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Nonprofit news roundup for Aug. 12, 2009

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Churches squeezed by rising need, declining donations

Faced with recession-induced pressures, churches are having to face worldly job of balancing their budgets, The Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 11 (see church finance story). With donations down and needs of parishioners rising, congregations across the country are laying off staff, freezing salaries and cutting other line items in their budgets.

French charity workers released from captivity

Somali gunmen have release the four employees of French charity Action Contre la Faim they had been holding captive for nine months, Bloomberg News reported Aug. 11 (see Action Contre la Faim story). Details of the release, which also included the employees’ two pilots, were not provided.

Washington State University launches new giving model

Washington State University has launched a new online-giving program called Ripple Effect, which allows donors to support the school’s mission while helping people in foreign countries where the university has a presence, The Seattle Times reported Aug. 11 (see Washington State University story). Donations are received by the WSU Foundation and forwarded to the school’s International Research and Development department.

Nonprofit journalism can further ‘public good’

Now that the market no longer seems willing to bear the high costs of risky investigative journalism, statehouse coverage or foreign reporting, nonprofit models for such types of reporting are cropping up, Jim Barnett wrote in The Nieman Journalism Lab Aug. 11 (see nonprofit journalism story). Such reporting is a “public good” that must continue, as must the relationships nonprofits develop with their readers, Barnett wrote.

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