NewsBits: Around the World

new-website-icon-150x150from The New York Times

I’m Honored. No, Actually, I Can’t Afford It.

The time-honored system of black-tie charity tributes is breaking down, another casualty of the worst economic climate in decades. “This idea of getting on the phone and saying, ‘Wouldn’t you like to be honored at our gala?’ — that’s more difficult, more challenging now than in my 30 years of experience at this,” said Will Maitland Weiss, executive director of the Arts and Business Council of New York, which encourages companies to support the arts.

With honorees in short supply, the entire fund-raising ecosystem on which many nonprofit institutions depend – especially those reliant on the financial sector – is endangered. Despite the high costs of mounting a benefit, most nonprofit groups — environmental, health, social service, cultural and educational – try them at one time or another. How much a group gleans from a gala varies dramatically: for some, it’s a few percentage points of the annual budget; for others, one big party in a hotel ballroom pulls in the bulk of a year’s expenses.

Keep Donations Flexible Now to Avoid Conflict Tomorrow

What was interesting about my alma mater’s problems… was that battles between dead donors and nonprofits are increasing as the economy worsens.

from The Independent (U.K.)

Charities forced to axe thousands of jobs

Charities are axeing thousands of jobs to cope with a collapse in donations as the recession deepens.

After years of expansion, the voluntary sector is laying off staff, putting recruitment on hold and scaling back “non-essential” services.

“The workload of charities is soaring as the recession pushes more and more people into unemployment and poverty. But at the same time, charitable donations are dropping…Charities are a vital source of support for the most vulnerable people during the recession. If charities fail, we lose yet more jobs as well as losing vital support for the most vulnerable in society.”

from Times online (U.K.)

Charity should be part of everyday life

Everybody in Britain should give some of their time or their money to charity as a routine part of life, according to the “ambassador” appointed by Gordon Brown to promote philanthropy.

Dame Stephanie Shirley, who was given the job last week, said philanthropy should be part of everyday life, taught in schools and that people should ask one another in everyday conversations what they have done to help others.


Volunteers are important

An investment in volunteerism makes good economic sense and has a direct impact on the economy and business in our community. According to Stats Canada, there are over 161,000 nonprofits and registered charities in Canada. Collectively they contribute $112 billion in revenue towards the economy, a number larger than the GDP contribution of Canada’s entire manufacturing industry.