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Nonprofit news roundup for Mar. 7, 2008

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Veterans’ charity seeks to silence ex-employees

Controversial veterans’ charity, The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes Foundation, is seeking a court order to silence two former employees the group says took “confidential financial information,” Forbes reported March 3. The suit comes after press scrutiny and hearings on Capitol Hill involving the charity and its director, Roger Chapin, who acknowledges only 25 percent of money spent by his nonprofits went to injured veterans.

Gates topped by Buffett as world’s richest

Bill Gates is no longer the richest man on the planet – Warren Buffett, his partner in philanthropy, has surpassed him, Forbes reported March 5. Buffett is worth $62 billion and Gates, now third in world rankings, is worth $58 billion.

Latin American philanthropy grows

New approaches to philanthropy and social responsibility are on the rise in Latin America and so is individual giving, despite legal limitations that dampen incentives, wrote Susan Raymond March 6. in the second column in a five-part international philanthropy series for onPhilanthropy. The greatest growth, however, is in corporate philanthropy, though religiously-motivated charity, government welfare programs and “foundations,” whose work is akin to American nonprofits, all retain significant influence on social wellbeing.

Goldman Sachs trains women in developing world

Goldman Sachs has launched a $100 million business training program for women in developing countries, The Financial Times reported March 6. The company’s biggest charitable effort to date, 10,000 Women will target small businesswomen for further training in basic marketing and finance, The New York Times reported Mar. 6.

Nonprofit fires CFO over “borrowed” millions

The San Francisco nonprofit that runs a Golden Gate Park garage has fired its chief financial officer, Greg Colley, over $3.6 million he says he “borrowed” to play the stock market, wrote Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross in a San Francisco Chronicle column March 5. Colley says he intended to return the money.

Homeless, taxpayers benefit from permanent housing

A four-year study in Chicago offers evidence that moving the homeless into permanent housing can save lives and taxpayer money, The Wall Street Journal reported March 6 [subscription only]. The study was conducted by a coalition of housing groups and hospitals, with grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

India has become “charity rich, philanthropy poor”

Fewer than 1 percent of India’s more than 1.2 million nonprofits have professional fundraisers, a situation that significantly stifles giving in a nation some describe as “charity rich but philanthropy poor,” The Hindu reported March 5. India has 87,000 millionaires.

Foundation cited in bogus memoir questioned

The author who confessed this week to making up her memoir about gang life in South-Central Los Angeles may also have made up a foundation, The New York Times reported  March 6. Margaret Seltzer mentioned the International Brother/SisterHood, allegedly founded by gang members to reduce gang activity, in her book “Love and Consequences,” wrote a Los Angeles Times  blogger March 5.

Charitable hikers threaten environment

A charity fundraiser that has hundreds of hikers scrambling up mountainsides in the middle of the night is beginning to wear on the nerves of local residents, and on the local environment, The New York Times reported March 5. Scafell Peak is one of three British mountains in the Three Peaks Challenge, an event that has raised a conflict between charitable intentions and environmental destruction.

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