Nonprofits fight discrimination memo…

Nonprofit News Roundup

Nonprofits fight memo allowing religious groups to discriminate

A group of almost 60 charities want the U.S. Attorney General to rescind a Bush-administration memo that allows religious nonprofits to make discriminatory hiring decisions, The Washington Post reported Sept. 18 (see religious charities story). Nonprofits working to scrap the memo include the Anti-Defamation League, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and the NAACP.

Agency aims to provide stamp of approval to Muslim charities

A new organization is partnering with the Better Business Bureau to provide accreditation to Muslim nonprofits in an effort to pave the way for donations that have dried up in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, CNN reported Sept. 19 (see Muslim charity story). Muslim Advocates aims to help Muslims find religious charities to which they can donate, a practice that is mandated by their religion but hampered by heightened federal oversight of Muslim nonprofits.

University of Texas endowment falls 15 percent

The endowment of the University of Texas System, which includes nine schools and six health-care institutions across the state, fell 15 percent to $15.2 billion in fiscal 2009 from $17.8 billion in 2008, The Austin American-Statesman reported Sept. 19 (see University of Texas story).

MIT endowment down 20.7 percent

The endowment of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology lost 20.7 percent of its value in fiscal 2009, falling to $8 billion from $10.1 billion, Reuters reported Sept. 16 (see MIT story).

Cornell endowment loses 26 percent of value

Cornell University’s endowment fell 26 percent in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009, dropping to $4 billion from $5.1 billion, The Ithaca Journal reported Sept. 18 (see Cornell story). While the endowment gained 6.2 percent during July and August, university officials plan to cut the payout from the endowment by 15 percent for 2010.

State arts staffers on chopping block in Hawaii

A budget-cutting proposal from the governor of Hawaii would force the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts to lay off 10 of its 30 employees, a loss arts groups statewide say would jeopardize arts programs, education and the state’s economy, The Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported Sept. 21 (see Hawaii arts story). The cuts would realize $500,000 in savings for Hawaii, which faces an $800 million budget shortfall.

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