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Nonprofit news roundup for Mar. 3, 2008

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IRS investigates Obama church speech

The IRS is investigating the United Church of Christ after U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama gave a speech at its national meeting that may jeopardize the organization’s tax-exempt status, The Los Angeles Times reported Feb. 27. Silencing nonprofits on political issues funnels more power to corporate America, wrote John K. Wilson in a related opinion column for The Huffington Post Feb. 28.

Bush library disclosure policy undecided

President George Bush says he hasn’t decided yet whether to disclose donors to his presidential library at Southern Methodist University, but that contributions from foreign sources are likely, The Dallas Morning News reported Feb. 29. Presidential libraries are privately funded and generally identify most donors.

Baby boomers prefer hands-on philanthropy

Retired baby boomers are more hands-on as philanthropists than previous generations, says the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society in New York, FOXBusiness reported Feb. 29. Many give to smaller charities and also volunteer where they give.

Seed banks prepare for worst

A ‘hodgepodge network’ of seed banks worldwide now are being consolidated and systematized to preserve genetic resources that may one day be needed to adapt to climate change, The New York Times reported Feb. 29. Experts say the erosion of biodiversity has reached a critical moment.

‘Oprah’s Big Give’ gets mixed reviews

Oprah’s first foray into reality TV, “Oprah’s Big Give,” challenges 10 would-be philanthropists to change a stranger’s life in just five days, a mission some find heartwarming, The San Jose Mercury News reported Feb. 29. Others, however, worry that with the show’s celebrity jury and maudlin antics, good intentions have seldom been “so alarmingly, offensively presumptuous,” USAToday reported Mar. 2.

MetLife gives $2M to MLK memorial

The MetLife Foundation has given $2 million for a $100 million memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington, D.C., The Washington Post reported Mar. 1. The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation aims to commemorate the slain civil rights leader with a two-and-a-half-story sculpture.

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