Nonprofit news roundup for June 9, 2009

Gates gives $20 million for financial services in developing world

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded $20 million to the World Bank to create the Agriculture Finance Support Facility, which will provide financial services in developing countries, The Seattle Times reported June 8 (see Gates gift story). The facility aims to make it easier for small farmers and rural entrepreneurs to get financial services like loans, savings accounts and insurance.

Recession means more professionals look to do good

As the recession prompts or forces professionals to switch careers, nonprofits and volunteer programs often are the beneficiaries of energetic workers with business skills, The Wall Street Journal reported June 9 (see volunteer story). Applications at the Peace Corps were up 16 percent this year, while Teach For America saw an increase of 42 percent.

Cash-strapped nonprofits turn to social media

As the recession dampens fundraising for nonprofits, many are turning to online social-media, a less expensive way to raise money, The Plain Dealer Reporter reported June 6 (see social media story). Increasingly, nonprofits such as the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Foodbank are taking advantage of Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, where the only cost to participate is staff time.

Gates Foundation receives $10.4 million in gifts in 2008

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation received $10.4 million in gifts during 2008, not including the $1.8 billion the foundation received in Berkshire Hathaway stock, The Associated Press reported June 6 (see Gates Foundation story). The foundation began accepting individual donations in 2007.

State funding cuts force Hawaiian nonprofits to cut staff

As Hawaii’s state government cuts funding to nonprofits, some of the state’s biggest human-services providers are laying off employees and doing away with programs, The Honolulu Star Bulletin reported June 8 (see nonprofit layoffs story). The state’s oldest and largest nonprofit, Child and Family Service, is bracing for a loss of $4 million in funding and already has laid off about 30 people this fiscal year.

West Virginia University Foundation cuts salaries, benefits

West Virginia University Foundation, which raises money for the university, plans to trim salaries of 65 of its employees by 4.6 percent, leave unfilled six open positions and shave health benefits, The Charleston Daily Mail reported June 9 (see West Virginia University Foundation story). About 5.5 percent of the school’s budget comes from the endowment, which has seen a 22.3 percent decline in assets in the last year.

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