Nonprofit news roundup for Feb. 26, 2008

Hospital sued over 1912 donation

A Rhode Island antipoverty group is suing a Providence hospital over a $4,000 bequest from 1912 whose purpose, the charity says, was never honored, The Boston Globe reported Feb. 23. The money was to have provided a free bed at the Rhode Island Hospital for needy patients referred by the charity, Children’s Friend & Service.

Veterans’ charity questions watchdogs

Paralyzed Veterans of America has challenged the failing grade assigned it by the American Institute of Philanthropy in its December report on veterans’ charities, wrote Deborah Howell in an opinion column for The Washington Post Feb. 24. The complaint calls into question the varying standards used by charity watchdogs, says Howell.

Russia denies humanitarian visa

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, has been denied a Russian visa, preventing him from presenting a report that accused the country’s government of imposing excessive regulations to harass nonprofits working on sensitive issues, The St. Petersburg Times reported Feb. 22. The denial was the first for the organization since Soviet times.

Gates Foundation causes change, resentment

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has garnered resentment and charges of monopolizing research in its focus areas in ways that prevent healthy competition, the Economist reported Feb. 21. But its money and ideas support advances government and intergovernmental bodies couldn’t hope to achieve, the newspaper said.

Bridgespan founder touts high-impact philanthropy

Interest in high-impact philanthropy is increasing as the notion of giving while living gains popularity, said Tom Tierney, former Bain & Co. CEO and founder of nonprofit consulting firm the Bridgespan Group, in an interview with Feb. 22. Greater availability of information and more intermediaries like Bridgespan have made doing results-driven philanthropy easier, he says.

Polak does anti-poverty work

Paul Polak, American inventor and entrepreneur, has spent 25 years helping people move out of poverty through his organization, International Development Enterprises, The International Herald Tribune reported Feb. 25.

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