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Nonprofit news roundup June 17, 2009

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Big nonprofits embracing social media

A new study finds a big increase in the use of social media over the last two years among the largest U.S. charities, the Herald-News in Fall River, Mass., reported June 16 (see nonprofit social media story). From blogging to “tweeting” to Facebooking, 89 percent of charitable and nonprofit organizations are using some form of social media, with 57 percent reporting activity in blogging, says study, which will be released soon by the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Value of Gates Foundation’s assets continues to fall

Assets of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation fell seven percent to $27.5 billion in the first three months of 2009 after plunging 20 percent in 2008, Pensions & Investments reported June 16 (see Gates endowment story).

ACLU says terrorism-financing policies hurt Muslim’s giving

The American Civil Liberties Union says U.S. policies on financing terrorism have hurt American Muslims’ right to practice their religion through charitable giving, United Press International reported June 16 (see Muslim charity story).

Charities turning to wealth managers

Charities and private foundations, hurt by endowment declines and fraud cases, are seeking more professional help with investment decisions and due diligence from wealth managers at big financial companies like JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Bank of New York Mellon Corp., The Wall Street Journal reported June 16 (see wealth managers story).

New York State slow to process contracts with nonprofits

Finding that 87 percent of state contracts with nonprofits are processed late, New York’s state comptroller has proposed new regulations to make sure nonprofits are paid the interest required by law when their contracts are processed late, the Legislative Gazette reported June 16 (see nonprofit contracts story).

Columbia, using little endowment income for operations, ups budget

Because Columbia University uses income from its endowment to cover a much smaller percentage of its annual operating expenses compared to schools like Princeton, its operating budget will grow by $12 million to nearly $3 billion, compared to big budget cuts at peer schools in the Ivy League, The New York Times reported June 14 (see Columbia endowment story).

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