Nonprofit news roundup for June 11, 2008

Corporate philanthropy holds steady

Corporate philanthropy’s long-term reputational benefits exceed short-term costs of maintaining giving levels in a tough economy, according to a Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy study, Forbes reported June 10 (see Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy story). Large multinationals increased their giving by 5.6 percent in 2007 and plan to sustain or increase their charity in 2008, the study says.

Nonprofits urged to consider mergers

Smaller nonprofits should consider mergers and alliances, as well as improving their fiscal stewardship, to offset cutbacks in state and private funds and escalating operating costs, according to a Boston Foundation study, The Boston Globe reported June 11 (see Boston Foundation story). The number of public charities in Massachusetts has nearly doubled in recent years, while the state’s population has stagnated.

ACLU launches record fundraising campaign

The American Civil Liberties Union has announced a $335 million fundraising campaign, the largest in its 88-year history, The Associated Press reported June 10 (see ACLU story). The advocacy group plans to expand its social justice work in conservative states like Texas and Florida.

Gardeners grow extra row for hungry

Food banks throughout the U.S. are asking gardeners and farmers to grow an extra row of fruits or vegetables to provide hungry families with fresh produce, The Associated Press reported June 8 (see food bank article). As more Americans seek help from food banks, fresh produce is in increasingly short supply.

Rolex sponsors artist mentorships

Young, up-and-coming artists have the opportunity for a year’s apprenticeship with celebrity mentors in an unusual program started by Rolex in 2002, The New York Times reported June 10 (see Rolex story). Such grants for individual artists have become scarcer as state and federal funds are cut back and foundations shift resources to programs whose impact is more easily measurable.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation criticized

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has been criticized for its “soft” stance on farm pollution of the bay, The Baltimore Sun reported June 9 (see Bay Foundation story). Many environmental advocates say tougher regulations, not just incentives, are necessary to force the bay’s largest polluters to clean up their acts.

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