Nonprofit Newswire | July 17, 2009

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72 Percent of NPOs Don’t Have A Tag Line
Jul 9, 2009; The Nonprofit Times | If you’re among the majority reported by the Nonprofit Times, perhaps it’s time to revisit our article by Chris Finney on mission haikus – it’ll help get the creativity flowing and maybe even deliver the perfect 8-words-or-less one-liner.  —James David Morgan

Editorial: End secrecy for campus nonprofits
Jul 16, 2009; Sacramento Bee | The Sac Bee is fed up with the private foundations of public universities raising money for purposes that are somewhat hidden from public disclosure and scrutiny.  At Cal State a couple of years ago, the university’s foundation gave the president of the place a personal loan of $233,000 at an interest rate of 1.697 percent (how did they come up with THAT rate?).  Recently, the Bee discovered that the foundation linked to Sonoma State University made a personal loan to a former foundation board member—who can’t repay the loan and may leave the foundation out $1 million.  Universities have long used 501(c)(3) confidentiality rules to limit or prevent disclosure and transparency.  We’ve long called this a misuse of the nonprofit form and structure.  Like the Bee, we think this has to end.  State Senator Leland Yee’s proposed legislation would subject most of the activities of these “auxiliary” organizations of public universities to the California Public Records Act.  It’s about time.  But what will the leaders of California’s and the nation’s nonprofit trade associations say?  —Rick Cohen

Worldchanging’s Attention Philanthropy 2009
Jul 17, 2009; Worldchanging | Worldchanging gave their supporters the chance to simultaneously give money and raise awareness.  With Attention Philanthropy, donors give to a cause of their choice, one that they feel is undeservingly outside of the mainstream, and Worldchanging announces and applauds the gift.  From permaculture to web anonymity, storytelling to open source, donors were given the space to describe the cause and their motivations for giving.  —James David Morgan

Bank of America Posts a Profit on Trading Gains
Jul 17, 2009 | New York Times | BoA, JP Morgan, and other financial behemoths were big philanthropic donors to nonprofits, especially the enormously and consistently philanthropic Bank of America, so nonprofits might want to keep up with the financial health of their most important benefactors.  It’s even more important keep track of the enormous inequities in this recession.  Like its Wall Street brethren Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, the Bank of America just announced much better-than-expected profits for the second quarter of 2009.  With access to billions in TARP funds, BoA’s profit was $2.42 billion.  With TARP and ARRA, some sectors are emerging from the recession quite handsomely and with more power within their sectors than pre-recession in the wake of the collapses and bankruptcies of some of their competitors.  But the recession continues to remorselessly bludgeon the lower income communities and families served by nonprofits.  Both political parties have done a fine job of responding to their major donors in the financial sector to bolster their bottom lines and strengthen their competitiveness.  Explain that to the families facing burgeoning mortgage foreclosures (conventional as well as subprime) and rampant underemployment and unemployment.  Rick Cohen

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