Archive for May, 2010

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (May 10-16, 2010)

Monday, May 17th, 2010

EDUCATION

CHARTER SCHOOLS

Charter Schools’ New Cheerleaders: Financiers.” By Trip Gabriel and Jennifer Medina. New York Times. May 9, 2010. When Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo wanted to meet certain members of the hedge fund crowd, seeking donors for his all-but-certain run for governor, what he heard was this: Talk to Joe. That would be Joe Williams, executive director of a political action committee that advances what has become a favorite cause of many of the wealthy founders of New York hedge funds: charter schools. Wall Street has always put its money where its interests and beliefs lie. But it is far less common that so many financial heavyweights would adopt a social cause like charter schools and advance it with a laserlike focus in the political realm. Hedge fund executives are thus emerging as perhaps the first significant political counterweight to the powerful teachers unions, which strongly oppose expanding charter schools in their current form. They have been contributing generously to lawmakers in hopes of creating a friendlier climate for charter schools. More immediately, they have raised a multimillion-dollar war chest to lobby this month for a bill to raise the maximum number of charter schools statewide to 460 from 200. The money has paid for television and radio advertisements, phone banks and some 40 neighborhood canvassers in New York City and Buffalo — all urging voters to put pressure on their lawmakers.

HIGHER EDUCATION

For supporters, bloom is off the Rose; Lawsuit pending while Brandeis says art museum remains operational.” By Geoff Edgers. Boston Globe. May 16, 2010. After months of behind-the-scenes maneuvering, the battle over the Rose Art Museum is again going public. The latest twist pits Brandeis University, which last year announced plans to sell the campus museum’s collection, against a group of former Rose boosters who have filed a lawsuit to block any such sale and are claiming that the Rose is no longer a viable, functioning museum. Tomorrow night, those donors host a fund-raiser to help pay their legal fees at a New York gallery, featuring a who’s who of living artists, including Frank Stella, Chuck Close, Kiki Smith, and Richard Tuttle. At the same time, Brandeis, which has reversed its decision to close the Rose but said it may still try to sell some of the art, is announcing a fall exhibition featuring renowned video artist Bill Viola and the hiring of a new collections manager. University officials point to those moves as proof that the museum, whose collection includes seminal works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns, will remain open, and that the lawsuit’s claims are inaccurate. “I would say that it’s functioning very highly as a museum,’’ said Brandeis spokesman Andrew Gully.
The debate over the Rose is focused on more than the art in question. It is about the very definition of an art museum. Is it a space to show and store work? Or must the institution abide by the ethical guidelines of the museum community, including the tenet that art is only to be sold to further strengthen its collection?
The dispute began in January 2009, when Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz announced that the school’s board of trustees had decided to close the Rose Art Museum and sell off its collection, valued by some at more than $350 million, to help solve the university’s budget crunch.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS

Should Catholic schools reject gay couples’ kids?USA Today/Associated Press. May 14, 2010. The Associated Press is reporting that Archdiocese of Boston Superintendent of Schools Mary Grassa O’Neill has offered to help the lesbian parents find a different Catholic school for their 8-year-old boy. Earlier stories said the child was accepted, then rejected from St. Paul Elementary School in Hingham after a priest told one of his parents that the mothers were “in discord” with church teachings that marriage should be between one man and one woman. O’Neill told AP there’s no policy barring children of same-sex parents although all parents are expected to recognize that Catholic school curriculum includes its teachings.
Related Story:
Catholic schools superintendent offers to enroll lesbians’ son.” USA Today/Associated Press. May 13, 2010.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (May 10-16, 2010)

Monday, May 17th, 2010

FINANCE

“Zoo cuts are bad news (for) bears; The city has proposed a 42% cut in funding to the Wildlife Conservation Society which runs Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium.” By Miriam Kreinin Souccar. Crain’s New York. May 11, 2010. Proposed budget cuts for the Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium could send lions and tigers packing. The Wildlife Conservation Society on Tuesday launched a petition campaign to fight against a proposed 42% cut in city funding for the zoo and aquarium, the biggest reduction in 10 years. If enacted, the cuts would reduce city support for the nonprofit to $5.4 million from $9.3 million for fiscal year 2010, which starts July 1. The move comes as the WCS battles a proposed 50% cut from the state, which would reduce its funding to around $1.6 million. If the cuts are enacted, the WCS would be forced to lay off staffers, and may have to close down exhibitions. Mr. Calvelli declined to list specific measures the organization would take, just that “everything is on the table if these cuts are approved.”

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (May 10-16, 2010)

Monday, May 17th, 2010

FUNDRAISING

Parents stepping in to help raise more money for schools.” By Marisol Bello. USA Today. May 10, 2010. These aren’t your old-school fundraisers. Bake sales to pay for field trips are giving way to online giving, fairs and businesses donating percentages of their sales as parents raise money to pay teacher salaries and save sports and art programs from budget cuts. “We see an ever-increasing need for parents to go above and beyond the call of duty,” says Chuck Saylors, 50, president of the National PTA (Parent Teacher Association). “School districts can’t keep the cuts out of the classrooms.” “Really, we shouldn’t have to be put in this position,” says Melissa Neumann, 39, who has two children in Cupertino, Calif., schools. “We shouldn’t have to fundraise basically for the core curriculum: reading, writing and math.” Still, she and others say they’ll do what they can.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (May 10-16, 2010)

Monday, May 17th, 2010

HEALTH CARE

Hearings to be set on Caritas Christi sale; State must approve hospitals’ purchase by private equity firm.” By Robert Weisman. Boston Globe. May 12, 2010. The state Department of Public Health plans to hold a half-dozen public hearings jointly with the state attorney general’s office to consider a private equity firm’s plan to buy Caritas Christi Health Care, which owns six Catholic hospitals in Eastern Massachusetts. While the attorney general’s office will review the plans of New York-based Cerberus Capital Management, which agreed in March to buy the Caritas Christi system, and make a recommendation to the state Supreme Judicial Court, the public health department must also sign off on the proposed purchase by granting new hospital licenses. In new filings with the public health department, Cerberus disclosed it is setting up a new corporate structure with six separate affiliates — Steward St. Elizabeth’s, Steward Carney, Steward Norwood, Steward Good Samaritan, Steward St. Anne’s, and Steward Holy Family — all operating under the umbrella of a new Cerberus holding company, Steward Hospital Holdings LLC.The hospitals themselves will retain their current names and their Caritas affiliation. Cerberus also negotiated a stewardship agreement with the Archdiocese of Boston, released last week in a separate filing with Attorney General Martha Coakley, in which it said it intends to preserve the hospitals’ Catholic identity.

Hospital nun rebuked for allowing abortion; She agreed that seriously ill woman needed procedure to survive.” MSNBC/Associated Press. May 15, 2010. A nun and administrator at a Catholic hospital in Phoenix has been reassigned and rebuked by the local bishop for agreeing that a severely ill woman needed an abortion to survive. Sister Margaret McBride was on an ethics committee that included doctors that consulted with a young woman who was 11 weeks pregnant late last year, The Arizona Republic newspaper reported on its website Saturday. The woman was suffering from a life-threatening condition that likely would have caused her death if she hadn’t had the abortion at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. Hospital officials defended McBride’s actions but confirmed that she has been reassigned from her job as vice president of mission integration at the hospital. They said in a statement that saving the mother required that the fetus be aborted. “In this tragic case, the treatment necessary to save the mother’s life required the termination of an 11-week pregnancy,” hospital vice president Susan Pfister said in an e-mail to the newspaper. She said the facility owned by Catholic Healthcare West adheres to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services but that the directives do not answer all questions. Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, head of the Phoenix Diocese, indicated in a statement that the Roman Catholic involved was “automatically excommunicated” because of the action. The Catholic Church allows the termination of a pregnancy only as a secondary effect of other treatments, such as radiation of a cancerous uterus.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (May 10-16, 2010)

Monday, May 17th, 2010

INTERNATIONAL

AFRICA

As the Need Grows, the Money for AIDS Runs Far Short.” By Donald G. McNeil. Jr. New York Times. May 9, 2010. Appeals to raise money for AIDS are ubiquitous — but the gap between what is needed and what is collected is enormous, and growing. In February, Michel Sidibé, the executive director of Unaids, estimated that $27 billion would be needed this year to fight the disease. Nothing close to that amount is on tap. Even counting what middle-income countries spend on AIDS in their own health budgets, the total has been estimated at $14 billion. The two chief sources of money are the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, begun under President George W. Bush and known as Pepfar, and the multinational Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Congress has authorized Pepfar to spend up to $48 billion by 2014, but the Obama administration has other plans. Its position, laid out by Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, a White House health adviser and a brother of the White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, and underpinning the administration’s new Global Health Initiative, is that more lives will be saved by focusing on childhood diseases and keeping young mothers alive. Pepfar’s budget is about $7 billion a year and was last increased by 2 percent, so it has warned its aid recipients to expect no increases for at least two years. Its goal is four million people on drugs by 2014. AIDS activists are furious, insisting the result will be that children are saved only to die later of AIDS. But they appear to have lost that battle.

“‘Volunteerism built on altruism is not sustainable in Africa’s health sectors’; Dr Peter Ngatia, director for capacity building at Amref, argues that day-to-day survival makes volunteerism in poor communities untenable.” Katine Chronicles blog. guardian.co.uk. May 12, 2010. In March we reported on the Katine blog that some members of the village health teams (VHTs), revived in the sub-county by the African Medical and Research Foundation (Amref) as part of the Katine project, were going on strike over the withdrawal of training allowances. We’ve written before about the reliance on volunteers to carry out basic healthcare in Uganda and news of the strike raised issues about the sustainability of VHTs after Amref withdraws from the sub-county next year. Amref states that it has to operate in line with government policy on VHTs, which, in Uganda, does not allow for financial remuneration, although expenses can be paid and some other forms of incentives can be offered. Amref tells us it will be talking to VHTs to see what incentives they need to continue their work and will be feeding that back to government in the hope it could influence policy. Dr Peter Ngatia, director for capacity building at Amref, based in Nairobi, has some strong views on the payment of health volunteers. In this piece, he argues why VHTs should be paid.

CATHOLIC SEX ABUSE SCANDAL

Pope blames church’s own sins for sex scandal.” By Nicole Winfield. Washington Post/Associated Press. May 11, 2010. Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday blamed the church’s own sins for the clerical abuse scandal – not a campaign mounted by outsiders – and called for profound purification to end what he called the “greatest persecution” the church has endured. His strong comments placed responsibility for the crisis squarely on the sins of pedophile priests, repudiating the Vatican’s initial response to the scandal in which it blamed the media as well as pro-choice and pro-gay marriage advocates for mounting what it called a campaign against the church and the pope. Speaking en route to Portugal, Benedict said the Catholic church had always suffered from problems of its own making but that “today we see it in a truly terrifying way.”
Related Stories:
Catholic bishops who shelter abusers go unpunished.” Washington Post/Associated Press. May 10, 2010.
Pope sees sex scandal as greatest threat to Catholic church.” USA Today. May 11, 2010.
Pope Benedict silences child abuse conspiracy theorists on Portugal visit.” Guardian (UK). May 11, 2010.
Pope Issues His Most Direct Words to Date on Abuse.” New York Times. May 11, 2010.
Brazil Church says sex abuse by clergy is a crime.” Washington Post/Associated Press. May 13, 2010.
Diocese of Vermont to pay $17.6M to sex-abuse victims.” USA Today. May 13, 2010.
Vatican to Detail Defense Against Charges of Cover-Up.” Wall Street Journal. May 14, 2010
Church Crisis Shakes Faith of German Town.” New York Times. May 14, 2010.
Thousands flock to Vatican to back pope over abuse.” Washington Post/ Associated Press. May 16, 2010.
Editorial: Justice for Child Abuse Victims.” New York Times. May 14, 2010.

HAITI

Wyclef Jean keeps Haiti earthquake relief at forefront.” By Betty Klinck. USA Today. Award-winning musician Wyclef Jean fears that people are suffering a bit of Haiti fatigue and putting the needs of earthquake victims in the backs of their minds more than three months after the quake. Jean is starting new relief initiatives, including housing aid and amputee rehabilitation, and says more needs to be done. Since the Jan. 12 quake, Jean and his wife, fashion designer Claudinette Jean, both native-born Haitians, have been providing food, water and supplies through their non-profit group, Yéle Haiti.

Haiti relief less than Katrina, 9/11.” By Martha T. Moore. USA Today. May 13, 2010. Four months after an earthquake devastated Haiti, Americans have donated $1.3 billion for disaster relief there, almost on a par with their giving after the Asian tsunami in 2004, according to a tally by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. Four months after the tsunami struck Asia, Americans had given $1.5 billion, according to figures tracked by the center. Lower giving for Haiti could be the result of the recent recession, says Una Osili, director of research. The pace for Haiti relief donations trails that of giving by Americans after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. More than half the total for Haiti has been raised by the American Red Cross, which has collected $444 million, and Catholic Relief Services, nearly $136 million, according to a list of relief agencie compiled by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

INDIA

As Cricket Grew in India, Corruption Followed.” By Jim Yardley. New York Times. May 10, 2010. Founded three seasons ago, the Indian Premier League managed to make the sport of cricket sexy. India’s corporate titans bought teams, Bollywood stars infused matches with celebrity glamour and fans from Mumbai to Dubai to New Jersey followed the league on television as its value rose to more than $4 billion. For many Indians, the league, known as the I.P.L., became a symbol of a newly dynamic and confident India that was expanding its influence in the world. Yet after weeks of allegations of graft and financial malfeasance, the resignation of a government minister and the suspension of the league’s charismatic commissioner, the league has become emblematic of something else: how much the old and often corrupt political and business elite still dominates the country. “The great pity in India is that creations like the I.P.L. became a victim of their own success,” the editor in chief of the magazine India Today, Aroon Purie, wrote this month. “Where there is money involved, especially large sums, corruption is not far behind.”

Bill Gates visits India to check on campaign fighting polio.” no by-line. USA Today. May 13, 2010. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates traveled by boat Wednesday to a remote village in eastern India to check on the progress of a government campaign to eradicate polio that the billionaire is helping to fund. Gates, whose Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed nearly $1 billion to health and development projects in India, met with health workers and discussed the strategy to fight polio with immunization drives and an effective surveillance program that identifies cases early. Gates visited Guleria, a village nearly 140 miles east of Patna, the capital of Bihar, one of only two Indian states where new cases of polio continue to be reported, according to UNICEF. Uttar Pradesh is the other. In 2002, India had reported 1,613 polio cases — a number that has now come down to about 685 cases per year, UNICEF says. Polio mostly strikes children under 5 and is carried in the feces of the infected and often spread by contaminated water. It usually causes paralysis,
muscular atrophy, deformation and sometimes death. The disease has dropped by more than 99% since the World Health Organization and partners launched an initiative to eradicate the disease in 1988 through vaccinations. But the numbers of cases — fewer than 2,000 annually — have remained at a virtual standstill since 2000. In addition to India, polio persists in a handful of countries, including Afghanistan, Angola, Chad, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sudan.

UK

What charity should Gordon Brown work for? There must be somewhere a secondhand PM could make a difference.” Badge Joe Public blog. Guardian (UK). June 11, 2010. In the the third sector? Are you in trouble? Do you need help? Then one former prime minister wants to help you. Gordon Brown told GMTV’s Lorraine Kelly just days before the general election that if he “couldn’t make a difference any more then [he] would go off and do something else. Sarah and I may go off and do charity voluntary work.” Could you suggest a deserving cause that deserves Gordon Brown, soon-to-be ex Labour leader?

Scouts appeal for Muslim leaders.” By Kunal Dutta. Independent (UK). May 11, 2010. The scouts have launched an urgent recruitment drive targeted at Britain’s Muslim community. The move is an attempt to plug a shortfall in group leaders as the number of young people applying to be Scouts continues to rise. There are 33,500 people on the organisation’s waiting list, and the number is rapidly growing. The Scout Association will work alongside the Muslim-led charity Mosaic in an attempt to forge closer relationships with Muslim leaders and encourage them to push the benefits of volunteering within their local communities. There are 29 Scout groups in the UK with a predominantly Muslim membership, but this will be the first time that the association has formed a partnership with a community charity. The campaign, which was launched yesterday at the Royal Commonwealth Society in London, comes at a time of great growth for the organisation. Last month, it announced that the number of Scouts in the UK had increased by 16,500 since the start of 2009, the fastest growth in 38 years. Membership has now risen for five years in a row, taking total levels to almost 500,000.

Council services in our hands; With its thousands of volunteers, could the National Trust provide a model for running local parks and libraries as town halls face financial meltdown?” By Peter Hetherington. Guardian (UK). May12, 2010. Imagine a country where parks, libraries, leisure centres and a string of other facilities run by the local council are up for grabs; where valuable buildings and assets, from schools to swimming pools and land holdings, are hived off to neighbourhood groups, parish councils, charities or not-for-profit companies. While public sector unions, and the municipal establishment, might visibly blanch at such a prospect, in the real world that we are now entering, after the insularity of a four-week election campaign, tough choices are looming. Functions seen as important, yet non-essential, face an uncertain future under any new government. With town and county halls facing cutbacks that seemed unimaginable barely 12 months ago – take your pick from a range of economies ranging from 15% to 30% overall – some of the most respected thinkers in English councils are edging towards a root-and-branch reappraisal of local services. Well before David Cameron and his advisers coined the ‘big society’ slogan, with all its connotations of DIY delivery, these radical minds were hard at work with their alternative vision of maintaining some local services with little or no cash to support them. That vision includes mobilising a small army of volunteers in communities to take over services such as libraries, alongside an ambitious new structure, perhaps emulating the National Trust, to run parks and other facilities.

Posh Is Back in Britain (No, This Isn’t About Spice Girls); Revolt Against Labour Party Heralds New Era of Old-School Ties, Plummy Accents.” By Alistair MacDonald. Wall Street Journal. May 14, 2010. For many years, James Fergusson hid a secret: He was educated at Eton College, the elite private school for boys he attended with Britain’s new prime minister, David Cameron, in the early 1980s. Like many Etonians of his generation, Mr. Fergusson, a freelance journalist and novelist, had grown self-conscious about his status as a man of status. In modern Britain, it had become uncool to be posh, as private schools lost their grip on the country’s top jobs and cultural tastemakers sneered at privilege. Among old boys, as the private-school alumni are known, “there was an assumption that the days of Etonians in high office were over,” Mr. Fergusson said. “And then bang, along comes David Cameron.” This week, the old boys are back in town. Mr. Cameron on Tuesday became the 19th British prime minister to have been educated by the famous boarding school west of London near Windsor—but the first since the mid-1960s. The situation is shedding new light on social mobility, or the lack thereof, in this famously class-obsessed country.

What are the challenges facing the third sector?” Podcast: Third sector election special. Who wins it for the third sector?. SocietyGuardian speaks to the key political parties.” May 12, 2010. The starter’s pistol has been fired and the race is underway. With the general election fast approaching on the 6th of May we have been putting YOUR questions to the three main parties on the issues affecting the charity and voluntary sectors. We’ve also been getting the views of the Scout Association on how to navigate the political landscape in times of change and the best ways of achieving success in your political campaigns. Plus you may have found your email inbox clogged with charity manifestos recently. We find out what they’re for, and more importantly who’s reading them.
Who wins it for the third sector?

Richest and most glamorous bid for glittering prizes at Ark fundraiser.” By Hilary Rose. Times of London. May 15, 2010. Not many people could take over a disused railway station on a chilly Thursday night and call it London’s ultimate private party. However, the financier and philanthropist Arpad Busson — Arki, as he is known to his friends — is not just anyone and the fundraising gala for his charity Ark (Absolute Return for Kids) was not your average night out. Uma Thurman is there, as is Queen Rania of Jordan. A seat costs £10,000. Steve Coogan is the entertainment, and the Killers are the disco. This is the night that members of the publicity-shy hedge fund industry come blinking into the light to let their hair down and raise vast sums for charity. It is Hello! meets the City in the old Eurostar terminus, transformed into Arcadia, which is quite a stretch for Waterloo.

Stockport Academy told to improve academic standards by Ofsted.” By Nicola Woolcock. Times of London. May 15, 2010. A third school run by England’s biggest academy sponsor has been judged as failing. Stockport Academy has been given notice to improve by Ofsted inspectors. It is the third school run by the United Learning Trust(ULT) to be rated inadequate in less than a year. In November, ULT, an Anglican charity which runs 17 academies across the country, was banned by ministers from taking on any more schools until it raised the performance of its existing ones. It withdrew from plans to sponsor academies in Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire. Academies — the UK’s version of charter schools — are semi-independent state schools set up with backing from private sponsors.

Historic cathedrals at risk after English Heritage funding is cut during recession.” By Theo Usherwood. Independent (UK). May 15, 2010. Cathedrals are in danger of falling into serious disrepair because of the recession, senior figures within the Church have warned. English Heritage says six cathedrals – Lincoln, York, Salisbury, Canterbury, Chichester and Winchester – need to carry out major renovations and repairs in the next 10 years. English Heritage has seen its state funding cut back, which means the dedicated pot of money for cathedrals is no longer on offer. With the loss of funding from English Heritage, the cathedrals have launched major fundraising drives.

Boom in six-figure salaries for university big hitters.” By Jack Grimston and Gillian Passmore. Times of London. May 16, 2010. SURGING pay for university bosses has put more than 2,600 on six-figure salaries — almost four times the number in the civil service. Salary scales have been pushed up by generous rises for managers and bidding wars between universities for “star professors” who can improve research ratings. An analysis of university accounts has shown that in 2008-9 the number of employees on six-figure pay increased by 17% and the pay of vice-chancellors went up nearly 11% to an average of £219,000. The highest paid included Malcolm Grant, provost of University College London, who received £376,190. Across British universities, more than 2,600 staff received six-figure salaries in 2008-9 — after the recession had begun — compared with 925 working for English local authorities and 700 in the civil service.

Methodists launch app for iPhone.” No by-line. BBC News. May 16, 2010. The Methodist Church has become the first major denomination in Britain to launch its own application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The new app will allow users to view bible studies and daily prayers. It is hoped it might appeal to both believers and those who might be more cautious about attending church. The app may also offer an alternative for people who want a daily dose of scripture, but are not keen on carrying a bible on their daily commute. The Methodist Church stresses that technology should complement, not replace traditional worship.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (May 10-16, 2010)

Monday, May 17th, 2010

LAW & PUBLIC POLICY

IRS reviewing college business income, exec compensation.” By Doug Lederman. USA Today. May 10, 2010. In more than 30 reviews the Internal Revenue Service is conducting of individual colleges and universities, it is focusing mostly on issues related to executive compensation and payment (or non-payment) of tax on unrelated business income, the agency said Friday, as it released the preliminary results of its survey of 400 institutions. The interim report offered the first official look at the information the federal tax agency has collected from a wide-ranging questionnaire it sent to colleges in 2008 to gauge their compliance with tax laws and identify possible areas for further examination — and, of course, enforcement. The IRS focused on higher education (following a similar questionnaire it sent to hospitals), the agency said, because “colleges and universities make up one of the largest nonprofit segments in terms of revenue and assets” — and that status has made it a target for members of Congress and others in the federal government at a time of ever-tightening federal budgets.

Thousands of non-profits could unwittingly lose tax status.” By Sandra Block. USA Today. May 14, 2010. Hundreds of thousands of small non-profits, from Little League teams to community soup kitchens, could lose their tax-exempt status on Monday because of an IRS filing requirement. The 2006 Pension Protection Act included a provision requiring all non-profits to file an annual return with the IRS. Previously, non-profits with annual revenue of less than $25,000 were excluded. Non-profits that fail to file a return for three consecutive years lose their tax-exempt status. On May 17, the three-year clock runs out for non-profits that haven’t filed a return since 2007. The Urban Institute estimates that up to 365,000 non-profits could lose their tax-exempt status if they fail to file by Monday. Groups that miss the deadline will have to apply for a new exemption and pay a user fee of up to $850. They could also be liable for taxes on any revenue earned before their exemption is renewed. The requirement does not apply to churches or church-related operations.
Related Stories:
Nonprofits may lose tax-exempt status; Many at risk of missing deadline for filing new form with IRS.” MSNBC/Associated Press. May 15, 2010.
IRS tightens control of smallest nonprofits.” Washington Post. May 16, 2010.
Thousands of nonprofits may lose tax-exempt status.” Washington Post/Associated Press. May 16, 2010.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (May 10-16, 2010)

Monday, May 17th, 2010

MUTUAL BENEFIT ORGANIZATIONS

A royal first: Sue Klobertanz holds the Rosarians’ top job after refusing to give up.” By Larry Bingham. Oregonian. May 12, 2010. The Rosarians, founded in 1912 by all-male business leaders, first allowed women members in 1989 after then Mayor Bud Clark raised a stink. But the group had not elected a female prime minister. To become prime minister, a Rosarian must belong to the group for three years and serve another three in governing board positions. Klobertanz, who became the 12th woman member when she paid dues in 1998, met those requirements. Running for office, she said, “was a natural step.” After 26 years in city management jobs, she is used to being in charge. OregonianSue Klobertanz is the 12th women to be knighted in the Royal Rosarians and the first women elected to become the prime minister.Klobertanz, who believes deeply in the group’s role as ambassadors for Portland and the Rose Festival, says the suit has power. “You put that on and walk down the street, and people know who you are, not only in Portland but in other cities.” The prime minister oversees the organization, appoints some council leaders and keeps an eye on everything from the charitable foundation to social events and travel. Klobertanz declined to say how much the budget is, but 191 of the groups 272 volunteer members serve on more than 60 committees.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (May 10-16, 2010)

Monday, May 17th, 2010

PHILANTHROPY

Hedge-Fund Founder Gives $27 Million for Stem-Cell Research.” By Shelly Banjo. Wall Street Journal. May 14, 2010. Advocates of stem-cell research say they were long waiting for someone like Julian Robertson, who founded one of the earliest hedge funds in Tiger Management Corp. Mr. Robertson and his wife, Josie, are giving $27 million to the New York Stem Cell Foundation, a private research institution started in 2005 to accelerate cures for diseases such as diabetes and cancer through stem-cell research. For a long time, many researchers were unable to pursue careers in stem-cell research because of the lack of funding and a chilled political climate surrounding these issues, says Chief Executive Officer Susan Solomon, who helped start the foundation after her son was diagnosed with Type I diabetes in 1996. President George W. Bush banned federal funding for stem-cell research performed on human embryos, a ban partially overturned last year by President Obama. “This new funding will signal to scientists that stem-cell research is a great field to go into and ensure there will be a next generation of young scientists to carry out this work,” Ms. Solomon says.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (May 10-16, 2010)

Monday, May 17th, 2010

RELIGION

Church of many colors; Over decades, Roxbury’s Resurrection Lutheran transforms itself from all-Swede to multiethnic.” By Lisa Wangsness. Boston Globe. May 13, 2010. Ten visiting pastors in snowy robes glided down the center aisle of Resurrection Lutheran Church in Roxbury on a recent Sunday afternoon. The congregation stood, singing, to greet the Ghanaian woman walking behind them: the new pastor, the Rev. Miriam Sedzro. They sang in English and Swahili; tambourines and maracas played alongside handbells and an old pipe organ. The congregants were immigrants from Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean, as well as Americans of every hue. “I call it the United Nations church,’’ said Udom Smith Udom, the Nigerian-born president of the church council, who wore a sparkly pink robe to the service. Resurrection, founded 136 years ago by a tightknit community of Swedish immigrants, is a study in the changing demographics of Christianity in Boston and throughout the world. In its early years, the congregation worshiped in Swedish. In recent decades, thanks to a decision by the church elders to stay in Roxbury and reach out to non-Scandinavians, the church has become one of a small but growing number of multiethnic churches in Greater Boston.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (May 10-16, 2010)

Monday, May 17th, 2010

SCANDAL

NYC ad agency sues charity; Cross MediaWorks accuses Okahoma-based Feed the Children of breach of contract by using a third-party firm for direct-mail ads.” Crain’s New York/Associated Press. May 10, 2010. A New York-based advertising agency is suing the Oklahoma City-based charity Feed the Children for alleged breach of contract. Cross MediaWorks claims it has a three-year contract to do all the charity’s advertising and that Feed the Children breached the contract by using Texas-based Stratmark Ltd. for direct-mail ads. Cross MediaWorks is also suing Stratmark in a separate lawsuit claiming interference with its contractual relationship with the charity. Feed the Children says its agreement with Cross MediaWorks isn’t valid and that the agency knew for years and never objected that another company was used for mailings. The lawsuit filed in federal court in Oklahoma City asks for unspecified compensatory damages.

Ted Haggard, years after sex,drugs disgrace, starts new church.” By Barry Gutierrez. USA Today/Associated Press. May 13, 2010. Ted Haggard is back. The disgraced former pastor and his loyal wife Gayle (her new book is out on why she stayed with him) have incorporated a new church — sort of. In 2006 Rev. Haggard, then head of the National Association of Evangelicals and senior pastor of Colorado Spring’s booming New Life Church, was discovered hiding a life of gay sex and meth use. The couple stayed out of the limelight for a while then two years ago, he returned to the preaching trail, giving talks at churches around the country.

Levy ignored warnings to end relationship; Hospital chief apologizes for ‘worst mistake,’ but has no plans to resign.” By Liz Kowalczyk. Boston Globe. May 15, 2010. Paul Levy, chief executive of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, said yesterday that senior staff and hospital board members warned him for years about the pitfalls of his longtime close relationship with a female employee, but for reasons he does not fully understand he ignored their advice. Levy, in his first interview about the controversy, said he made a “big mistake’’ by believing that he could hire and employ his “close personal friend’’ for years at the Harvard teaching hospital without upsetting other employees and potentially damaging the reputation of the institution. He declined to detail the exact nature of the relationship with the woman, which began before Levy hired her in 2002, but said he was very sorry for his poor judgment and hoped to win back the trust of employees and patients. He said he does not believe charitable funds were misspent, because the woman filled needed jobs, did good work, and was highly qualified even though she had no hospital experience when he hired her right out of graduate school. He said a severance of nearly $30,000, which was paid to the woman last year when she left the hospital, was in line with payments to other employees whose jobs were eliminated.