Nonprofit Newswire | November 12, 2009

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The Nonprofit QuarterlyNonprofit consortium to raise funds lost from United Way
Nov 6, 2009; The New York Times | In this fairly stunning story from Philadelphia, a group of agencies have, in the wake of the United Way’s newer narrower focus, elected to establish their own competing fundraising consortium. A previous NPQ daily reported a similar action among a set of seven well known agencies in West Texas. “GivePhilly comprises the Boys and Girls Clubs of Philadelphia, the Cradle of Liberty Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia, Settlement Music School, Travelers Aid of Philadelphia, United Cerebral Palsy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, and the YMCA of Philadelphia.” This story, however, has a couple of additional components. First, the agencies in question are also exploring other management areas in which they might be able to collaborate, and second, the local Philadelphia Community Foundation is supporting the effort with an eye towards supporting what may be a new way of doing business among some of the larger anchor agencies in this beleaguered city. There are so many components of this situation that bear watching and we will keep you apprised!—Ruth McCambridge

The Nonprofit QuarterlyFed aid goes to Utah for-profit colleges
Nov 6, 2009; Salt Lake Tribune | Okay, we’re not all that surprised to learn that in some places, such as Utah in this article, the beneficiaries of Pell higher education tuition grants are going to for-profit schools in higher numbers during the recession than they did with pre-stimulus Pell grants. A lot of for-profit schools are the career training schools that tailor their programs to working (or in some cases, barely working) adults. They cost more than degree-granting public colleges, but their attractiveness is delivering employable skills through associate degree programs. Of course, many public community colleges also offer similar associate degree programs, and to be sure, Utah’s community colleges are also doing well with stimulus funding, having almost doubled their share of Pell grant funding through the stimulus (81.7 percent) compared to pre-stimulus Pell dollars (43.7 percent). However, Utah state colleges have dropped to ony 11.9 percent of stimulus-created Pell dollars compared to 33.2 percent of pre-stimulus Pell dollars. Most interesting and surprising to us is the particular courses that pre-stimulus and stimulus Pell students have sought. For non-stimulus Pell funding, 63.7 percent went for general career training, 3.6 percent for technology, 16.1 percent for beauty school training, and 16.5 percent for massage therapy. Come again? Yes, beauty school and massage therapy.—Rick Cohen

The Nonprofit QuarterlyOutreach in the Age of Pullback
Nov 6, 2009; The New York Times | The New York Times reports today on the Social Innovation Fund and how it might benefit nonprofits. The fund, which will provide a minimum of $100,000 annually for up to five years to the selected community groups, has been talked about a lot among nonprofits but has remained somewhat of a mystery until recently. The funds will stipulate matching money be raised from foundations and private sources. NPQ’s own national correspondent, Rick Cohen, who recently wrote about this topic, is interviewed in this story and adds a bit of reality to what seems to be a rosy picture. He says it’s going to be difficult for foundations to provide matching funds and adds, “Many of the tiny hidden jewels will have a tough time getting noticed and a tough time participating in a program that is structured this way.” Sonal Shah, who heads the fund says the money is intended to go to “innovative solutions that are moving the dial” and to encourage the next generation to value service and leadership. With all the hype about this money, we’re curious to see what effect the Social Innovation Fund has on actual social innovation.Kristin Barrali


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