In Foundations

Micronews on philanthropy.

CNN: Worse To Come?

From CNN:

For some, the downturn may not have hit yet. The Salvation Army, the nation’s second-largest charity, does not yet have projections for the year, but last year’s Christmas Internet donations were up more than 25%, from $7.9 million to $10.1 million, said Melissa Temme, the organization’s public relations director.

“More people are giving, but the size of the donation is going down,” she said, noting that the average donation dropped from $225 in 2007 to $190 last year.

Still, more than 93% of fundraisers said the economy is affecting their jobs negatively, “including 28.5% who reported a very negative impact,” said Una Osili, interim director of research at the Center on Philanthropy, in a news release. “However, just over 21% of those surveyed expect the economic impact to be positive six months from now.”

Full article here.

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Filed under: economy

Cohen: Scan Of Nonprofit Recommendations To Obama

From The Cohen Report:

During Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, his staff generated a series of specific proposals (contained in Helping All Americans Serve Their Country, aimed at building, supporting, mobilizing the nonprofit sector as an instrument of change and progress consistent with his overall policy platform.  This memorandum describes what nonprofit sector organizations have done to generate specific policy recommendations addressing, building on, or challenging the Obama/Biden platform (also contained in part in Blueprint for Change). Although some events are moving quickly with the new administration, it has been focused by necessity on generating an economic stimulus initiative.  The Obama Administration is less than a month old, its most significant nonprofit-specific appointments not yet formally announced, and the policy recommendations floated by nonprofit leadership organizations still have currency.  At this point, the question is not what has the Obama Administration done, much less set in stone, regarding nonprofit policy in its first month in office, but what messages and priorities are being conveyed by the nonprofit sector for the Obama appointees’ consumption and action.

Full article here.

Filed under: nonprofits

WSJ: Nonprofits Push For Looser Endowment Rules (via @Philanthropy)

From the Wall Street Journal, by way of  the Chronicle of Philanthropy:

Universities, museums and other nonprofits battered by investment losses are pushing states to ease legal limits on spending so they can tap their endowments to avoid imminent layoffs and deep cuts to programs.

For colleges, in particular, the effort marks a startling turnaround, yet another example of the impact of the financial meltdown. Only a year ago, universities, with their $400 billion in endowment money, faced a congressional inquiry because of widespread concern they needed to spend more of their savings on financial aid for students. Now, colleges are finding that state laws aren’t letting them spend enough.

Full (WSJ) article here.

Via @Philanthropy.

Filed under: endowment, nonprofits

NY Daily News: Latino Nonprofits Feel The Squeeze

From the New York Daily News:

The bad economy has dealt a big blow to the city’s Latino nonprofits, many of which have been forced to cut hours, reduce services and even consider closing.

From theaters and language centers to housing and employment programs, organizations that have served the Latino community for decades are now struggling to stay afloat.

“The nonprofit sector is taking a triple whammy with the loss of funding from foundations, government and corporations,” said Lillian Rodríguez López, president of the Hispanic Federation, an umbrella group representing more than 90 Latino organizations in the city.

Full article here.

Via AFP.

Filed under: economy, nonprofits

Training Available For New IRS Form 990

From the Philanthropy Journal:

For the first time in 25 years, the IRS has completely revised its 990 tax form all nonprofit organizations must now file regardless of size.
Disclosures the new form requires will provide the public with increased and readily accessible knowledge about a nonprofit’s finances, management, and governance. . . .

This Philanthropy Journal webinar, presented by lawyer Marty Martin, JD, MPA, provides an introduction and overview to the key management, governance, and reporting issues required to complete the new form.

February 17th, 2009 1:00 PM through 2:00 PM [eastern]

Full information and registration here.

Filed under: events, government, nonprofits

Car Donations To Charity Down

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

At the National Kidney Foundation, gross revenue from car donations totaled $12.8 million in 2008, down 34% from $19.5 million in 2004.

Before the stock market melted down, before the government starting writing multibillion-dollar bailout checks, the folks at Rawhide Inc. knew something was going wrong with the economy.

Donations of cars to the New London charity were sinking. After falling off sharply in 2005, when tax laws limited the tax deduction a donor could take, vehicle donations continued slipping again last year.

“We noticed the economy was on a downward trend before everybody else did,” said Tim Costello, executive director of the nonprofit, which runs a ranch for troubled teens.

. . . .

Charity Cars, a Florida-based nonprofit that refurbishes donated cars and provides them directly to disadvantaged people, handled about $8 million worth of vehicles in fiscal year 2006-’07.

“This year, we will be lucky to do half that amount,” said Brian Menzies, Charity Cars chief executive officer. “When people aren’t buying new cars, they aren’t donating their old ones.”

Full article here.

Via @SuburbNews.

Filed under: economy

Gala Toned Down (via @rosettathurman)

From the Washington Business Journal:

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington is doing things a little differently this year — they are scaling back on the glitz and glamor of their annual benefit gala.

The event on Feb. 14 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel is the biggest single fundraising mechanism for the charity’s programs, which supported more than 114,000 people last year through housing, food, legal aide, and other services.

The gala budget, or the cost to produce the black-tie event, was cut by about 20 percent to $250,000. . . .

[A spokesperson] said cutting costs to hold the event is helping to maximize the percentage of funds that go directly to an agency that has served 18 percent more families in need through its D.C. and Maryland centers since the economy nosedived last fall.

Full article here.

Via @rosettathurman.

Filed under: economy

FDN Ctr Pres: These Nonprofits “Too Big To Fail”

From PhilanTopic, by Bradford Smith (Pres. of Foundation Center):

2008 was the year of the bailout, in which the giants of finance and industry were lent a generous helping hand by their friends in the U.S. government, generally because they were considered “too big to fail.” Leaving the irony aside that, in many cases, the result was to create bigger institutions whose future failure could pose even greater risk to the world financial system, it got me thinking about the nonprofit equivalent of “too big to fail.”

The following would be my candidates for nonprofit organizations that are too big, too important, or too (blank) to fail. . . .

Full article here.

Via @pndblog.

Filed under: giving

Stimulus Holds Little For Philanthropy

From the Chronicle of Philanthropy:

The economic-stimulus package passed by the Senate today does not include a number of measures that nonprofit and foundation leaders had proposed to help ease the impact of the recession on the philanthropic world.

As these provisions were also left out of the House bill, the chances that they will be included in the final stimulus package are slim.

They include . . .

Full article here.

Filed under: economy, government

Oil Down; Russian Philanthropy Future Questioned

From the Moscow Times:

[A] big question mark hangs over . . . philanthropic activity as the global economic crisis takes its toll.

“The question is what will happen in 2009?” said Maria Chertok, Russia director of Britain’s Charities Aid Foundation. “I have a feeling that this activity is folding.”

Chertok said she feared that corporate donors would cut contributions by at least a third this year.

Oil companies are among the biggest donors, and their profit margins are in doubt after world oil prices plunged from a high of $143 per barrel last summer to about $40 today. . . .

TNK-BP, the third-largest oil firm, is reviewing its philanthropic spending, spokeswoman Marina Dracheva said. “Spending for these purposes will not increase. This is obvious,” she said.

Potential cuts could hit a wide variety of institutions and communities, ranging from small Far North settlements in companies’ production areas to fine arts establishments in Moscow.

Full article here.

Filed under: giving, international