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Nonprofit news roundup for Sept. 8, 2008

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Gustav pushes Red Cross into debt

The American Red Cross says $70 million in relief efforts for Hurricane Gustav have driven the organization into debt, The Washington Post reported Sept. 6 (see hurricane story). Because the lower-category storm did not cause the outpouring of donations triggered by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Red Cross has raised less than $5 million toward Gustav expenses.

Charlotte United Way loses company support

Controversy over the compensation package of former United Way of Central Carolinas CEO Gloria Pace King has led at least 23 businesses to cancel their workplace campaigns, The Charlotte Business Journal reported Sept. 8 (see United Way story). These companies, which the United Way has declined to name, accounted for a total of $359,000 in last year’s drive.

Telethon helps raise $100 million for cancer

A Friday-night cancer telethon pushed donations for the Stand Up to Cancer initiative over the $100-million mark, the Associated Press reported Sept. 7. The telethon, which featured presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain, as well as stars from music, sports and television, reached more than 170 nations and territories worldwide. The money raised will fund research for cancer prevention and treatment.

Universities may have to up endowment spending

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Democratic Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont will host a meeting of university officials concerning whether or not universities should be forced to spend more than 5 percent or more of their endowments each year to reduce tuition costs, The New York Sun reported Sept. 8 (see endowment story). Private foundations generally are required to spend 5 percent of their investment assets each year.

Starbucks offers free newsletter

Starbucks will begin offering the Good Sheet, a free newsletter published by philanthropy and activism magazine “Good,” The New York Times reported Sept. 8 (see Starbucks story). Each Good Sheet, which will be available for 11 weeks leading up to the presidential election, discusses issues such as health care, education and the environment.

In brief:

* In response to high demand, Standard Chartered Bank is launching its Global Indian private banking program to help wealthy Indians worldwide invest in philanthropy, The Economic Times reported Sept. 7.

* Confusing jargon is weighing down nonprofits, Shannon Buggs said in an opinion column in the Houston Chronicle Sept. 5.

* Charitable organization Furniture Trust donates recycled office furniture to nonprofits and gives sales proceeds to pancreatic cancer research, The Boston Globe reported Sept. 7.

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