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The promise of a newspaper’s investigative spinoff
Aug 31, 2009; Nieman Journalism Lab| The nonprofit sector may be relatively quietly welcoming a new brand of investigative journalism into its ranks. Most of you are aware of the financial travails of news outlets and may have heard about the experimentation going on in using the nonprofit form to protect the news. The following story about the San Diego Union Tribune’s nascent news experiment by a seasoned journalist gives us a sense of the promise and risks involved. Keep watching the Nonprofit Quarterly for more on this trend. —Ruth McCambridge

Madoff Liquidator May ‘Claw Back’ Charities’ Profits
Aug 31, 2009; Bloomberg News |
Who would have ever thought that charities would be sued by the Madoff trustee in “clawback” actions to recover moneys they may have gotten as profits from Madoff’s phony investments that they weren’t entitled to? The trustee, Irving Picard, is going after philanthropists such as Picower and Chais for profits they may have received that they weren’t entitled to (given Madoff’s fraudulent investment scheme) even though in the end they or their charities were eventually wiped out themselves. The trustee is using a formula for these proposed clawbacks, for example, Hadassah invested $40 million with Madoff, got $130 million in profits, and Picard believes that they clawback amount should be $90 million. The numbers are higher for the big charities: Picard is going after Picower for $6.7 billion he took in “profits” for himself and his foundation, Chaise for $1 billion. The Madoff reverberations will be felt for a long time to come. —Rick Cohen

EP mental health care provider faces funding crisis
Aug 31, 2009; ABC News | In El Paso Texas yesterday, the El Paso Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center placed 1,500 people on a waiting list as a result of a $2 million deficit. The CEO estimates that waiting time will extend into not months but years for many. And who might be on that El Paso waiting list for mental health services? According to the El Paso Times some will be soldiers suffering from such stuff as post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury who, due to lack of capacity, are being referred by local Beaumont Army Medical Center into the community mental health system in 2009 at well more than twice the rate than in 2008. —Ruth McCambridge


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