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Nonprofit Groups Upset at Exclusion From Health Bills
Sept 13, 2009; New York Times | Last week, this website published an online article by Tim Delaney, the executive director of the National Council of Nonprofits, noting how the White House’s and Council of Economic Advisors’ discussion of health care reform issues gave no attention to the 1.8 million tax exempt organizations employing 10 percent of the nation’s workforce. It was as though the needs of nonprofit employers and nonprofit employers were invisible to the Administration. Quoting Delaney further, the New York Times picked up on the theme after President Obama’s health care speech again omitted nonprofit employers from the White House’s calculations. Delaney and other nonprofit leaders pointed out the failure of decision-makers to recognize nonprofits as employers with, as Lester Salamon of Johns Hopkins noted, “mammoth” problems of rising health insurance costs.—Rick Cohen

Team from nonprofit Chi-Town Daily News to move to for-profit venture
Sept 14, 2009; Chi-Town Daily News | Here’s a news story running counter to the trends. We hear about lots of for-profit newspapers exploring nonprofit structures. In Chicago, the Chi-Town Daily News is switching from nonprofit to for-profit.  The change in business models, according to the paper’s editor, was compelled by the staff’s recognition that “as a nonprofit, we cannot raise the money we need to build a truly robust local news organization that provides comprehensive local coverage.” The editor says that the News needs $1-$2 million a year to effectively cover Chicago news, but funding sources such as the Knight Foundation (whose 2007 challenge grant helped launch the venture), the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, and the Abra Prentice Foundation haven’t come close to providing that sort of capital.—Rick Cohen

Every drop of funding counts for nonprofits in recession
Sept 14, 2009; Miami Herald | Hardly a man bite dog story, the Miami Herald reports the results of a survey of 130 nonprofits on how they are faring in the recession. The survey sponsors, Donors Forum of South Florida and the Center On Nonprofit Effectiveness (C-One), not surprisingly found that most respondents saw their revenues drop 20-30 percent over the past year, and 2/3 had three months or less of operating reserves. What is interesting is the range of nonprofits cited in the story, from human service providers to arts groups, all taking huge and huger hits. At some point, the man bite dog story will happen. It won’t be that nonprofits are hurting, but nonprofits disappearing when people need them most.—Rick Cohen 


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