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Nonprofit news roundup for July 31, 2009

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Poor outpace wealthy in giving, report says

Americans making less than $50,000 a year give about 4 percent of their income to charity, more than their wealthier counterparts, including those making over $100,000, who give 2 percent of their income, says the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, Forbes reported July 30 (see charity selection story).

Komen for the Cure founder gets presidential honor

Nancy Brinker, founder of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, is one of 16 to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, The Dallas Morning News reported July 31 (see Nancy Brinker story). She will receive the medal from President Obama at a ceremony at the White House on Aug. 12.

Ripkin Foundation to build youth ballparks in Baltimore

The Cal Ripkin Sr. Foundation has launched the Swing for the Future campaign, which aims to raise $6 million to build five youth ballparks in distressed neighborhoods in Baltimore, The Baltimore Sun reported July 31 (see Ripken Foundation story). The parks will be run by community groups and will allow at-risk kids to play baseball and other sports and participate in character-building programs.

Government programs seen as threatening to supplant philanthropy

Federal support for nonprofits is increasing, with the Obama administration making federal stimulus funds available to poor, rural counties across the U.S., and the $50 million Social Innovation Fund providing funding for high-impact nonprofit initiatives, David J. Sanders wrote in an opinion column in The Wall Street Journal July 30 (see philanthropy column). With so federal money available to communities and nonprofits, traditional philanthropy is at risk of taking a back seat to federal funds and government programs, Sanders says.

Baltimore Symphony’s musicians take 12.5 percent pay cut

Musicians with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra have agreed to a 12.5 percent pay cut in an effort to shore up the organization’s budget deficit and make up for lost income from its endowment, which cannot be tapped for funding because its current value has fallen below its historical value, The Baltimore Sun reported July 31 (see Baltimore Symphony story). The symphony’s endowment has fallen 21 percent over the past year.

Philanthropy Australia launches tool to facilitate giving

Philanthropy Australia has launched the Project Pool, a searchable database of projects within the nonprofit sector that are available for funding, Third Sector Magazine reported July 31 (see Philanthropy Australia story). The tool allows philanthropists to browse projects for which due diligence already has been performed.

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