December 10, 2012
As the new year is fast approaching, we’ve been reflecting on the big stories that have affected the nonprofit world this past year. Here are our top picks for nonprofit news in 2012:
- NFL Referee Lockout – In September, after months of negotiation and a referee lockout, the NFL and the NFL Referees Association came to an agreement to end a labor dispute with its regular game officials. The stalled negotiations kept the official referees off the field for three weeks’ worth of regular season games. View our post about it here.
- Lance Armstrong steps down as head of foundation – In October, Lance Armstrong announced his resignation as chairman of the Livestrong Foundation a week after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) released a 202-page report accusing him of being the driving force behind a widespread doping program when he won the Tour De France seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005. The report explained why USADA banned Armstrong from cycling for life and ordered 14 years of his career results erased – including the seven Tour titles.
- American Red Cross Comes to the Aid of Victims of Hurricane Sandy – When Hurricane Sandy struck New Jersey and New York in October, the American Red Cross was quick to assist. Nearly 9,000 Red Cross workers have been deployed from all 50 states for relief efforts and more than 6 million meals and snacks have been served. The Red Cross continues to assist victims but still need support – click here to donate now.
- Looming fiscal cliff keeps nonprofits on edge – As President Obama and congressional Republicans work towards an agreement to avoid automatic spending cuts and tax increases at the end of the year, nonprofit organizations are expecting the worst. Federal funding to nonprofits could be cut, donors paying higher taxes might not have as much money to give, and Congress could cap tax deductions on charitable donations. This is a news item that will definitely follow us into 2013.
- Warren Buffet Pledges $3 Billion To His Kids’ Foundations – In August, Warren Buffet, the third richest man in the world, celebrated his 82nd birthday by donating shares of his company equivalent to $3.1 billion to his three kids’ foundations. They include the NoVo Foundation, dedicated towards fighting gender and other inequalities, the Howard G. Buffet Foundation, which works to develop agriculture and clean water deliver in third world countries, and the Sherwood Foundation, which supports nonprofits in Buffet’s hometown of Omaha, NE.
- Susan G. Komen President Steps Down – In September, Liz Thompson, President of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, stepped down from her position following criticism over the organization’s decision to halt partnerships with Planned Parenthood affiliates, which received $680,000 in 2011 for breast cancer screening and other health services. Komen board members Brenda Lauderback and Linda Law, as well as Karen Handel, senior vice president for policy at Komen, also resigned from their positions after the controversy.
- NBCUniversal Foundation and NBC Owned Television Stations Provide $1.2 Million to Nonprofits – In December, the groups announced over $1 million in grants to nonprofits as part of the foundation’s 21st Century Solutions initiative to support community-based programs in 10 NBC Markets. NBC stated that “the program aims to help communities identify opportunities for positive change and support nonprofits that are putting new ideas into action.” $50,000 grants were awarded to Opportunity Fund in the Bay Area, and Job Path, based in NYC. The full list of nonprofit recipients can be viewed here.
- NonProfit Times Names Wounded Warrior Foundation as Top Nonprofit to Work for in 2012 – For the second year in a row, Wounded Warrior Project was named the best nonprofit to work for by NonProfit Times. This survey was sent to employers as well as employees and covered topics such as Leadership and Planning, Corporate Culture and Communications, Role Satisfaction, Work Environment, Relationship with Supervisor, Training and Development, Pay and Benefits, and Overall Employee Engagement. Brighton Center came in second, while DoSomething.org came in third on the list.
- United States Olympians Association Unites Athletes During 2012 Summer Olympics in London – Don’t think the Olympics has anything to do with the association world? Think again! The United States Olympian Association aims to bring U.S. Olympic athletes together and to implement programs that foster the Olympic values in separate communities, “encouraging youth to pursue those values, developing camaraderie among athletes, and honoring the individuals who have shared the unique experience of representing their nation at the Olympic Games.”
- Humane Society CEO seeks seat on board of meat company Tyson – In October, Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the Human Society of the United States, filed paperwork as a candidate for election to the board of directors of Tyson Foods, one of the world’s biggest meat producers. Pacelle is seeking to improve the conditions for farm animals.
- Nonprofits in NYC Lose Property-Tax Exemptions – In June, 925 NYC-based nonprofits lost their property-tax exemptions worth a total of $38 million. The city Finance Department pulled these exemptions from organizations starting July 1, stating that they were unable to prove that these groups deserved the breaks following their own outreach efforts, warning letters and in-person visits to determine which organizations legitimately deserved the waivers.
- Paul Singer included in 20 Newcomers to the Forbes 400 – In September, hedge fund manager Paul Singer was included as one of the 20 Newcomers to the Forbes 400. Singer pledged $1 million to start a super PAC called American Unity, in support of gay rights. He’s also donated more than $9 million to support different military veteran organizations including Military Families United and Spirit of America.