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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Charity News Roundup

Here are some charity headlines from the past week:

  • Recent financial failures continue to have mixed results on the nonprofit world. Many charitable groups relying on donations from large financial services firms find themselves in a state of limbo as it remains to be seen whether large pledges will be honored by tanking financial institutions. At the same time, new findings suggest that economic downturns have not historically had a major negative impact on charitable giving, according to a report from the Giving USA Foundation.
  • Given the high rate at which natural disasters strike, some responders fear how "disaster fatigue" by donors will affect their ability to raise needed funds. These fears are warranted as hurricane-related giving has reached $50 million yet more is needed in the aftermath of the most recent storms. Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton are again joining forces to provide relief to those affected by hurricanes Gustav and Ike. You can research highly-rated charities responding to Hurricane Ike here.
  • Charities continue to make strides in addressing health-related issues. The Gates Foundation has joined the mission to eradicate malaria within this century. Meanwhile, plans for the world's largest Ronald McDonald House are in the works in Chicago. Other highly-rated Ronald McDonald House charities can be found here.
  • The importance of politics on charities was reinforced this week, when the Senate passed legislation including provisions that will increase incentives for seniors to donate to charities through their IRAs. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the tie between charities and politicians was tightened when a group of ministers decided to disregard a 1954 tax law and endorse a presidential candidate.
  • A new software program may make it possible for venture philanthropists to measure the social impact of their contributions.

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