Nonprofit news roundup for March 21, 2008

Soup kitchens face more patrons and less food

Middle-class families are joining the ranks of soup-kitchen patrons at a time when food banks already face dire shortages, The Wall Street Journal reported March 20. Soaring food prices and a loss of government-provided surplus items have caused groups to resort to trading with other food banks.

Green marketing comes under fire

Regulators around the world are clamping down on “green advertising,” looking for promotions with less environmental benefit than they assert, The Hindu Business Line reported March 13. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has decided to renew its green guidelines a year earlier than originally planned after noticing “a proliferation of green claims in the marketplace,” Brandweek reported March 3.

Charitable trusts can ‘trap’ health-care nonprofits

Charitable trusts can become a trap when community needs change, as they do in health-care nonprofits, Rolf Goodwin, a director in the Corporate Department at McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, said in an opinion column March 14 in the New Hampshire Business Review. To avoid after-the-fact litigation, health-care groups should be sure to run new projects and changes of direction by the state ahead of time, Goodwin said.

Inefficiencies threaten Delaware human-service sector

While delivering human services through nonprofits paid by government contract is now “critical to our wellbeing,” this partnership in Delaware’s human-service sector is threatened by inefficiencies, Kathryn G. Denhardt, professor at the Center for Community Research and Service at the University of Delaware, said in a blog March 13 for the Delaware News Journal. Denhardt said better usage of a central purchasing group also could save the state money.

Matching gifts can leverage philanthropic dollars

Leveraging philanthropic dollars through matching gifts can be as simple as letting people know their employers actually have a matching-gifts program, David Cay Johnston said in an opinion column March 18 in The New York Times.

Remittance man and his cash go home to India

The man who has highlighted the significance for developing countries of remittances, or money sent home by migrants, has returned to India with a slew of philanthropic plans, including an International Remittances Institute to lower the cost of money transfers, The New York Times reported March 17. World Bank analyst Dilip Ratha discovered that remittances, once thought negligible by development economists, total $300 billion a year, nearly three times larger than foreign-aid totals worldwide.

China promotes universities for ethnic minorities

China is making a move to acknowledge and support its ethnic minorities by providing a more favorable environment for universities designed especially for them, China View reported March 13. The State Ethnic Affairs Commission will work with local authorities to promote grants, new projects and staff recruitment.

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