Nonprofit news roundup for July 21, 2008

Slumping economy puts squeeze on charities

A recent survey of charity officials shows rising concern about the economy, the Associated Press reported July 20 (see slumping economy story). The survey by Giving USA of 366 charity groups that collect money for distribution to other groups found 53 percent expected the faltering economy to reduce giving in 2008.

Bush library fundraising prompts ethics concerns

Anticipated costs to build George W. Bush’s library, museum and policy institute at Southern Methodist University have risen nearly 50-fold to $250 million, the Houston Chronicle reported July 20 (see library fundraising story. With few rules from Congress and no requirements to disclose the identity of donors, the Chronicle said, there are increasing opportunities for abuse by those soliciting funds and by those who might want favors in exchange for multimillion-dollar gifts.

With no frills, or tuition, Kentucky college an exception

Berea College, founded 150 years ago to educate freed slaves and “poor white mountaineers,” accepts only applicants from low-income families and charges no tuition, The New York Times reported July 21 (see Berea College story). Berea’s $1.1 billion endowment puts it among the nation’s wealthiest but, unlike most well-endowed colleges, the school has no football team and a no-frills budget.

In Brief:

* The University of South Florida’s private fundraising brought in a record $81.3 million in gifts and commitments for the fiscal year ended June 30,  the Tampa Bay Business Journal reported July 18.

* An Anheuser-Busch program that pays low-income teens to repair properties for disabled and older residents in the Williamsburg, Va., area is up in the air following announcement of a takeover of the beer company by Belgian brewing giant InBev SA, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported July 20.

* A Twin Cities economist is putting hard numbers on the value of social programs and showing others how to follow his lead, a July 14 column by Neal St. Anthony in The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

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