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Nonprofit news roundup May 12, 2009

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Recession biting into gift annuities

Charitable gift annuities – used to make charitable donations and generate regular lifetime payments to the donors — don’t always deliver what they promise, a risk that could grow if the recession continues, The Wall Street Journal reported May 12 (see gift annuities story).

Gates, Hewlett and Canadian group fund overseas think-tanks

In an effort to spark policy debate and decision making, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the International Development Research Centre and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation will award total of $40 million to think tanks in developing countries, The Seattle Times reported May 11 (see Gates story). Twenty-four organizations in Africa will be the first to receive funds. The Gates Foundation is putting up $40 million of the total.

Denver nonprofits feel impact of recession

Over half the nonprofits responding to a survey by the Colorado Nonprofit Association in February have experience a reduction or the elimination of funding from a major supporter because of the recession, Denverchannel.com reported May 11 (see Colorado nonprofits story). Over 35 percent of human-service groups have reduced staff
hours, 38 percent have not filled jobs through attrition and nearly 20 percent have laid off staff or plan to. Yet despite the declines, nearly half of nonprofits are upbeat on their outlook for 2009.

Ousted university president to lead NPower Indiana

John Fallon, ousted president of Eastern Michigan University, has been tapped to lead NPower Indiana, effective April 3, the Associated Press reported May 8. Fallon was fired from his university post in 2007 after a “cover-up of information” related to the rape and murder of a student in 2006.

Many British charities not effectively governed, report says

A report by New Philanthropy Capital says many British charities are not effectively governed, The Guardian reported May 12 (see charity governance story).

British prefer face-to-face appeals to direct-mail

The British public dislikes direct-mail solicitations for charity more than it dislikes face-to-face appeals, Marketing Week reported May 11. The Fundraising Standards Board says almost a quarter of the complaints charities receive are about direct mail, compared to 1 percent for in-person appeals.

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