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Obama highlights fresh signs of economic growth
Oct 31, 2009; Associated Press | This article highlights the problem of job-counting. Although unemployment hit 9.8 percent in September, the highest rate in 26 years, and although an independent federal board just the day before concluded that some 650,000 jobs had been created or saved due to the stimulus, the White House put the stimulus job creation and retention number at just about 1,000,000 (based on an extrapolation from job reports received to estimate jobs that were created from expenditures of funds since those reports were generated). What we would love to see is a solid accounting of the nonprofit part of the numbers, whether 650,000 or 1,000,000. Our guess is that with education, weatherization, housing, and other funding prominent in the stimulus mix, nonprofits are a solid proportion of whatever the job creation/retention experience has been. Whether or not the two political parties are happy or sad, celebrating or decrying the reported numbers, nonprofits should be able to boast about their important role in helping prevent a worse job dynamic than the one that unfortunately still exists.Rick Cohen

Guys, Gals and Generosity
Nov 1, 2009; Indiana Gazette | In this profoundly weird little study, an experiment at Claremont Graduate University in California has shown that miserly behavior was linked to high levels of testosterone. The study was done by testing participants’ generosity after they were given a testosterone gel. The report asserts, “The next day, twice as much of the potent sex hormone coursed through the veins of volunteers” and then they were tested on their willingness to share. Apparently there was a 27% reduction in generosity among those who were testosterone ridden. I am not sure what the whole thing means for fundraising practice but I would’ve loved to have watched! Meanwhile, at Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy, Patrick Rooney provided slightly conflicting evidence with his finding that men and women are equally likely to include a charity in their estate planning. The full report is available as a PDF at Gender Differences in Giving Motivations for Bequest Donors and Non-Donors.—Ruth McCambridge

Even when services cut, nonprofit executive thrives
Nov 1, 2009; Los Angeles Times | While the state of California cuts services for the disabled, the owners of a company that provides vocational help for them have made more than $7 million in five years. The company, Social Vocational Services, provides job training, life skills instruction and group housing for people with developmental disabilities—an industry that relies on low-wage workers and public funds. Federal law says that nonprofit executive pay must be “reasonable”—a vague standard at best. Edward Dawson, founder and chief executive of SVS, has made so much money running his tax-payer subsidized shop, he was investigated by the state attorney general in 2000. But after the investigation ended in 2004 with a confidential settlement, the board gave him a raise. Over the next four years, Edward Dawson’s salary as chief executive jumped from $368,508 to $872,311. Reasonable, right?—Aaron Lester



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