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Nonprofit news roundup for June 2, 2009

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Nonprofit hospitals’ tax exemption in question

As some nonprofit hospitals have grown, in wealth as well as size, some policy makers are questioning whether their tax-exempt status should be revisited, The Boston Globe reported May 31 (see nonprofit hospitals story). In many cases, the value of the tax exemptions, which were created to encourage hospitals to treat the poor, now outweigh the amount hospitals spend on care for the poor and needy.

Recession takes toll on arts and culture groups

The recession is taking a toll on arts and culture institutions, which are slashing staff and salaries to make up for dwindling donations and shrinking endowments, Time reported in its June 8 issue (see arts and culture story). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, just one of many beleaguered groups, has lost $800 million in endowment value and has cut staff by 10 percent, while the Las Vegas Art Museum has closed for good.

California cracks down on fundraising solicitors

As part of a national effort to target fundraising solicitors who pass on little of what they raise to charity, the state of California has sued 17 telemarketers and 12 other organizations, The Los Angeles Times reported May 30 (see charity fundraisers story). Some of these groups, including the Association for Police and Sheriffs, used as much as 90 percent of the money raised to cover telemarketing costs.

Slow economy means more pro-bono lawyers

As the economy chips away at corporate law firms’ caseloads, many firms are paying first-year associates to put their legal skills to use in the nonprofit sector for a year, The Boston Globe reported May 30 (see pro-bono story). This strategy helps firms hold on to top talent and provide recruits with real-world experience while fulfilling a sense of corporate responsibility in the community.

Nonprofit CEO pay still on rise in some areas

Although the recession drags on and donors are becoming more wary of high pay for nonprofit executives, compensation for some charity leaders is still increasing in the Brockton, Mass., area, The Enterprise News reported May 31 (see nonprofit pay story). More than half of 15 local nonprofits pay their leaders more than $100,000, with total compensation ranging from $20,000 to more than $275,000.

Hebrew University gets $50 million gift

Hebrew University in Jerusalem received a $50 million gift from the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation, the largest donation ever for an Israeli research university, The Associated Press reported May 31 (see Hebrew University story). The university will use the money to launch a new brain research center that will focus on neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s.

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