Nonprofit Newswire | December 23, 2009

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Thanks for reading our Newswires, we hope you find them useful. Newswire will be taking a short hiatus, but will return on Monday, December 28, 2009. Look for our top nonprofit news stories and our take on the most under-reported nonprofit news stories of the year.

The Nonprofit QuarterlyShe’s Makin’ a List . . .
Dec 22, 2009; IT ProPortal | Here are a couple of short items for the good news department: Google is donating $20 million to 25 charities this year in lieu of giving gifts to its adword and adsense customers because, as the company said “charities are experiencing their toughest year in decades.” The full list of grant recipients can be found here. Also worth reading is Melissa June Rowley of Mashable’s list of 4 social good trends of 2009. On the list are the following new trends briefly summarized: 1) Citizen Philanthropy—social media has transformed how some nonprofits raise money by connecting donors to the individuals rather than just the organizations; 2) Social Action Video—bringing people into an organization’s worth by telling stories through video; 3) Micro Activism Via Mobile-Apps—smart phone apps to help people publicize and raise money for particular causes; and 4) Transparency, Cause-Marketing and Real-Time Search—According to David Levy, co-founder of SocialVibe, “2009 saw brands coming up with campaigns to reach people in social media, and campaigns began to focus on what consumers care about, not just what’s important to the brands.”—Kristin Barrali

The Nonprofit QuarterlyOrganizations Scramble to Replace Lost United Way Funding
Dec 20; Wausau Daily Herald | It looks like a number of nonprofits will be taking 50 percent cuts in their funding allocations from the United Way of Marathon County: The Woodson YMCA will get only $61,000 in 2010 compared to $122,000 in 2009, forcing the agency to cut its fee assistance for lower-income individuals and families for YMCA memberships. The Wausau Area Hmong Mutual Association’s transition for success program will be cut to $15,000 from last year’s $31,000. The various agencies that have been cut, including the American Red Cross, have announced big fundraising campaigns of their own to make up for the United Way losses, such as the YMCA’s target of $229,000, much higher than this year’s campaign target of $153,000. Wausau faces a difficult economic picture.  It will be not easy for their nonprofits to make up for what they won’t get from the United Way in 2010.—Rick Cohen

The Nonprofit QuarterlyA Quiet End for the Boys Choir of Harlem
Dec 22, 2009; New York Times
| What do Spike Lee, Michael Jackson, Kanye West, Luciano Pavarotti, and Kiss all have in common? Besides their celebrity, they’ve all worked with the Boys Choir of Harlem, a now disbanded nonprofit that achieved much acclaim in its more than forty year run. The Choir seemed to be weathering a economic storm through mid-decade—certainly down, but not out. Then, facing a sex scandal, a lawsuit, and millions of dollars owed in taxes and penalties, the Choir was rocked by the death of its founder in 2007, and slowly and silently, it fell out of view. Fans are still calling to book concerts. The group’s alumni say they want to revive the original goal of the Boys Choir—the development of boys and girls through music—if not the actual organization, which may be doomed by its debts and the lawsuit.—James David Morgan


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