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Nonprofit news roundup for May 8, 2008

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Social-services charities combat crisis with creativity

Social-service charities describe how they are dealing with soaring food and fuel prices through creative solutions like substituting more affordable but equally nutritious foods, building organic gardens, using rental cars and consolidating cell phone contracts, in a column by Andrea Ball in The Austin American-Statesman May 4.

‘Patient dumping’ by hospitals continues

Medical providers continue to “dump” homeless and mentally-ill patients on Los Angeles’ skid row despite the high-profile lawsuits, say officials at the Union Rescue Mission, The Los Angeles Times reported May 7. The most recent case involves Costa Mesa’s College Hospital, which may have taken a mentally-ill man 42 miles to leave him in front of the mission in downtown L.A.

Philanthropist Claude Rosenberg has passed away 

San-Francisco philanthropist Claude Rosenberg died last Saturday, The San Francisco Chronicle reported May 7. Rosenberg established a family foundation and nonprofit, the NewTithing Group, to encourage the wealthy to give, and was the author of several books on philanthropy.  

Controversial Miami-Cuba program gets overhaul

A controversial USAID program that promotes democracy in Cuba is getting an overhaul in an effort to redirect grant money from Miami groups led by Cuban Americans to nonprofits in Central and Latin America, The Los Angeles Times reported May 7. Charged with enriching Miami groups with little gain to Cubans, the program hopes to spend most of its $45-million to get communications equipment into the country to support dissidents.

In Brief:

* Nonprofits hoping to change public attitudes through high-profile media campaigns should steer clear of “shock horror, broad-sweeping Grim Reaper” ads and should supplement celebrity faces with local campaigns, Chrisanthi Giotis said in an opinion column in The Guardian May 2.

* Arizona real-estate developer Jerry Bisgrove pledged $25 million to Valley of the Sun United Way Foundation, the third-largest pledge to any United Way in the country, The Arizona Republic reported May 2.

* Chilean presidential candidate Sebastián Piñera is an environmental philanthropist, having founded Fundación Futuro to preserve thousands of acres of Chile’s wilderness as parkland, said a Triple Pundit column posted May 1.

* The province of Alberta, Canada, earmarked $100 million for charities, providing tax credits of 50 percent on donations and doling out matching grants directly to nonprofits, The Calgary Herald reported April 30.

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