” that will provide money and resources to 10 people, and challenge them to help others in a way that tests their creativity and passion, the Associated Press reported Dec. 19.

* DonorsChoose, which solicits donations from individuals to meet the needs of public schools, now has persuaded come companies like Crate & Barrel to use its program for their own marketing efforts, The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 20. DonorsChoose operates in 17,000 public schools in 10 states and plans to expand next fall to all public schools in the U.S.

* The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is giving $47 million for the control of neglected tropical diseases, The New York Times reported Dec. 20, and is giving $40 million to the William and Flora Hewitt Packard Foundation to fight illiteracy in developing countries in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Dec. 18.

* With the explosion of hedge-fund wealth, big cultural institutions in New York City are turning to hedge-fund executives to join their boards, The New York Times reported Dec. 13.

* Charities are expanding their online fundraising and aim to match or beat last-year’s records for holiday giving, USA Today reported Dec. 14.

* Meals on Wheels is suffering shortages of volunteers drives, and four in 10 programs face waiting lists of needy clients, USA Today reported Dec. 10.

* Hollywood studios are marketing their movies by teaming up with charities like Heifer International, Goodwill Industries and the Alliance for Climate Change, while production companies that make movies like “An Inconvenient Truth” ask studios to support “social-action campaigns” they mount for their films, The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 15.

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