Nonprofit news roundup for July 28, 2009

Astor’s son accused of limiting heiress’ charitable donations

As the son of heiress Brooke Astor was reneging on his mother’s philanthropic commitments to groups like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, prosecutors say he was withdrawing money from her accounts to invest in his own business venture and to pay for upkeep at his summer home, The New York Times reported July 27 (see Brooke Astor story). Anthony D. Marshall is on trial before the New York State Supreme Court, charged with fraud and larceny.

Generation X philanthropists aim for deeper connection

Unlike their predecessors, Generation X philanthropists aim for a connection deeper than just cash to the groups and causes they support, Kimberly Palmer wrote in a blog in U.S. News and World Report July 27 (see new philanthropists story). These young professionals want to work directly with nonprofits and see giving back as another way to socialize and network.

Small, local nonprofits seen as potential answer to big problems

With government as yet unable to solve America’s major social problems, and the suggestion of funneling massive amounts of money into a few “mid-cap” nonprofit programs misguided, perhaps it is the small, local nonprofits that will have the greatest impact on the big problems, William A. Schambra wrote in an opinion column in The Wall Street Journal July 27 (see giving structure story).

Oregon arts funder awards $1.45 million in grants

The Oregon Cultural Trust will award $1.45 million in arts and culture grants in fiscal 2010, a drop of 12 percent from fiscal 2009, The Oregonian reported July 27 (see Oregon Cultural Trust story). The reduction is due to a dwindling donations and a drop in interest income from the trust’s endowment.

State budget cuts plague Hawaii’s nonprofits

Having suffered one round of state spending cuts already this year, Hawaii’s nonprofit sector is bracing for another round, which could threaten the existence of some charities, The Honolulu Advertiser reported July 28 (see Hawaii nonprofits story). Hawaii’s nonprofits, some of which receive more than 40 percent of their funding from the state, already have laid off employees and cut services to vulnerable populations.

Some bright spots appear for charitable giving in U.K. While the U.K. has been hard hit by the recession, British donors continue to give, with donations by debit card up 24 percent and donations by credit card up 11 percent in the first four months of this year, BBC News reported July 28 (see U.K. fundraising story). However, the amount donated to charity through bequests has fallen sharply in recent months.

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