Giving ‘makes you feel better’…

Nonprofit news roundup 

Giving ‘makes you feel better’

While the recession has taken a bite out of the fortunes of wealthy Americans and their charitable foundations, many are getting more creative and strategic in their giving, an act that “makes you feel better,” says philanthropist Charles Bronfman, The New York Times reported Nov. 13 (see philanthropy in recession story). Food charities are garnering a larger portion of philanthropic dollars, perhaps at the expense of arts organizations.

Gateses give $350 million for their foundation’s new building

Bill and Melinda Gates plan to give $350 million to the foundation they established to build a new campus for the funder in Seattle, The New York Times reported Nov. 13 (see Gates Foundation story). The gift will pay for about 70 percent of the total cost of the 90,000 square foot facility.

Maine philanthropy holds steady

Despite the ravages of the recession, the Maine Community Foundation has awarded more in grants this year than it did last, and its assets as of September were ahead of Sept. 2008 levels, The Portland Press Herald reported Nov. 16 (see Maine philanthropy story). Other foundations in the state aim to hold their giving level this year.

Professor to give away $1.68 million over lifetime

Toby Ord, an ethics researcher at Oxford University, says he will give away $1.68 million to charities in developing countries over the course of his lifetime, and wants others to follow his lead, The BBC reported Nov. 13 (see professor’s donation story). He launched Giving What We Can to encourage others to give way 10 percent of their earnings to fight poverty.

Economic woes hit some Jewish philanthropists

Twenty of the wealthiest Americans are Jewish, together controlling about $212 billion in personal wealth, but the fortunes of many of them have been diminished by the economic downturn, The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported Nov. 13 (see Jewish philanthropy story). The list of the richest Jewish Americans contains people known for their philanthropy.

Charity a must for Catholics, Pope says

It is the responsibility of Catholics to offer not only love, but “concrete assistance” to the world’s poor, Pope Benedict XVI said during a meeting of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the Vatican’s charity office, Catholic News Service reported Nov. 13 (see Catholic charity story). Salvation is “holistic,” the Pope said, and regards a person’s entire physical, spiritual, social and cultural being.

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