Nonprofit news roundup for April 7, 2009

‘Gift taxes’ take bite out of donations

With nonprofits and educational institutions across the U.S. gasping for financial air, many have begun to charge “gift taxes” on donations to help cover fundraising costs, Dow Jones reported April 6. Those fees typically range from 2 percent to 6 percent, but Rutgers University diverts 10 percent of gifts under $10,000 to cover its fundraising expenses.

Pay scrutiny could come to nonprofits, IRS exec warns

Public frustration over executive compensation at corporations bailed out by taxpayers could spill over to nonprofits that pay their leaders too much, says Lois Lerner, director of tax-exempt organizations for the IRS, The Wall Street Journal reported April 6 (see IRS probe story). Scrutiny of nonprofits’ pay practices likely will increase,
she said, urging nonprofit leaders to make sure compensation packages are in line with those of similar groups.

Charity falls in Britain

Charitable giving in the U.K. is declining, forcing charities to lay off staff, look for new funding sources of funding or shut down, The Wall Street Journal reported April 7 (see British charity story). Nearly 1,000 British charities closed between 2007 and 2008, according to a Charity Commission report published last month.

New York City mayor proposed support for nonprofits

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called for increasing bridge loans to nonprofits by 150 percent and expanding the city’s revolving loan guarantee program to nonprofit borrowers, Reuters reported April 6 (see New York City nonprofit story). The city is home to over 40,000 cultural, health and social service nonprofits that employ nearly 500,000 people, or 15 percent of the city’s work force, Bloomberg said.

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