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Nonprofit news roundup for March 25, 2009

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Obama says limiting deductions won’t hurt giving

President Barack Obama said in his news conference Tuesday that limiting tax deductions for charitable contributions from the wealthiest Americans would not hurt charitable giving, Reuters reported March 25 (see charitable giving story). Altruism, not tax breaks, should be the reason people give, Obama said. But Harvard economist Martin Feldman said in an opinion column in The Washington Post that Obama’s proposal to would effectively transfer over $7 billion a year from charities to the federal government and that wealthy taxpayers likely would cut their charitable giving (see wealthy giving column).

Senate bill aims to increase foundation giving

A bill introduced by three U.S. senators aims to increase the share of assets foundations pay out by substituting a single tax rate for the current two-tiered system for taxing their investment income, The New York Times reported March 25.  Foundations say the current system represents a penalty for giving away a bigger share of their assets.

Arts community hopeful about Obama

Cultural professionals are cautiously optimistic about the future of the arts under President Barack Obama, citing $50 million in stimulus funds for the National Endowment for the Arts, another $10 million for the endowment in the new spending bill, and the move to create a White House post for the arts and culture, The New York Times reported March 25 (see arts story).

South Dakota nonprofits get boost

The Bush Foundation is giving $2 million to equip South Dakota nonprofits to write grants better, get more out of fundraising and strengthen their boards, the Argus-Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D., reported March 24. The South Dakota Community Foundation estimates over 1,000 nonprofit executives, board members and staff will be reached through what is being called the South Dakota Nonprofit Enhancement Project.

Bill would allow newspapers to be nonprofits

A bill by Democratic U.S. Sen. Benjamin Cardin of Maryland has proposed letting newspapers opt to operate as nonprofits, the Associated Press reported March 24. Newspapers choosing that option could not make political endorsements but could report on all issues, including political campaigns, and advertising and subscription revenue

Volunteering seen as dating strategy

Advice columnists often suggest that singles who write complaining about being lonely should volunteer, CNN reported March 24 (see volunteering story).

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