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Relief giving via cell phone spikes…

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Nonprofit news roundup 

Relief giving via cell phone spikes

Cell-phone users have mobilized to send donations via their cell phones to support relief efforts in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti, The New York Times reported Jan. 14 (see mobile relief giving story). Word of text-based donation venues are spreading through social networks like Twitter and Facebook. The American Red Cross raised $3 million in about 24 hours by working with a mobile-donations firm called mGive, USA Today reported Jan. 14 (see Red Cross story).

Harvard names risk manager

Neil Mason, a hedge-fund specialist formerly with FRM Capital Advisors, has been named chief risk officer for Harvard University’s endowment manager, replacing Dan Kelly, who left last year, The Boston Globe reported Jan. 15 (see Harvard endowment story). Mason will report to Jane Mendillo, chief executive of the management company.

Relief scams could erupt in wake of Haiti disaster

The devastation in Haiti in the wake of Tuesday’s massive earthquake could provide fertile ground for fraudulent fundraisers to prey on would-be donors, Reuters reported Jan. 14 (see relief fraud story). Scams could include “phishing” emails, con artists who target grieving family members or frauds who pose as victims themselves.

Corporate philanthropy becomes more strategic

While corporate giving fell 4.5 percent during 2008, and 2009 might not be much better, many companies continued giving, although in a much more strategic fashion, BusinessWeek reported Jan. 14 (see corporate philanthropy story). Corporations also are turning to non-cash giving, donating products and services or the time of skilled personnel.

Dallas-Ft. Worth nonprofits struggle to meet community needs

Struggling under the weight of increased demand and dwindling donations, nonprofits in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area are struggling to meet the social needs of community members, The Star-Telegram reported Jan. 14 (see Dallas-Ft. Worth nonprofits story).

Wealthy givers’ support of the arts in the U.K. falls

Donations to the arts by wealthy people in the U.K. fell for the first time in five years, and are unlikely to recover before 2013, says a study by Arts & Business, Wealth Bulletin reported Jan. 13 (see wealthy givers story). Donations from individuals fell 7 percent from 2008 to 2009, the study says.

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