Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Supreme Court to Hear Case on “Hillary: the Movie”

The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on September 9th over the role of nonprofits in elections.  The case arises out of the production of “Hillary: The Movie,” a film critical of Mrs. Clinton that was produced during the 2008 primary campaign.  The Citizens United, the 501(c)4 organization that produced the movie, has refused to list its donors in accordance with the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, claiming that the film was not a political advertisement.

Nonprofits Struggle to Replace Money from Madoff Investors

The losses due to the Madoff scheme have extended far beyond those who invested with him.  Nonprofit hospitals and health care organizations are having difficulty replacing funds they previously received from foundations that lost everything to Madoff.  The Schneider Childrens Hospital, for example, was forced to delay construction of a new addition as a result of losses, and raising funds has been made more difficult by the perception that the hospital may not be able to raise enough money to complete construction.

Report Says Microfinance May Not Help Poor

Two US economists completed a review of the effects of microfinance on poverty and have found that previous studies may have overemphasized  the relationship.  David Roodman, of the Center for Global Development, and Jonathan Morduch, of New York University claim that there is no solid evidence that microfinance systematically helps to reduce poverty.  While they have found no evidence of it causing harm to the poor, they claim that most of the studies promoting microfinance suffer from statistical flaws that overemphasis the effects of microfinance on poverty.