In case you missed it, here are some of the headlines making news this week:
- The economy’s impact on charities continues to make less-than-positive headlines. In the face of decreased contributions, museums are cutting their budgets, food banks and organizations that supply holiday gifts are fearful of running out of supplies, Washington D.C. area charities are looking for emergency grants, and international aid groups fear that the world’s poorest will suffer further.
- Charities are getting more creative with their fundraising efforts, including Framingham State College, which recently took a new approach to younger donors, filling an appeal letter with “blah”. And a fundraising expert recommends that charities expand their definition of donations, and work to secure planned gifts as well as gifts of stock and cash.
- On a more positive note, some charities are faring well despite economic concerns. A homeless shelter in Miami is moving ahead with a major construction project, the University of Miami’s Wellness Center recently received a large donation to expand its building, and the Mellon Foundation recently announced nearly $10 million in awards to playwriting organizations and theaters.
- New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has asked charities that he supports to back his plan to ease term limits, allowing him to run for a third term. Bloomberg has always maintained that he separates his philanthropy from his job, causing raised eyebrows and putting charities in an uncomfortable position. Looking forward, charities are encouraging the next president to take steps that will promote giving and strengthen the nonprofit work force by expanding giving incentives and providing funding to offer incentives to nonprofit employees. And, looking back on the first half of 2008, approximately $13 million was given to charities in honor of more than 200 members of the House and Senate.
- Finally, the Avon Foundation is partnering with the U.S. Department of State to fight breast cancer globally, as announced during the 2008 Breast Cancer Global Congress last week.