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Nonprofit news roundup for March 20, 2008

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Record wealth transfer spurs open intergenerational talk

As the largest intergenerational wealth transfer in American history gets under way – a collective inheritance of $41 trillion before 2052 by some estimates – many are reconsidering the meaning of what they pass on to their children in both dollar amounts and values, The New York Times reported March 18. Against a backdrop of philanthropic innovation and a troubled economy, many families are talking more openly about inheritances.

Future uncertain for faith-based initiative

As President Bush seeks to make his faith-based initiative permanent, all three U.S. presidential candidates have said they would like to see the program continue, Media Transparency reported March 14. The two Democratic candidates, U.S. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, have voiced doubts about the initiative’s religious patronage system, while a spokesman says the Republican candidate, U.S. Sen. John McCain, believes faith-based groups should have the same standing they have now for federal funding to deliver social services. Liberals and conservatives alike have mixed feelings about the seven-year-old initiative’s mission and whether or not it has been successful.

Detroit council rescinds residency requirement

The Detroit City Council has rescinded a residency requirement for nonprofit board members that would have disqualified nearly 100 local charities from applying for federal block-grant funds, The Detroit News reported March 19. The resolution waives the requirement for one year only, after which time the matter will be revisited, The Detroit Free Press reported March 19.

Lauder gives Whitney Museum $131M

Cosmetics executive Leonard Lauder will give the Whitney Museum of American Art $131 million, the biggest donation in the museum’s history and one of the largest to a New York museum’s endowment, The New York Times reported March 19. Lauder is chairman of the Whitney’s board.

Boston financier posts immigrants’ bond

Boston financier Bob Hildreth posted more than $200,000 in bail for Massachusetts workers detained as illegal immigrants in a notorious raid last year, The Wall Street Journal reported March 19. Hildreth, who made his money trading in Latin-American debt, says the risky philanthropic gesture is “payback” and part of his larger vision to help immigrants through literacy and citizenship classes, preschools and endowed chairs.

Google launches portal for nonprofits

Google has launched a site to educate nonprofits about its suite of Web-based tools, Caroline McCarthy said in a blog March 19 at CNET News. Google for Nonprofits also highlights special initiatives for nonprofits, from grants to transaction-fee waivers on Google Checkout.

Banks criticized on climate change, subprime lending

Climate change and subprime lending may share the same fallacy: banks are failing to account for underlying risks to major assets like real-estate debt and the environment, with great global repercussions, Doug Cogan said in an opinion column March 7 in the Responsible Investor. As the primary financier of major emitters, banks have the opportunity to set forward-thinking approaches to carbon management.

Pennsylvania health-care bill called ‘landmark’

A health-care bill some are calling “landmark” would offer subsidized health insurance to 270,000 uninsured Pennsylvania adults, the Associated Press reported March 18. The $1.1 billion program has passed the state House with full support from Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell and now awaits Senate approval.

Volunteer vacations gain popularity

Executives are increasingly spending their vacations volunteering in exotic locales, seeking personal fulfillment, career enhancement, and broadened cultural literacy, Forbes reported March 10. Popular volunteer vacations range from building a Habitat for Humanity house in the Dominican Republic to teaching soccer in Tanzania.

Former exec steals $75,000 plus from Va. children’s charity

The former volunteer executive director of a Bristol, Va. Christmas program for needy children has admitted to embezzling at least $75,000, The Bristol Herald Courier reported March 19. Jimmie Clark says he began taking money from Santa Pal to cover personal bills.

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