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Nonprofit news roundup for March 24, 2008

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Buying happiness is giving it away

New research shows those who give their money away are happier than those who spend it on themselves, ScienceNOW Daily News reported March 20. Researchers worldwide have found that where real income levels surge, happiness does not always follow suit, Forbes reported March 20.

Economic downturn hasn’t yet affected nonprofits

Most major charities say their fundraising has not slowed, despite the economic downturn, The New York Times reported March 14. But nonprofits that depend on Wall Street firms and their highly-paid employees for funds are bracing themselves for recession, Reuters reported March 18.

Miami pastor accused of stealing $10,000 from nonprofit

Baptist pastor Gaston Smith of Miami has been sued for stealing $10,000 of a county-affiliated grant, The Miami Herald reported March 21. The grant was given by the Metro Miami Action Plan Trust to Friends of MLK, a nonprofit.

Red Cross loses $700,000 on unused hotel rooms

The American Red Cross spent nearly $700,000 on rooms that went unused during the California wildfires last October, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported March 21. The rooms were intended for fire-relief volunteers from out-of-town.

Canadian youth start their own nonprofits

Canadian 20-somethings are increasingly bypassing the bureaucracy of large nonprofits to open their own “small, nimble” shops relying on new media and a new operation style, The Globe and Mail reported March 21.

Muslim philanthropy congress calls for organization, transparency

People attending the first international World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists cited the stigma of secrecy as one reason for the “poor organization” of Muslim philanthropy, The Turkish Daily News reported March 24. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also called for transparency and efficiency as the number of home-grown charities in the Muslim world multiply, Today’s Zaman reported March 24.

Zoe’s Ark children sent home

Chad and UNICEF have begun to send home the 103 children a French charity had sought to fly to France for adoption in October, Agence France-Presse reported March 14. Six officials of Zoe’s Ark charity were sentenced to eight years hard labor, but are awaiting a promised pardon by Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno.

Nonprofit criticizes Banana Republic

Nonprofit anti-poverty group War on Want staged a protest at the opening of Banana Republic’s first British store, claiming the clothing retailer relies on cheap Indian labor, The Independent reported March 20. Banana Republic says it is investigating the claims that its Indian factory workers are paid as little as 15 pence an hour, or 19 cents, working 15 hours a day, six days a week, Agence France-Presse reported March 20.

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