Estate tax expiring for 2010…

Nonprofit news roundup 

Estate tax expiring for 2010

Lawmakers have reached a stalemate on fixing a “quirk” in tax cuts implemented by former President George W. Bush, meaning the estate tax will be repealed for one year, The New York Times reported Dec. 17 (see estate tax story). While there will be no estate tax in 2010, without Congressional action, it will reappear in 2011 with a higher rate than 2009.

Harvard pays high price for ‘toxic swaps’

As financial institutions were crumbling and credit froze in the fall 2008, Harvard University borrowed $2.5 billion, some of which it used to pay banks almost $1 billion to get out of “toxic” interest-rate swaps that bet interest rates would increase, Bloomberg news reported Dec. 18 (see Harvard investing story). Some say the university overreacted and exited the investments at the “worst possible time.”

Ads from nonprofit medical centers questioned

While for-profit drug companies’ advertising claims are highly regulated, nonprofit medical centers frequently make claims based more on emotion than science, The New York Times reported Dec. 18 (see nonprofit medical advertising story). Prestigious cancer centers, for example, often boast higher cure rates and lower risks, results that are not backed up by air-tight studies, the article says.

Charities vie for $1 million in Chase contest on Facebook

The 100 top vote-getting charities in JPMorgan Chase’s recent contest on Facebook will compete in January for a $1 million donation from the corporation, Philadelphia Business Today reported Dec. 18 (see Chase Facebook contest story). The 100 entrants received the most votes in a December contest that awarded $25,000 apiece to the nonprofits.

Handful of charities criticize Chase for Facebook contest

JPMorgan Chase is fielding criticism over its Facebook contest, with at least three charities claiming they were disqualified because the company didn’t want its name associated with theirs, The New York Times reported Dec. 18 (see Chase Facebook criticism story). Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Marijuana Policy Project and Justice for All say they were in line to get funding through the contest until Chase altered the process mid-stream.

Colorado nonprofits struggling

More than half the nonprofits in Colorado have had their expenses outrun their revenue at some point in the past year, says a study by the Colorado Nonprofit Association, The Denver Post reported Dec. 18 (see Colorado nonprofits story). To cope, many groups in the state are cutting jobs and programs, relying more on volunteers and dipping into their cash reserves.

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