Nonprofit Newswire | July 24, 2009

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Texas Monthly’s Longtime Editor Leaves the Magazine for a Local Web Start-up
Jul 17, 2009; Media Decoder | Continuing on the theme of the growth of nonprofit news outlets, here is the New York Times covering Evan Smith, the editor of the famous journal, the Texas Monthly, moving to the new nonprofit online venture, the Texas Tribune.  It’s certainly notable that someone of Smith’s stature would make the move, but also note the financing behind the venture:  The money comes from one John Thornton, general partner of Austin Ventures, who has put $1 million of his own money into the project, says he has raised another $2.2 million, and hopes to get another $4 million from individual and foundation donors by the time the Tribune actually starts up in November.  Why would a venture capital guy put money into a nonprofit like this?  It feels a little less nonprofit and a little more low profit/limited liability (L3C), doesn’t it?  Worth watching.  —Rick Cohen

Nonprofit must pay property tax, judge rules
Jul 20, 2009; Milwaukee Wisconsin Sentinel Journal | Nonprofits need to stay aware of a number of policy issues over the next few years, and as this article highlights, the first is the questioning, on a number of grounds, the eligibility of certain nonprofits for the benefits of tax exemption. In a revenue scarce environment, there may be more such challenges posed. Second, this particular organization is challenged on its hybrid nature – the fact that it mixes business with nonprofit activities and structures. As more hybrids emerge, we can expect additional fine tuning and enforcement of the regulations around this strategy.  —Ruth McCambridge

Bankrupt GM Owes Goodwill Thousands
Jul 15, 2009; Nonprofit Times | GM filed for bankruptcy June 1, after massive layoffs.  Now, in addition to GM’s direct unemployees, we can add the hundreds of Goodwill of Greater Detroit trainees whose training and subsequent labor were paid for through donations from the automaker, which amounted to some 40% of the nonprofit’s annual budget. Goodwill is optimistic that the $40k they are owed will be paid, and that the revenue stream will flow again post-bankruptcy, but they’re still seeking federal funds and diversifying in the meantime. —James David Morgan

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