First States, Now Cities

As we’ve note before (here, here, here, and here), states are looking to nonprofits to pick up slack as the economy sputters along and government budgets are stretched further and further.

In a report from the New York Times, we learn that cities are now feeling the squeeze as well:

Boston has been sending letters to its largest nonprofit institutions this year, telling them the value of their land and asking them to begin making annual payments that would eventually rise to a quarter of what they would owe if they paid property taxes. Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel of Chicago wants the city to begin charging water fees to nonprofits, which have been spared them in the past. And the mayor of Providence, R.I., Angel Taveras, cited Boston’s example this month when he called on nonprofits to pay more money to the city.


May 14, 2011 at 7:18 PM Leave a comment

Garbage Levy Trashed

Passing on a report from the Wall Street Journal, the Chronicle of Philanthropy says the New York City Council “expressed strong opposition Thursday to a proposal by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s administration to charge charities and religious groups a fee for garbage collection.”

The city claims the levy could raise over 17 million dollars a year in revenue, but that burden would fall on “houses of worship hard-hit by the recession,” claim council members.

May 14, 2011 at 7:14 PM Leave a comment

Strings Attached

NPR looks into grants to colleges that seem to come with strings attached. Unlike this previous case involving football, the NPR piece questions whether faculty hiring decisions are being ceded to wealthy donors.

UPDATE: This article from the Chronicle of Philanthropy notes that Florida State is denying that hiring decisions were affected by donations.

May 14, 2011 at 7:08 PM Leave a comment

Still Better Than Billy Beer

The New York Post claims that President Obama’s half-brother runs an “off-the-books” foundation “that claims to support poor Kenyans — but it lies about its federal status and no one knows how it spends its money.”

Alton Ray Baysden, a former State Department employee at whose Virginia home the charity was founded in 2008, admitted the organization has not even applied for tax-exempt status.

“We haven’t been able to find someone with the expertise to do this,” he told The Post. “We are informally scouting for an executive director, someone who knows how to register the charity.”

May 8, 2011 at 6:57 PM Leave a comment

Traditional Corporate Giving Touted in PA

In Pittsburgh, the merits of different approaches to corporate philanthropy are being debated, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Those interviewed continue to see employee involvement as the going trend, as opposed to “creating share value,” an approach touted by Nestle, the world’s largest food company, among others:

Michael Porter at Harvard Business School developed the idea of “shared value,” which Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman of Nestle SA, the world’s largest food company, [also] promotes. He contends that Switzerland-based Nestle is socially responsible by making more nutritious products, decreasing water use and boosting the productivity of farmers with whom it works.

May 8, 2011 at 6:51 PM Leave a comment

Two and a Half Mensch?

The Hollywood Reporter: Charlie Sheen to “donate proceeds from merchandise sales at his San Francisco show to benefit a man who was beaten outside a Giants baseball game.”

The only dubious aspect of this project: One has to wonder just what kind of “merchandise” is sold at a Charlie Sheen show.

April 28, 2011 at 7:25 PM Leave a comment

Jumo Update

From Forbes’s Shades of Green blog: Chris Hughes On What’s Next For Nonprofit Social Site Jumo

April 28, 2011 at 7:19 PM Leave a comment

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