Nonprofit news roundup for June 26, 2008

Nonprofit mergers often ‘messy’

Mergers are a commonly suggested solution for nonprofits facing mounting service demands and tight budgets, but mergers often are a harder and longer process than people might think, Scott Russell said in a column in the MinnPost June 23 (see nonprofit merger story). Choosing a location, streamlining different administrative systems and uniting dissimilar organizational structures can be daunting, Russell said.

Latinos targeted for subprime loans

The foreclosure crisis is hitting Latinos especially hard given that lenders targeted sub-prime loans to Hispanic community, National Public Radio reported June 20 (see Latinos foreclosure story). As foreclosures mount and construction jobs become increasingly scarce, many majority-Latino neighborhoods are deteriorating.

Billionaire philanthropist pleads guilty in fraud case

Technology billionaire and philanthropist Henry Samueli has plead guilty on a felony charge of lying about his role in an alleged plot to manipulate stock options in order to reward his employees at Broadcom, Corp., The Los Angeles Times reported June 24 (see Samueli story). Beneficiaries of his philanthropy include the arts, higher education, a Holocaust memorial library and a children’s marine science institute.

In Brief:

* San Diego social services agency Neighborhood House Association could lose its Head Start designation if it doesn’t comply with federal regulators’ demands, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported June 26.

* U.S. presidential candidate John McCain has embraced The Victory Project’s $1 billion cash rewards for solutions to huge societal problems, proposing a $300 million award for a breakthrough in automotive battery technology, The Dawson Times reported June 26.

* More Georgians are making charitable donations, but the size of their gifts has decreased, said Maria Saporta in a column at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution June 26.

* British Christian charities with narrow objectives like promoting a traditional sexual ethic may lose their nonprofit status under new guidelines issued by the nonprofit sector’s governing body, say Church of England officials, The Times of London reported June 24.

* A Georgia law banning sex offenders from volunteering at churches should be struck down, because it “criminalizes fundamental religious activities,” says a recent court motion, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported June 24.

* Ohio University’s biggest gift, and the largest to any public engineering college, just grew to $91.8 million after an evaluation of the value of the estate of Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ, The Columbus Dispatch reported June 25.

* The ranks of the world’s millionaires grew at the slowest pace in four years in 2007 due to seizure of credit markets and a shift to “safer” investments, according to a recent survey, Bloomberg News reported June 25.

* Efforts to reduce poverty by boosting agriculture in the developing world should be aimed more at women, says Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation senior fellow Catherine Bertini, Agence France-Presse reported June 24.

* Kennesaw State University and nonprofit Edge Connection are breaking ground on an entrepreneurship center, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported June 24.

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