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Nonprofit news roundup for March 10, 2009

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Former diplomat tapped to head MacArthur Foundation

Robert Gallucci, dean of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and former assistant secretary of state, is set to become the fourth president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in July, The Wall Street Journal reported March 10 (see diplomat story). Gallucci succeeds Jonathan Fanton, who has led the foundation since 1999. Despite losing 25 percent of its endowment’s value in 2008, the MacArthur Foundation, one of the largest philanthropies in the U.S., has no plans to scale back grantmaking this year.

Atlanta foundation cuts staff for first time in over 30 years

The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has cut staff for the first time in over 30 years after its endowment lost nearly a quarter of its value, The Atlanta Business Chronicle reported March 9 (see staff story). The foundation laid off two people, or 6 percent of its staff, cut all contributions to employee retirement, increased the amount employees pay to their health insurance and cut out parking subsidies.

Weary Arizona nonprofits see harder times ahead

Arizona nonprofits lost an average of 18 percent in revenue last year and expect similar losses again this year, says a survey by the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, the Associated Press reported March 9 (see revenue story). The losses coincided with a 75 percent surge in demand for services, a trend that eight in 10 Arizona nonprofits expect to continue in 2009. One fourth of nonprofits surveyed have laid off or plan to lay off staff this year.

In Brief:

* At a time when nonprofits are being bludgeoned by the economic crisis, President Barack Obama’s plan to cut charitable deductions is “simply perverse,” say Debra Rappaport Rosen, a professional nonprofit fundraiser, and her husband, attorney Michael Rosen, in an opinion column in Politico March 10.

* Australian nonprofits are bracing for lean times as the global economic crisis goes down under, The Sydney Morning Herald reported March 8.

* Corporate social responsibility is not a marketing ploy, but rather a new business philosophy with the potential to mend the ailing economy, The Independent reported March 10.

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