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Nonprofit news roundup for March 30, 2009

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Community foundations boost human-services funding

Just over half of community foundations in the U.S. are increasing funding for human services assistance in 2009, according to a survey by the Council on Foundations, the Dayton Business Journal reported March 29. Fifty-six percent of community foundations’ grant dollars in 2008, or $1.7 billion, came from donor-advised funds.

Minnesota foundations enter political debate

Five Minnesota foundations are part of a group calling for transforming government to perform better and cost less, says an editorial in the Minneapolis Star Tribune March 29 (see foundation editorial). The editorial says the foundations “deserve applause for leaving their comfort zones and wading into the state’s politically charged budget debate. Though they say they aren’t endorsing any particular bill for balancing the state budget this year, their ideas are bound to inform the deliberations at the Capitol.”

IRS toughens rules on charitable giving

The rules for deducting charitable contributions are tougher than in the past, and the Internal Revenue Service now requires be documented before claiming them as deductions, the Associated Press reported March 29. For larger gifts, the rules get even more detailed.

Tennessee colleges and universities face dilemma

Higher tuition and fewer faculty and programs are among possible options as Tennessee colleges and universities try to cut up to $180 million over the next two years
in the face the economic crisis, The Tennessean reported March 29. But a growing number of lawmakers and education experts say these are quick fixes for what some say is an outdated higher-education system that perpetuates a cycle of rising costs for students while academic quality stagnates or declines.

Canadian group pushes for more giving

GIV3, a new nonprofit advocacy group, plans to push for donations to charity of at least three per cent of income and three hours of volunteer work per month, The Gazette reported March 30. The median gift in Canada is $100, with 10 per cent of Canadians giving 60 per cent of all charitable dollars and 52 per cent of all volunteered hours.

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