Nonprofit news roundup for Mar. 4, 2008

Nonprofits lose young employees

Nonprofits are still attracting recent college graduates but are having trouble keeping them, The Washington Post reported March 3. Low salaries, long hours and a lack of career progression discourage many young employees, says a new study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and

Overvalued art costs government millions

Overvalued art donations may be costing the U.S. government untold millions in tax write-offs, The Los Angeles Times reported March 2. In the past two decades, half the tiny fraction of art-related tax write-offs the IRS investigates annually have been appraised for donation purposes at almost double their actual value.

Microfinance improvements urged

Microfinance groups need to improve management and governance to cope with a flood of capital and competition, says a survey by the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation, The Financial Times reported March 3. The sector is growing quickly, with lenders – including commercial banks – increasing by 25 percent annually, and some fear the glut will erode lending standards and the sector’s social ethos.

Future of fundraising bright

Sean Stannard-Stockton looks into the future of fundraising 25 years down the line in a Financial Times column Feb. 29. Building on the emerging model of social capital markets, which mimic financial markets, Stannard-Stockton envisions a world of nonprofit exchanges where large foundations seek out grantees and every American has a donor-advised fund.

Office charity seen as going ‘totalitarian’

Office charity should be voluntary and related to the business at hand, wrote Lucy Kellaway in a Financial Times column Mar. 3. Too many companies are encroaching on employees’ moral lives in a way more reminiscent of totalitarian governments than genuine “feelgoodness,” says Kellaway.

Toys for Tots expands mission

Toys for Tots is launching a children’s literacy program, The Washington Post reported Mar. 2. The Marines-run charity, famous for its holiday toy drive, now will deliver books to needy children nationwide through a partnership with Scholastic and UPS.

Obama’s name may surface in trial

Barack Obama’s name could come up in the impending federal corruption trial of the U.S. presidential candidate’s former fundraiser, Antoin “Tony” Rezco, The Chicago Tribune reported Feb. 26. Hillary Clinton’s campaign hopes trial revelations could embarrass her rival, who has donated $160,000 in campaign contributions with Redko ties to charity, wrote Nick Timiraos in a Wall Street Journal blog Feb. 29.

Planned Parenthood branch apologizes

Planned Parenthood of Idaho has apologized for an employee’s “serious mistake” in encouraging a donation earmarked for aborting black babies, The Idaho Statesman reported Feb. 28. The group also criticized the right-to-life student newspaper at the University of California-Los Angeles for trying to discredit Planned Parenthood in a series of staged and taped phone calls in seven states.

MacArthur funds $10M Law & Neuroscience Project

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is bringing together legal scholars and scientists with its $10 million Law & Neuroscience Project, The Washington Post reported Mar. 2. The group is examining the role of neuroscience in the courtroom, from court-mandated drug treatment programs to weighing brain defects against moral character in accounting for criminal behavior.

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