Nonprofit news roundup for Oct. 16, 2008

Acorn looks to cut ties with founder

Amid charges that it has engaged in fraudulent voter registration, Acorn, a nonprofit that seeks to empower low and moderate-income people, is working to sever ties with its founder, The New York Times reported Oct. 15 (see Acorn story). Wade Rathke, former “chief organizer” for Acorn, resigned last summer after it became known that his brother embezzled almost $1 million from the nonprofit eight years ago. At present, Wade Rathke still controls Acorn International.

MacArthur Foundation seeks to stamp out foreclosures

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation plans to give $68 million in local grants and low-interest loans to help stop home foreclosures in Chicago, The Chicago Tribune reported Oct. 15. The initiative, which began in March, aims to prevent 2,700 home foreclosures by 2010. Foreclosure filings in Chicago rose 85 percent between 2005 and 2007.

McGill gets $20 million gift from McConnell Foundation

On its march to raise $750 million, McGill University in Montreal has received a $20 million donation from the J.W. McConnell Foundation, bringing to $440 million the amount raised to date, The Montreal Gazette reported Oct. 16 (see McGill story). The majority of the foundation’s donation is a matching gift designed to encourage new donors to give and existing donors to increase their donations.

European investors keep giving despite crisis

Refusing to be cowed by the credit crisis, European investors continue to give to charitable causes, Bloomberg reported Oct. 15 (see giving  story). Instead of reducing their giving, wealthy philanthropists are seeking the services of financial advisers to help them identify worthy causes and make donations more effective.

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