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Nonprofit news roundup for July 10, 2008

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Supplies for Katrina victims went to Mississippi agencies

Prisons in Mississippi got coffee-makers, pillowcases and dinnerware — all intended for victims of Hurricane Katrina, CNN reported July 8 (see Katrina supplies). After two years’ storage in warehouses, the $85 million in supplies were declared surplus by federal officials and given to federal agencies and 16 states in February. A subsequent CNN investigation has revealed that Mississippi, one of the 16 states that took the supplies, did not distribute them to Katrina victims either.

Knight, Carnegie launch $11 million journalism effort

The James S. and John L. Knight Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York are committing more than $11 million to support three more journalism schools and bolster the curriculum and student fellowships at eight others, The Editor & Publisher reported July 7 (see Carnegie-Knight journalism story). The initiative will also appoint a task force to “work toward addressing and adapting to the sea change taking place in the news business.”

Competitive advantage of corporate philanthropy

“Strategic” corporate philanthropy is often nothing more than public-relations campaigns promoting corporate brands, Condé Nast Portfolio reported July 10 (see corporate philanthropy story). The result is public cynicism, not goodwill.

Salaries questioned at San Diego redevelopment agency

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders is questioning why the president and finance director of Southeastern Economic Development Corp. were paid more than their city-approved salaries, The SanDiego Union-Tribune reported July 9 (see San Diego redevelopment story). It’s one of two city redevelopment arms that operate as nonprofits. The other, City Development Corp., has also received criticism for high salaries among its top executives.

In Brief:

* Two of the six megachurches under investigation by U.S. Sens. Charles Grassley, Joyce Meyer and Benny Hinn, are reportedly making plans for “self-reform,” The Christian Post reported July 9.

* In Newark, N.J., a coalition of 12 faith-based and community organizations has been created tofight public health and drug problems affecting city residents, The Star- Ledger reported July 9.

* Health Care for America, a coalition of prominent national nonprofits, has launched a $25 million campaign in Tampa, Fla., and other cities for quality, affordable health care, The Tampa Bay Business Journal reported July 8.

* A pioneering center for costume design will be established at UCLA with a $6 million gift from the Helen K. and James S. Copley Foundation, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported June 27.

* Indianapolis is combating blight with a website where buyers can quickly and easily identify abandoned homes and submit an application to purchase them with clean ownership titles, The Indianapolis Star reported July 9.

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