Nonprofit Newswire | September 21, 2009

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“Dinner With Palin? $63,500”
Sept 19, 2009; | There’s no question that the staff of Nonprofit Quarterly would not have been selected for dinner with former VP candidate Sarah Palin, even if we had outbid Cathy Maples of Huntsville, Alabama. Ms. Maples’s $63 grand will go to a charity for wounded vets, and in return she gets a 4-hour dinner with Palin (who she’d like to see become president someday). We hear that there was a vetting process to sit with Governor Palin and husband Todd. Inappropriate people were to have been weeded out, and inappropriate behavior at dinner will get you ejected. The winner can bring one and only one item (T-shirt, etc.) to be signed by the ex-Gov, but it’s up to Palin whether she chooses to sign or withhold her autograph.

Of course, there were reasons why NPQ’s bids were rejected. Mine came with my college yearbook picture and my grad. school picture (see above). Maybe Governor Palin would have thought the hair was too long as an undergrad and the hat inappropriate in graduate school. We’re hopeful that Ms. Maples tells NPQ Newswire how the dinner goes.—Rick Cohen

Stimulus money aids the Tampa Bay area art scene
Sept 20, 2009; St. Petersburg Times | The nonprofit sector has to make the case that its receipt and use of stimulus money counted, worked, and contributed to economic recovery. It doesn’t appear that a national monitoring is occurring, but the press takes occasional note. The Florida Division of Cultural Affairs just announced its distribution of $390,000 in stimulus funds (via the National Endowment for the Arts) to 18 organizations (out of 273 that had applied). Some impressions to be gleaned from the St. Petersburg Times article: Most of the grants, in the $20-25,000 range, appear likely to have the effect of preventing future job losses for arts and culture workers who were likely to lose their positions as government and private revenues plummeted (the artists’ jobs are very low wage). The recipients say that they add to the economy, and consequently their decline and disappearance would hurt the economy, but the assertions need to be—and can be—backed with empirical research. Documenting what happens as a result of the stimulus money—that would not have happened but for that stimulus money—is important for nonprofit credibility and public policy decision-makers’ future reliance on the nonprofit sector.—Rick Cohen

Local nonprofit agencies announce the inaugural fundraising campaign
Sept 17, 2009; Times Record News | In a very interesting development relative to the focusing/narrowing of the United Way’s agenda and affiliate pools in some regions, comes this story from North Texas where a number of mainstay community agencies which had been cut from the UW campaign decided to collaboratively put together their own community fund campaign complete with an ambitious goal. The organizers say it is not a competitive move but a complementary one, but we can’t imagine this is what the United Way meant when they urged these groups to become more self sufficient.—Ruth McCambridge



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