All posts by Suzanne Perry

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Foundation Leaders Say State Budget Cuts Are Hurting Charities

A new survey of foundation leaders underscores the strain many nonprofits are under because of state budget cuts.

About 95 percent of 75 leaders surveyed said some of their grantees had been affected by the cuts, and 58 percent said most or all of them had. One-quarter said some grantees had been forced to suspend operations either temporarily or permanently.

Almost half said they had awarded grants or provided other assistance in direct response to reductions in state aid, and one-third said t…

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N.J. Drops Proposal to Require Charities to Tell Donors They Can Earmark Money

New Jersey regulators have decided not to pursue a proposal to require charities to tell donors they can earmark their contributions for specific programs, an idea that had drawn strong criticism from nonprofit leaders.

Thomas R. Calcagni, director of the state Division of Consumer Affairs, which drew up the proposal, said commenters had pointed out “the cost and difficulty in implementing such a concept.” He said his agency would work with nonprofits to explore alternative ways to educate donor…

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N.J. Plan Would Require Charities to Tell Donors They Can Earmark Money for Programs

New Jersey regulators have proposed a rule that would require charities to tell donors that they can earmark their money for specific programs.

The proposal aims to ensure that donors aren’t being misled by solicitations that highlight programs that may actually get little of the money that is raised.

But it is causing concern at nonprofits in the state, which say that it would be an administrative burden and curtail the ability of charities to decide how best to spend their money.

The proposal,…

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Minnesota Nonprofits Prepare for Worst as Government Shutdown Looms

Nonprofits that receive federal money were relieved when Washington narrowly averted a government shutdown over a budget impasse last spring.

Nonprofits in Minnesota are now sweating out their own version of a budget showdown.

Minnesota’s state government could close if the Democratic governor, Mark Dayton, and Republican-led Legislature fail to reach a budget deal before July 1.

The two sides are so far apart that nonprofits are preparing for the worst. The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits has b…

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U.S. Says Indiana Law on Planned Parenthood Violates Medicaid Rules

The federal government has told Indiana that its new law barring Planned Parenthood from getting Medicaid money violates federal rules, according to the Indianapolis Star.

The Department of Health and Human Services said in a letter to state officials that states cannot choose where recipients of Medicaid receive their care, it writes.

The decision could mean Indiana will lose federal Medicaid dollars if it does not change the law, the paper writes. A spokesman for the Indiana attorney general t…

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Kansas Eliminates Arts Commission

Gov. Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas, has eliminated the state’s Arts Commission as part of an effort to slash state spending by 6 percent, the Associated Press reports. That makes Kansas the only state without a unit to channel government money to arts and culture groups, says the advocacy group Americans for the Arts.

Mr. Brownback vetoed a line item in the Legislature’s state budget that had set aside $689,000 for the arts commission, saying: “The arts will continue to thrive in Kansas wh…

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N.C. Bill Would Require Nonprofits to Provide Financial Data Upon Request

The North Carolina House of Representatives has approved a bill that would require nonprofit organizations that receive government money to provide financial statements to anyone who makes a written request, says the Wilmington StarNews.

The bill—introduced by Rep. Carolyn Justice, a Republican—follows a controversy over a nonprofit group that received city and county money to plan the commissioning of a ship but was slow to say how it was spent. It would require nonprofits to give detail…

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Minnesota Explores ‘Pay for Performance’ Bonds

To Steve Rothschild, a nonprofit leader in the Twin Cities, the writing is on the wall: As states face mounting health-care costs and lower tax revenue because the number of older Americans is growing so fast, they will have less and less money to spend on nonprofit groups that provide social services.

Philanthropy can’t fully cover the gap, he says, so that leaves one untapped revenue source—private investors.

With that in mind, Mr. Rothschild helped devise a plan, now being considered by the M…

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North Carolina Charities Get Reprieve

Nonprofits in North Carolina are breathing easier after a state lawmaker pulled a bill that would have barred them from getting state money if their administrative costs exceeded 15 percent of their budget, the Winston-Salem Journal writes.

However, the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Larry Brown, a Republican, said the state would still seek more reporting and lower administrative costs from nonprofits that get government money, the newspaper says.

Tell us what’s going on in your state. Contact Suza…

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Wisconsin’s Governor Proposes Cuts to Arts Groups

Most of the news from Wisconsin has focused on Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to cut spending by curtailing the collective-bargaining rights of public employees.

But Mr. Walker’s new budget proposal also takes a bite out of the state’s arts budget, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

The proposed budget would slash spending on the state arts board and end a program that sets aside a small percentage of the money spent to remodel or build certain state buildings for public art, the newspaper repor…