Opinion: Questions Surround End of Detroit Blight Charity

A nonprofit organization that won national attention for its privately funded project to tear down abandoned houses in a blighted Detroit neighborhood has shut down, with City Hall taking over its demolition work, according to The Detroit News.

News columnist Nolan Finley, citing multiple unnamed sources, alleges that Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration forced the Detroit Blight Authority to close under threat of losing demolition permits. The charity was led by Bill Pulte, grandson of the founde…

Marc Benioff Takes Swipe at Zuckerberg-Style Giving

Bay Area philanthropist Marc Benioff took a critical view of fellow Internet mogul Mark Zuckerberg’s giving approach in an interview with San Francisco magazine, questioning the impact of the Facebook co-founder’s billion-dollar stock gift to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

The interview centers primarily on Mr. Benioff’s SF Gives initiative to harvest donations from prosperous Bay Area tech firms and channel them to local anti-poverty and social-service programs. Asked about other givi…

Judge OKs Plan to Sell Iranian Charity’s Forfeited Assets

A federal judge in New York has approved a settlement that will see U.S. authorities sell a 36-story Manhattan office tower and other properties owned by a charity implicated as a front for the government of Iran, Bloomberg and the Associated Press report.

Federal prosecutors said Thursday that most proceeds from the sales will be distributed among creditors who have won court judgments totaling more than $5-billion against Iran in connection with terrorist attacks linked to the government Teher…

Controversial Calif. Housing Charity Merges With Another Group

The Northern California nonprofit formerly known as the Stanislaus Community Assistance Project, which shed its name and leadership two years ago amid investigations of its use of millions of taxpayer dollars, is merging with another veteran housing organization, reports The Modesto Bee.

Now called Community Impact Central Valley, the affordable-housing group announced plans Thursday to unite with homelessness charity Community Housing and Shelter Services as of July 1. Both Modesto-based organi…

Ex-MacArthur Chief to Lead Academy of Arts and Sciences

Jonathan F. Fanton, a former president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, was named Thursday as the new president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Boston Globe reports.

Mr. Fanton left MacArthur in 2009 after serving the maximum two five-year terms as president and is currently interim director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College in New York. He will take office at the Cambridge, Mass.-based academy on July 1, replacing longtime le…

Right Wants IRS to Drop Rule Change for Political Nonprofits

Conservatives are calling on the Internal Revenue Service to abandon efforts to revise its rules on political activity by nonprofit groups, but the agency’s head said it will forge ahead, The Washington Post writes.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said earlier this week that the agency will rewrite a proposed rule change that drew strong opposition from both left and right during a public review period. In an interview with the Post Wednesday, he reiterated his commitment to developing new rules …

Lerner Emails Show Talks on Prosecuting Political Groups

Former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner talked with Justice Department officials last year about potential criminal prosecutions of nonprofit groups suspected of engaging in political activity after denying they would do so in applications for tax-exempt status, The Wall Street Journal writes.

The discussions surfaced in May 2013 emails obtained by conservative advocacy group Judicial Watch. In one missive, Ms. Lerner, who led the IRS’s nonprofit division, wrote that she was contact…

NYC Investigating Nonprofit Run by Brooklyn Leader’s Aide

New York City contracting officials are investigating a nonprofit organization led by an aide to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams following a news report on the city-funded group’s spending, local news website Capital NY writes.

The Mayor’s Office of Contract Services launched an investigation of the Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic after the New York Post reported last month that the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board was reviewing Valerie Oliver-Durrah’s dual role running the char…

U.K. Charity Says Food-Bank Use Way Up, but Government Disputes Claim

Britain’s biggest food-bank operator said the number of people using its facilities rose more than 2½ times in the past year and blamed the increase on the government’s austerity program, Bloomberg reports.

The Trussell Trust said more than 913,000 people sought aid at its more than 400 food banks in the year ending April 5, compared with 346,992 in 2012-13. The charity said nearly half of referrals to its banks were the result of changes to or delays in welfare payments. “In the last year we’…

Bloomberg Plans $50-Million Network to Push Gun Control

Media mogul Michael Bloomberg will pump $50-million into building a grass-roots advocacy network on gun violence that he hopes will challenge the National Rifle Association’s political clout, The New York Times reports.

The effort marks the billionaire philanthropist’s first major political initiative since his 12-year tenure as New York’s mayor ended Jan. 1. He outlined plans to bring gun-control groups he already finances under a new umbrella organization, Everytown for Gun Safety, and to focu…