Nonprofit Newswire | September 10, 2009

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Recession forces United Way to hold line on fundraising goal for 2009 campaign
Sept 9, 2009; Syracuse Post Standard | Ever wonder how fundraisers set fundraising targets during a recession?  For United Ways, it must be a huge challenge.  The United Way of Central New York fell $500,000 short of its target last year, but has set its 2009 campaign target at the amount they last raised–$8,500,000.  If the target in 2008 was $9,000,000, the shortfall was 5.6%.  But in response to the shortfall, the United Way cut funding to 39 human service agencies by 7 percent; presumably, they must have maintain or increased funding to others since the shortfall was less than 7%.  But last year, the recession had not hit the depths that it has now reached, particularly with galloping joblessness.  As the United Way exec told the newspaper, to make up for donors who have lost their jobs (remember, much of the United Way’s fundraising is payroll deduction in the workplace), it will have to raise more money from new donors.  Where will it find the new donors?  Not clear how that will occur.  In July 2008, during last year’s United Way campaign, the unemployment rate in metro Syracuse was 5.6%; as of July 2009, unemployment was up to 8.1% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  So how did the United Way establish its fundraising target?   —Rick Cohen

AG Martha Coakley eyes pay of health-insurer directors
Sept 4, 2009; Boston Herald |  Hurray for AG Coakley, and we don’t give a fig about the charges that she’s only doing this because she’s running for the late Ted Kennedy’s senate seat.  The fact that nonprofit hospitals—and, please note, Ms Coakley, some nonprofit foundations, as previous investigations in Massachusetts uncovered—pay board members lucrative compensation for what should be voluntary board service.  Among her targets are board members at Blue Cross Blue Shield, a nonprofit health insurer (Congress, please note this in your consideration of nonprofit health cooperatives, especially when the President uses Blue Cross as his metaphor for success nonprofit health insurer performance).  In full disclosure, she is also taking a peek at Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan, which covers us here at Nonprofit Quarterly.  Good work, AG Coakley, don’t let it stop at the election, and don’t let it stop with just nonprofit insurers.  —Rick Cohen


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