Museums finish challenging year…

Nonprofit news roundup 

Museums finish challenging year

This year has been a challenging one for museums across the U.S., with layoffs, pay cuts, reduced programming and limited visitor hours becoming commonplace, The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 29 (see museums story). While a few bright spots could be found, including the opening of a new education wing at the Detroit Institute of Arts, other institutions were forced to close their doors altogether.

New allegations against ousted founder of Feed the Children

Feed the Children has countersued its fired president, alleging he took bribes and kept hard-core pornography hidden at the charity, The Associated Press reported Dec. 30 (see Feed the Children story). In early November, the group’s board fired Larry Jones, who then sued the charity for wrongful termination and is denying the latest round of charges.

Constellation to boost charitable giving

The charitable foundation affiliated with Constellation Energy Group received a $36 million donation from Electricite de France, The Baltimore Sun reported Dec. 29 (see Constellation story). The contribution will help Constellation fulfill a commitment to boost its charitable giving to 1 percent or more of its annual operating income.

Nonprofit employee admits embezzlement

Roxanna Bollwerk, a former accounting employee for Project Inc., a St. Louis nonprofit that helps the mentally disabled, pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $800,000 from the organization, The St. Louis Dispatch reported Dec. 30 (see nonprofit embezzlement story). She faces 33 to 41 months in federal prison.

Indiana hospitals get $1 million boost

The Community Health Network Foundation in Indianapolis received a $1 million cash gift from John W. “Jack” Heiney, retired president and CEO of Indiana Gas Co., to boost outreach, wellness and prevention programs at the organization, which funds four hospitals in Indianapolis and 90 other facilities, IndyStar reported Dec. 30 (see hospital foundation story).

Giving circles catching on

Giving circles, informal groups of individuals who each donate money to support charitable causes, are expediting the grantmaking process both for givers and nonprofits, The Dayton Daily News reported Dec. 30 (see giving circles story). One group in Michigan, 100 Women Who Care, boasts almost 200 members and has given away more than $175,000 for causes like Boys and Girls Clubs, breast cancer support groups and dental care for the homeless.

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