Nonprofit news roundup for June 6, 2008

Bill Clinton touts importance of corporate philanthropy

While speaking at the Corporate Philanthropy Summit in New York City, former President Bill Clinton avoided the topic of his wife’s candidacy, stressing instead the importance of the corporate sector’s resources and expertise in solving entrenched global problems, Forbes reported June 4.

ExxonMobil renews support of PBS

ExxonMobil has agreed to partially underwrite PBS’ Nightly Business News and Nova programs through the end of this year, The New York Times reported June 5. The move comes four years after the oil company discontinued its sponsorship of the broadcaster’s Masterpiece Theatre and other programs.

New museum policy designed to protect antiquities

The American Association of Museums says new guidelines governing the acquisition of antiquities may make it more difficult to build collections through purchases or gifts of art, but will help stop the flow of illegally obtained objects, The New York Times reported June 4. The new policy says museums “normally should not” take receipt of an object without sound proof that it was not stolen or smuggled out of the country of origin.

Cause-related marketing can do good

An early leader in cause-related marketing, MAC’s Viva Glam makeup, now a division of Estée Lauder, has given away a total of $100 million to HIV groups since pledging to donate all revenues to charity 14 years ago, Andrew Jack said in a column in the Financial Times June 5. As many applaud the marketing trend, which has spread in recent years, detractors say it can be confusing or irritating to customers and can lead to dependency on the part of recipient nonprofits.

Campaign urges consumers to go green

Taking a page from European counterparts, some U.S. cities, corporations and nonprofits will launch the Together campaign, an effort to encourage people to purchase environmentally friendly products and adopt green practices, Reuters reported June 4. Initial partners include the mayors of New York, Seattle, Miami and Boston, as well U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, JP Morgan Chase and Target.

Possible silver lining to economic downturn

There may be a silver lining to the current economic turmoil, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation says in study, suggesting that the loss and creation of jobs and companies could foster future productivity gains in the U.S., the Triangle Business Journal reported June 5. It is possible the new jobs and businesses created after old ones disappear will be more productive and effective than the ones they replace, the study says.

Massachusetts ranks as sixth most generous state

A new report from the Center for Wealth and Philanthropy says Massachusetts now ranks as the sixth most generous state, with total charitable giving reaching $4.365 billion in 2005, up 9 percent since 2000, the Boston Business Journal reported June 5.

Aid groups’ work hampered by Zimbabwe government

Relief agencies say some of Zimbabwe’s neediest citizens have lost access to food and other necessities since the country’s government has restricted international aid in response to its belief that aid providers are siding with the political opposition, The New York Times reported June 4.  CARE’s operations in the country, for example, have been suspended, the charity says, putting on hold the food it would have provided to more than 110,000 people in June.

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