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Kiva under fire for creating ‘illusion’…

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Nonprofit news roundup 

Kiva under fire for creating ‘illusion’

Kiva, a nonprofit that connects individual lenders to individual borrowers in the developing world, is coming under fire for what critics are calling an “illusion” it has created, The New York Times reported Nov. 8 (see Kiva story). While lenders are led to believe their investments go directly to individuals, they money actually goes to microfinance institutions that dole out the loans.

Year-end giving during downturn must be smart

With the effects of the economic downturn lingering while the year-end giving season gears up, donors should be smart about their contributions, The Wall Street Journal reported Nov. 8 (see smart giving story). Donors should consider giving from their individual retirement accounts, donating stocks and bonds that have appreciated to avoid capital-gains tax, tap into donor-advised funds, or provide “micro-loans” through microfinance organizations.

‘Intermediary charities’ pave way for overseas giving

While giving to overseas causes is gaining momentum, donors are finding it difficult to direct their gifts to specific projects without violating government restrictions or anti-terrorism laws, The Wall Street Journal reported Nov. 9 (see overseas giving story). U.S.-based “intermediary charities,” such as GlobalGiving, increasingly are helping donors direct their contributions legally while still receiving a tax deduction.

Honolulu Symphony files for bankruptcy protection

Shouldering almost $1 million in debt, the Honolulu Symphony has canceled its remaining concerts and plans to file for bankruptcy, The New York Times reported Nov. 8 (see Honolulu Symphony story). The 109-year-old organization hopes to reorganize and resume operations early in 2010.

Penn sees endowment hold steady for previous 12 months

The University of Pennsylvania’s endowment grew 10 percent in the most recent quarter and performance for the last 12 months was flat, outshining many elite universities that are struggling to rebound from losses of as much as 30 percent during fiscal 2008, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Nov. 7 (see University of Pennsylvania story).

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