Nonprofit news roundup for June 3, 2008

Nonprofit steps into murky political territory

Citizens Against Government Waste, an Arizona nonprofit, partnered with Northrop Grumman to create a “vitriolic” ad campaign to defend presumptive presidential candidate John McCain’s support of a $40 billion contract awarded by the Air Force, The Washington Post reported May 31. The nonprofit’s support of the deal, which would award the contract for refueling tankers to Northrop, has been criticized as “improper political activity” by some.

Harvard alums press school to share its wealth

A group of socially-minded Harvard alumni are urging the university to use its wealth, which includes a $35 billion endowment, to benefit non-Harvard causes, including assisting struggling colleges in Africa, The New York Times reported June 3.  Harvard’s president to date has refused to meet with the group, Called Harvard Alumni for Social Action, and the school’s development office has declined to share its list of alumni.

Anti-poverty startup raises quick $35 million

In a climate of rising food and fuel prices, a weakening economy and “nonprofit belt tightening,” poverty-fighting startup SingleStop USA has raised $35 million in less than nine months, Slate reported June 2.  The initiative’s early success, which includes support from the likes of Atlantic Philanthropies and the Robin Hood Foundation, suggests a business model that is successful and shows that foundations believe times may get even tougher.

Oxfam pushes for global response to food crisis

At a U.N. summit in Rome on the world’s food-price crisis, humanitarian-aid group Oxfam urged leaders to formulate a global response, Reuters reported June 3. As prices continue to rise and the crisis affects some 290 million people, the charity says the international community is spending far too little to support agriculture in developing countries, particularly when compared to the amount spent to support farmers in wealthier western countries.

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