Red Cross launches holiday campaign…

Nonprofit news roundup 

Red Cross launches holiday campaign

Breaking with its practice of waiting for disasters to occur before asking for donations, the American Red Cross is launching a holiday fundraising effort that includes a gift catalog and advertising, The New York Times reported Nov. 17 (see Red Cross catalog story). The charity aims to raise funds and awareness for its less well-known, non-disaster services like lifeguard certification and support for military personnel.

Tufts’ president urges less risk in endowment investments

Lawrence Bacow, president of Tufts University, is encouraging wealthy colleges and universities to abandon risky investment practices, saying the forced budget cuts that can result in a down economy are too disruptive, Bloomberg reported Nov. 19 (see wealthy colleges story). Many schools, which generally rely heavily on their endowments to cover operating costs, were forced to make deep operational cuts when the economy tanked.

Gates Foundation shuffles investments

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation increased its investment holdings in consumer staples and waste management stocks, purchasing additional shares of Coca Cola Co., McDonalds Corp. and Waste Management Inc., among others, Dow Jones reported Nov. 16 (see Gates’ investments story). During the second quarter of the year, the company sold off most of its shares in pharmaceuticals and health-related stocks.

Minnesotans log in to donate to charity

During the first half of Minnesota’s inaugural “Give to the Max Day,” state residents donated a total of $10.5 million to charity, The Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune reported Nov. 17 (see GiveMN story). The online-giving event was hosted by GiveMN, a new website dedicated to boosting philanthropy in the state, and donations will be matched at some level through a fund created by the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Bush foundations.

Indianapolis Symphony grapples with $2.8 million deficit

With donations, ticket sales and its endowment all down over the past year, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra now faces a budget deficit of $2.8 million, The Associated Press reported Nov. 17 (see Indianapolis Symphony story). The group’s budget has been cut by $3 million and musicians have agreed to a 12 percent pay cut.

JPMorgan Chase to donate $5 million via Facebook contest

JPMorgan Chase has launched the “Chase Community Giving” program, which allows Facebook users to vote on which of more than half a million smaller charities will receive a portion of $5 million from the financial-services company, The Associated Press reported Nov. 19 (see JPMorgan Chase giving story). Chase will award $25,000 to each of 100 charities receiving the most votes, five will receive $100,000 and two will receive $1 million each.

D.C.-area nonprofits face recession-related challenges

Demand for the services provided by nonprofits in the Washington, D.C., are still on the rise, but funding for those nonprofits continues to fall, says a survey by the Center for Nonprofit Advancement, Bizjournals reported Nov. 18. Almost a third of nonprofits in the area have eliminated programs or laid off staff, and some are planning to cease operations altogether.

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