Nonprofit news roundup for July 15, 2008

American Enterprise names new chief

The American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, named Arthur C. Brooks, a professor of business and government at Syracuse University, as the its first new president in 22 years, The New York Times reported July 15 (see American Enterprise Institute story). Brooks takes the helm on January 1 at the institute, which the Times says has had more influence with the Bush White House than any other research group.

Colombian hostage rescue may endanger aid workers

The Colombian military’s recent rescue of 15 hostages, conducted while rescuers were disguised as humanitarian aid workers, may make life more dangerous for legitimate humanitarian aid groups in the region, MinnPost reported July 10 (see Colombian hostages story). The safety of humanitarian workers frequently depends on the perceived impartiality of their relief work.

McCain yet to offer national service plan

Republican presidential candidate John McCain has yet to offer any proposals to transform or expand national service, Ben Adler said in a blog  at Politico July 13 (see McCain service plan story). Both McCain and Democratic candidate Barack Obama support expanding the Bush administration’s faith-based initiative, an expansion Obama has detailed in a comprehensive plan in recent weeks, but McCain differs from Obama in his position that religious groups receiving federal dollars should be
allowed to consider a prospective employee’s faith in hiring, The Denver Post reported July 13 (see faith-based hiring story).

School fundraisers go green with a little help

A handful of entrepreneurs are offering ecologically-friendly products for kids and parents to sell for school fundraisers, The Wall Street Journal reported July 15 (see school fundraiser story). From recycled wrapping paper to fair-trade coffee, groups like Greenraising and Green Students Fundraising Ltd. help schools teach kids to be environmentally conscious while raising more money from eco-friendly moms.

In Brief:

* Oil and gas billionaire David H. Koch contributed $100 million to the renovation of the New York State Theater, The New York Times reported July 10.

* The head of Our Unsung Heroes, a charity that arranged trips to Washington, D.C., for World War II veterans, has been bound over for trial facing accusations of mismanagement of donations, The Deseret News reported July 9.

* A national clothing drive that encourages young people to post strip-tease videos of themselves as a way of soliciting donations for homeless youth has run into a firestorm of protest from the groups it is supposed to benefit, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported July 13.

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