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Nonprofit news roundup – Week of 08.13.07

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

* While securing funds for growth is one of the most difficult tasks for nonprofits, nonprofit financing firm SeaChange, founded by two former Goldman Sachs partners, is employing a system, similar to that used on Wall Street, in which donors can help underwrite an organization instead of placing restrictions on money they give, The New York Times reported August 3.

* Warren Buffet, who pledged billions to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation last summer, has forwarded nearly 1,500 letters from struggling individuals asking for money to his sister, Doris, who runs the Sunshine Lady Foundation, The New York Times reported August 3.  Her foundation has awarded a total of more than $1.4 million to about 300 letter-writers.

* Grateful patients and their families are becoming a crucial source of funding for the advancement of U.S. health care, which The Giving USA Foundation estimates received about $20 billion overall in donations from individuals, corporations and foundations 2006, The New York Times reported August 5.

* A charge of conflict-of-interest has arisen regarding a panel created to protect the journalistic integrity of Dow Jones, which publishes the Wall Street Journal and is being purchased by News Corp., the newspaper reported August 3.  The five panel members were intended to be independent of both companies, but member Nicholas Negroponte oversees a nonprofit backed by News Corp.

* The School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania received a $20 million gift from alumnus Krishna P. Singh for a planned nanotechnology center that will serve the Philadelphia area, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported August 3.  The gift is the largest in the school’s history.

* After a decade of evidence-gathering, federal prosecutors are building a case against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, at one time one of the country’s largest Muslim charities, The Washington Post reported August 4.  Among other things, evidence shows money going back and forth between Hamas spiritual leaders and radical Muslim groups.

* Former state senator David Magnani has been named executive director of the new Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, the first group in the state to represent nonprofits as a whole, The Boston Globe reported August 6.  The group aims to raise public awareness and advocacy for the nearly 25,000 organizations it represents.

* In a paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Geoffrey Miller of the University of New Mexico tests his hypothesis of the human “mating mind,” saying that both conspicuous consumption and altruism toward strangers are behaviors linked to attraction of the opposite sex, the Economist.com reported August 2.

-Compiled by Angela Strader

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