Category Archives: Fund Raising
June 18, 2012, 10:56 am
Legal-aid services that help the poor navigate civil disputes are in a state of crisis in the down economy, says NPR.
Unlike criminal cases, Americans have no federal guarantee of legal representation in civil disputes, such as fighting evictions or solving child-custody conflicts. Though federal and state governments helped support legal-aid services in the past, such programs are endangered as public budgets have slimmed down.
In addition, the interest that collects on trust accounts that lawyers set up for clients also helps support legal-aid programs. But with interest rates at record lows, that source of money has diminished as well.
As a result, many programs have suffered, says Jim Sandman, head of the national Legal Services Corp, which supports legal-aid programs nationwide. He estimates that one in seven legal-aid employees has lost his or her job over the past couple …
June 18, 2012, 10:49 am
Quadriga Art, a provider of direct-mail services to nonprofits, has come under fire again by CNN, this time for its involvement with SPCA International, an animal-welfare charity that paid most of the millions it raised to the company for fundraising expenses.
Previously, CNN had investigated two charities, Disabled Veterans National Foundation and the National Veterans Foundation, and found both to have paid most of the millions they raised over the past three years to Quadriga in fundraising fees. The reports spurred two Senators to announce an investigation of the Disabled Veterans National Foundation’s tax-exempt status.
SPCA International raised $14-million raised in 2010, according to the charity’s informational tax filings, but it reported that it spent less than 0.5 percent—roughly $60,000—on animal-shelter programs in the United States. More money—about $450,000,…
May 24, 2012, 10:06 am
An increasing number of parents of children with rare diseases are bypassing traditional medical organizations and raising their own money to pay for research, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Thousands of dollars have been funneled to a few researchers at institutions, such as Northwestern university’s Feinberg School of Medicine, for work on conditions like giant axonal neuropathy, or GAN, a disease that interrupts nerve pathways leading to the muscles and has only about 30 known cases worldwide. Such diseases are so rare that there is little financial incentive for pharmaceutical or biotech companies to seek cures or treatments.
“These warrior moms are driving research and doing serious fundraising,” said Mary Dunkle, of the National Organization for Rare Disorders, told the Tribune. “They realize that if they don’t save their child, no one else is going to do it.”
May 21, 2012, 10:50 am
Thousands of charities do not accurately report to the Internal Revenue Service how they raise money, according to Scripps Howard News Service.
Of the nearly 38,000 nonprofits that garnered at least $1-million in gifts, 41 percent reported to the IRS that they spent no money doing so. In total, those groups raised $116.7- billion
“It is ridiculous to think an organization could raise significant amounts of money without spending money to do it,” said Robert Ottenhoff, head of GuideStar, which provided data for investigation.
Charity leaders say they are under pressure from donors to minimize overhead costs, which include fundraising. However, several organizations said they will re-evaluate how they report those costs in the wake of the study, which examined charities’ most recently available informational tax returns.
For example, among Goodwill Industries International’…
April 2, 2012, 10:32 am
With the parents of Trayvon Martin taking steps to start a charitable foundation, observers are predicting the shooting death of the unarmed Florida teenager will give birth to an advocacy movement, reports NPR.
Although George Zimmerman, the neighborhood-watch volunteer who says he shot the 17-year-old in self-defense on February 26, has not been arrested or charged with a crime, the youngster’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, have said they believe their son was murdered. They foundation they hope to start will handle donations they have received, and Ms. Fulton has applied to trademark the phrases “Justice for Trayvon” and “I am Trayvon,” according to Daryl Parks, the family’s lawyer.
The National Bar Association, a group of black lawyers and judges led by Mr. Parks, has also vowed to challenge the “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida and other states that …
September 23, 2011, 6:31 am
Nonprofit organizations across New York State are mobilizing against President Obama’s proposal to reduce the tax break on giving by high-income individuals, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The president’s plan to reduce the charity deduction from 35 percent to 28 percent for people making more than $200,000 annually is causing particular concern in New York, where nonprofit groups lost a battle last year over a state bill to halve the deduction rate for super high earners making $10-million or more.
Nonprofit leaders fear the provision in Mr. Obama’s jobs bill would compound the impact of the state measure, affecting a much wider swath of potential donors at a time when New York social-service agencies are stretched especially thin due to the impact of Hurricane Irene.
Susan Hager, president of the United Way of New York State, said the White House proposal provides…
September 2, 2011, 10:02 am
A U.S. appeals court has reinstated the convictions of three men accused of duping the government into granting tax-exempt status to a jihadist organization, the Associated Press writes.
Emadeddin Muntasser, the Libyan founder of Boston-based Care International, and two associates were found guilty in January 2008, but a federal judge overturned the verdict on the main charge of conspiring to hide the charity’s activities supporting Islamic extremists.
The appeals court ruling issued Thursday said jurors in the original trial had appropriately weighed the evidence. The case now goes back to district court for sentencing.
The now-defunct Care International raised $1.7-million between 1993 and 2001, ostensibly to aid war orphans, widows, and refugees in Muslim countries. It is not affiliated with the global relief charity CARE International.
August 3, 2011, 10:31 am
China is poised to lift legal obstacles that prevent millions of independent charities from registering with the government and restrict their ability to raise money, China Daily and Asia Times Online report.
Under current regulations, nonprofit groups cannot register with the government unless a state agency sponsors them, a cumbersome process that leaves many organizations effectively operating outside the law.
A senior official with the country’s Ministry of Civil Affairs said last week that the government is “taking concrete action” to allow grass-roots groups to register and raise funds without the specific agency affiliation. Vice Minister Dou Yupei said an amendment on the change has been submitted to the government’s Legislative Affairs Office.
China has been testing more liberal policies toward charities since 2009 but might have been spurred to greater action by…
May 3, 2011, 9:21 am
Sales of a video of royal-wedding highlights are expected to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for causes supported by the groom Prince William and his brother, Britain’s Daily Express says.
Proceeds from online and DVD sales in Britain, as well as Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the United States will go to the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry, which focuses chiefly on wounded veterans, disadvantaged youths, and the environment.
May 2, 2011, 10:20 am
Aid organizations are bracing for greater scrutiny and drops in donations amid the allegations swirling around Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortenson and his Central Asia Institute, writes The Wall Street Journal.
Grass-roots groups are mulling more extensive auditing and other measures to assure donors of their financial propriety in the wake of last month’s “60 Minutes” report alleging that Mr. Mortenson exaggerated or invented elements of his best-selling memoir and that his charity misused millions of dollars in contributions. The Bozeman, Mont., group is currently under investigation by the Montana attorney general’s office.
“Anything like this out there in the media can shake stakeholder confidence,” said Jim Zoiklowski, president of BuildOn, a charity that runs after-school programs in U.S. cities and, like the Central Asia Institute, builds schools abroad. “It’s going to …