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Salvation Army kettles credit-ready…

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Nonprofit news roundup 

Salvation Army kettles credit-ready

For the first time, the Salvation Army’s red fundraising kettles will come equipped with credit-card readers to accommodate cashless donors, who will receive a receipt for their contributions, The News & Observer reported Nov. 19 (see Salvation Army story). Requests for the charity’s services are up 35 percent this year, while donations have dropped 15 percent.

Gates Foundation puts $335 million into teacher effectiveness

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will funnel $335 million into boosting teacher effectiveness in three major public-school systems and  a handful of charter schools, The Washington Post reported Nov. 20 (see Gates education story). The effort will fund experiments in tenure, evaluation, compensation and training in schools in Hillsborough County, Fla., Pittsburg and Memphis, as well as five charter networks in the Los Angeles area.

BofA to stop matching retirees’ charitable donations

Effective Jan. 1, Bank of America no longer will match charitable donations made by its retirees, but will continue offering matches for contributions by current employees, The Charlotte Observer reported Nov. 20 (see Bank of America story). While the bank says only a “very small percentage” of retirees take advantage of the program, some retired employees are angry and worry the move could hurt local nonprofits.

Bloomberg donation aims to stem overseas traffic fatalities

Over the next five years, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to donate $125 million to nonprofits promoting road safety in low- and middle-income countries that rank high in traffic fatalities, The New York Times reported Nov. 18 (see Bloomberg donation story). Countries to receive funding include Russia, India, Vietnam, China, Brazil and Egypt.

Lilly Endowment gives $1 million for basic needs

The Lilly Endowment is funneling $1 million into the Community Economic Relief Fund, an effort of United Way of Central Indiana that will help stock food banks, support homeless shelters and boost other basic-needs charities in the region, The Indianapolis Star reported Nov. 19 (see Lilly Endowment story). Local charities are seeing spikes in demand, with Catholic Charities report pre-holiday demand doubling from last year.

Growing hunger in U.S. could swamp food banks

Hunger is a growing problem in the U.S. and food banks are likely to see unprecedented need for their services, a group of charities told Congress, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Nov. 19 (see food banks story). Donations to Atlanta-area pantries from food companies are down over 35 percent, while demand at one food bank spiked 54 percent over last year.

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