‘Tis the season for many reports on giving. According to the Blackbaud Index, which tracks the giving of more than 3,000 of the company’s clients, giving in the first 10 months of 2013 increased 4.4% compared to the same period last year. The index’s creator, Chuck Longfield, says (USA Today, 12/3):
This year has been a better year for the non-profit sector than it has been in a number of years…Giving is very dependent on the stock market, which is at an all-time high. With the improving economy, some of the uncertainty has been removed. People tend to donate more when they feel wealthier, and the stock market helps with that.
Related: Before Thanksgiving, we released our annual report on local foundation giving, which features information on a 9% increase over the previous year. You can read the report, which also features a look at affordable housing funding, here. (Daily, 11/21)
FRACKING | The Agua Fund’s Cecily Kihn and the Hillsdale Fund’s Megan Gallagher wrote a guest piece for today’s Daily about fracking. What the frack does that have to do with our region, you ask? Quite a bit, actually. (Daily, 12/4)
HOUSING | D.C. Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie has proposed a new rule for bids on government-owned property. He suggests that any bids for housing construction must include 20-30% affordable housing. Does that make any sense? I had a hard time writing that for some reason. Cheryl Cort explains it more eloquently. (GGW, 12/3)
HOMELESSNESS | Here’s a touching look at a success story for one previously homeless family. On the flip side, the article also features highlights of a struggling support system that can’t keep up with the demand. (WaPo, 12/4)
- Opinion: Last week, the IRS clarified rules on political activity for nonprofits. Problem solved? Not so much, according to Independent Sector’s Diana Aviv and the Bauman Foundation’s Gary Bass (Chronicle, 12/3):
[T]he proposal itself is flawed in so many ways that it will undermine one of the key ways through which nonprofits do their work: helping Americans understand major issues in elections and encouraging them to register to vote and cast ballots.
By making participation harder for the important nonpartisan voices of groups that represent the public interest, our nation would be left weaker.
- The American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, estimates that President Obama’s proposed 28% cap on the charitable deduction would cause a whopping $9.4 billion decrease in giving in only a year’s time. Here’s a subscriber-only article about the think tank’s study, and here’s the public full report. (Chronicle/AEI, 12/3)
- Yesterday was a productive day for the D.C. Council. Among other things, it unanimously voted to send extra funding to schools that serve low-income and at-risk students. (WaPo, 12/4)
MOCO | The Montgomery County Council has named Craig Rice, a major advocate for wage increases, as its new president. (WAMU, 12/4)
NPR has released a compilation of the best books of 2013. I’ve read none of them, though The Luckiest Lady in London is at the top of my reading list. Just kidding. What the heck kind of strange compilation is this, NPR?
On a different note, check out this artist who creates detailed shadows out of strategically placed debris. Fair warning, some of the shadows are oddly gruesome, but the effect is still cool.
Tomorrow, we pull the old switcheroo on you. Rebekah has the Daily and I’ll be back on Friday. Hasta la vista until then!