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Holiday giving likely to slow…

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Nonprofit news roundup

Holiday giving likely to slow

The holiday season may lack cheer for many nonprofits as only 38 percent of Americans say they plan to give a charitable gift as a present this year, down from 49 percent last year, says a survey by Harris Interactive, The Associated Press reported Nov. 15 (see holiday giving story). On the bright side, three-quarters of Americans plan to increase their charitable giving once the economy improves.

Obama’s Social Innovation Fund aims to extend nonprofits’ reach

President Obama’s Social Innovation Fund aims to funnel $360 million into promising community groups over the next five years to help them extend their reach, The New York Times reported Nov. 11 (see Social Innovation Fund story). Groups with proven track records will receive funds to help them replicate their programs, with priority for those working in poverty reduction, economic development, health, education and programming for children and youth.

Gates Foundation to increase ‘non-traditional’ support

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funneling $30 million into charter schools in Houston to help land $300 million in tax-exempt bonds to construct more schools, The Associated Press reported Nov. 12 (see Gates Foundation story). The move is part of the funder’s plan to increase its non-traditional support, which includes a goal of providing a total of $400 million in “program-related investments” over the next two years.

Cause-related marketing holding its own

As consumers become more sophisticated in their charity shopping, retailers need to keep pace by offering cause-related marketing options the provide true value both to purchasers and the charities they aim to support, The New York Times reported Nov. 11 (see cause marketing story). While the economic downturn means shoppers are buying less, data suggest they still are willing to support worthy causes.

Target’s support of arts crucial during downturn

Target has continued its philanthropy in spite of the recession, continuing to give 5 percent of its income, or $3 million a week, to causes including the arts, education, social services and volunteerism, The New York Times reported Nov. 11 (see Target arts support story). Its arts support, which it bolsters with advertising, is proving crucial for groups hit hard by the recession.

Holiday giving gets creative

While giving is expected to drop 9 percent this year compared to last, many holiday consumers will be able purchase gifts that have the bonus of providing money for charity, The New York Times reported Nov. 11 (see holiday giving story). Nonprofits are getting creative in their solicitation, with some allowing consumer to make a donation in someone’s name and receive a small gift to present to the honoree, while others are offering museum memberships or benefit tickets.

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