Gates Foundation investments’ scrutinized

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

* The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest charitable foundation in the world, has investment holdings in many companies that have failed tests of social responsibility because of environmental lapses, employment discrimination, disregard for worker rights or unethical practices, the Los Angeles Times reported Jan. 7.

* A study by a business professor at New York University says that for every tax-deductible dollar it donates to charity, the average corporation should expect profit to rise by about $2 to $3, The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 7.

* A survey by Fidelity Investments says employees in education, government and health care have saved less for retirement in defined-contribution plans than have private-sector workers, The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 5.

* A Congressional study says families earning over $1 million a year enjoyed a bigger reduction in their federal taxes than any other group in the U.S. as a result of President Bush’s tax cuts, The New York Times reported Jan. 7.

* Eight-five percent of Roman Catholic dioceses responding to a survey by Villanova University researchers say they discovered embezzlement of church money in the last five years, with 11 percent saying more than $500,000 was stolen, The New York Times reported Jan. 5.

* The McCormick Tribune Foundation, the second-biggest shareholder in the Tribune Company, says it has hired a buyout firm to advise it while the company is for sale, The New York Times reported Jan. 5.

* A new report says China has 280,000 charities, with nearly 65 percent of donations coming from Chinese enterprises, Chinanews reported Jan. 7.

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