Nonprofit news roundup May 4, 2009

Souter retirement could boost conservative fundraising

Fundraising experts say plans by David Souter to retire as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court could help conservative groups raise a lot of money to fight the nomination of “activist” jurists they fear will liberalize America’s laws, Congressional Quarterly reported May 1.

Televangelism charity investigated

A year-long probe by The Arizona Republic found most of the 22 charities tied to a Phoenix televangelism ministry carried out controversial transactions with supplies
that helped overstate their finances, the newspaper reported March 3 (see televangelism-ministry story). The charities took credit on tax returns for giving millions of
dollars’ worth of goods on paper that they did not actually collect, store or distribute, the newspaper said.

Donors have options for having a say in how gifts are used

While charitable institutions appreciate unrestricted gifts, donors have a variety of options to give and still have a say in how their gift is used, including donor-advised funds, the New York Times reported May 1 (see donor options story).

Thieves snatching donations to British charity shops

Donations to charity shops in Britain are being stolen from doorsteps at a “record rate” as the price of textiles soars and thieves try to make money during the recession, Sky News reported May 3. The Children’s Society estimates one in 10 filled donation bags are being swiped by crooks from doorsteps before charity workers can collect them.

Baltimore Symphony musicians give back $1 million in pay hikes

Musicians at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra volunteered to give back $1 million in pay hikes and other benefits next season to help the organization survive the recession, and they challenged supporters to raise $2 million in matching funds, the Baltimore Sun reported May 2 (see symphony employees story). After several seasons of balanced budgets, a deficit is projected for the fiscal year that ends Aug. 31, and since fall, the orchestra’s endowment has declined to $45 million from $62 million.

Berea College cuts jobs

Berea College in Richmond, Ky., cut 30 full-time positions, 21 of which were vacant, and nine part-time positions, six of which were vacant, because of the U.S. and global financial crisis, The Richmond Register reported May 1. Before the cuts, the school employed 572 full-time employees.

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