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Nonprofit news roundup May 28, 2009

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Muslim charity members sentenced

Two members of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, once the biggest Muslim charity in the U.S., were sentenced to 65 years in prison for funneling millions of dollars to the Palestinian militant group Hamas, the Associated Press reported May 27 (see Muslim charity story). Supporting Hamas, listed by the U.S. as a terror group since 1995 and blamed for hundreds of suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians, is illegal.

Nonprofits gear for weatherization funds

With the Obama administration pushing to expand an obscure antipoverty program into a centerpiece of its plan to make a million houses a year more energy-efficient, create “green” jobs and reduce U.S. carbon emissions, a debate is brewing over the best way to use federal stimulus dollars, The Wall Street Journal reported May 28 (see weatherization funds story). Nonprofits connected with the federal Weatherization Assistance Program are set to get a big injection of funds and say they are up to the job.

Gates Foundation draws lessons from high-school initiative

The new CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation says it spent billions of dollars examining whether smaller high schools might improve graduation rates and test scores but found the key to better education is not necessarily smaller schools but more effective teachers, the Associated Press reported May 28 (see Gates Foundation story).

St. Jude wins Facebook charity contest

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital won Target Corporation’s “Bullseye Gives” contest on Facebook, in which 10 charities competed for votes from the social network’s users, The New York Times reported May 28 (see Facebook charity story). St. Jude, founded by the late actor Danny Thomas, received 26.6 percent of the 291,399 votes cast and won $797,123.

Charitable trust getting half of soul-singer James Brown’s estate

Ending a two-year fight over the estate of the late soul singer James Brown’s estate, a U.S. judge has ruled half of Brown’s assets will go to a charitable trust, one-fourth to his wife and young son, and the rest to his six adult children, BBC News reported May 27 (see James Brown charity story).

Top two philanthropy officials at UBS leaving

The top two officials for philanthropy Max Martin, global head of philanthropy services at UBS is leaving the bank to join a family office, and Andreas Ernst, Martin’s deputy, also is leaving and will work with Martin in his new job, Wealth Bulletin reported May 27 (see UBS philanthropy story).

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