Nonprofit news roundup – Week of 07.16.07

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

* Nonprofit watchdogs are calling California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s use of nonprofit funds to cover overseas travel expenses an abuse of taxpayers’ money, the Los Angeles Times reported July 5.  Donors to charities like the California State Protocol Foundation receive anonymity as well as tax write-offs for their donations, which increasingly are then being used for candidate expenses, the Times says.

* Nonprofits are reporting that the number of “stretch” gifts, donations given out of proportion to their giver’s wealth, has increased in recent years, The Wall Street Journal reported July 6 (subscription only).  Not only are these donations increasing in size and frequency, but the donors are getting younger.

* Similar to the Gilded Age of the early 20th century, a new breed of ultra-wealthy Americans is on the rise, with 5 percent of the national income paid to the richest one-one-hundredth of families, The New York Times reported July 15.  But the younger of these modern-day titans, those in their 30s and 40s, have been dubbed “yawns,” or “young and wealthy but normal,” and spend most of their money on philanthropy rather than yachts and jets, the Wall Street Journal reported July 13 (subscription only).

* The Senate Commerce Committee has approved a new bill that would establish a nonprofit corporation to promote U.S. tourism from foreign countries, The New York Times reported July 5.  The number of foreign tourists to the U.S. has dropped about 17 percent since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

* Despite the fact that India’s National AIDS Control Organization was expected to announce a significantly smaller estimate of Indians infected with HIV, the foundations led by Bill Gates and Bill Clinton say they plan to continue and even expand programs for the prevention and treatment of the disease in India, The Wall Street Journal reported July 6 (subscription only).

* A new study by a Harvard economist says salaried public defenders achieve better results on behalf of poor defendants than do court-appointed lawyers who are paid by the hour, The New York Times reported July 14.  Cases handled by public defenders cost the government less, are handled in a shorter timeframe and tend to result in lesser sentences for defendants.

–Compiled by Angela Strader

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